Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tale of war both real and fiction are found @ your library

Empire and Honor (Honor Bound Series #7) by W. E. B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV

Kirkus Reviews –

The seventh in Griffin's (Victory and Honor, 2011, etc.) Honor Bound series offers more of USMC Maj. Cletus Frade's escapades. Here, Griffin's all-stuff-military-and–intrigue battleground is Argentina. The time is immediately post–World War II, with Juan Perón and Evita double-dealing and Nazis on the side. The good-guy movers and shakers believe the USSR is the next enemy, and remnants of the disbanded OSS (soon to be CIA) want to hide the high command of Abwehr Ost, the Wehrmacht's anti-communist intelligence group, in Argentina far away from the Soviets. The U.S. rocket program needed von Braun; the spooks needed Abwehr Ost. Argentina is the chosen hideaway, which is complicated by the fact that Argentina is also the lair of Operation Phoenix, a plan by Nazi SS-types dead set on reincarnating fascism. Frade's late biological father was a rich Argentine colonel, and so Frade's unofficially charged with rooting out bad Germans and securing good Germans. This book maintains Griffin's standard narrative trick of employing heroes with stupendous wealth, airplanes and secure hideaways readily available. Frade also happens to be Perón's godson, but Frade dislikes Tio Juan, which muddies dealings with the Argentine government, mainly Gen. Bernardo Martín, chief of the Bureau of Internal Security. Some Argentines want to assassinate Perón, but many don't, in spite of Perón being corrupt and overly ambitious, since Perón's death might spark a civil war. The primary narrative thread involves locating U-234, a submarine that ferried scheming SS-types intent on persevering with fascism's failures. U-234 also hauled a half-ton of uranium oxide the SS bad guys want to sell to the USSR to finance Operation Phoenix. Although heavily reliant on exposition, the book provides sufficient back story and works as a stand-alone read. Nothing beats a cinder-block–sized adventure novel on a winter weekend.

My Share of the Task: A Memoir by General Stanley McChrystal

From Barnes & Noble

General Stanley McChrystal's new book has already received stellar reviews. One early reader lauding it as "the finest military memoir of his generation," and Walter Isaacson calling it "a brilliant book about leadership wrapped inside a fascinating personal narrative." Reports about the outspoken former Commander of all NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan were not always so superlative. A 2010 Rolling Stone article about him entitled "The Runaway General" landed him in trouble that resulted in his resignation. In My Share of the Task, this former four-star general addresses directly the major episodes, learning experiences, and controversies of his eventful career. Certain to garner prominent reviews nationwide.

A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II by Adam Makos and Larry Alexander

Publishers Weekly –

Military historian and aviation enthusiast Makos, along with WWII biographer Alexander (In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers), delivers a top-notch narrative of the unlikely encounter between one of Germany’s leading fighter aces, Franz Stigler, and the rookie crew of an American bomber in the frigid skies of Germany in December 1943—upon engaging the already damaged American plane, Stigler had mercy on his enemies and escorted them to safety. Building on the events of that encounter, Makos crafts a multifaceted story, relating the career of Stigler from his first taste of combat in North Africa to his final assignment flying jet fighters in the waning battles of the war in Europe. He also follows American Lt. Charlie Brown and his crew through training and to the successful completion of their combat tour in April 1944. Based on thousands of hours of interviews and an evident knowledge of his subject, Makos details the frantic life of the German fighter pilots living on the edge, and the American bomber crews, far from home, fighting to survive. The book is a riveting story of humanity and mercy set against the ghastly backdrop of war. 

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