A war book recommendation: The Rest I Will Kill: William Tillman and the Unforgettable Story of How a Free Black Man Refused to Become a Slave by Brian McGinty

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2dBSqtk.
Brian McGinty is in full stride here. What results is an outstanding book powered by a compelling story as rendered by a talented author.
Book description from Google Books:
Independence Day, 1861. The schooner S. J. Waring sets sail from New York on a routine voyage to South America. Seventeen days later, it limps back into New York’s frenzied harbor with the ship’s black steward, William Tillman, at the helm. While the story of that ill-fated voyage is one of the most harrowing tales of captivity and survival on the high seas, it has, almost unbelievably, been lost to history.Now reclaiming Tillman as the real American hero he was, historian Brian McGinty dramatically returns readers to that riotous, explosive summer of 1861, when the country was tearing apart at the seams and the Union army was in near shambles following a humiliating defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run. Desperate for good news, the North was soon riveted by reports of an incident that occurred a few hundred miles off the coast of New York, where the Waring had been overtaken by a marauding crew of Confederate privateers. While the white sailors became chummy with their Southern captors, free black man William Tillman was perfectly aware of the fate that awaited him in the ruthless, slave-filled ports south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Stealthily biding his time until a moonlit night nine days after the capture, Tillman single-handedly killed three officers of the privateer crew, then took the wheel and pointed it home. Yet, with no experience as a navigator, only one other helper, and a war-torn Atlantic seaboard to contend with, his struggle had just begun.It took five perilous days at sea–all thrillingly recounted here–before the Waring returned to New York Harbor, where the story of Tillman’s shipboard courage became such a tabloid sensation that he was not only put on the bill of Barnum’s American Museum but also proclaimed to be the “first hero” of the Civil War. As McGinty evocatively shows, however, in the horrors of the war then engulfing the nation, memories of his heroism–even of his identity–were all but lost to history.As such, The Rest I Will Kill becomes a thrilling and historically significant work, as well as an extraordinary journey that recounts how a free black man was able to defy efforts to make him a slave and become an unlikely glimmer of hope for a disheartened Union army in the war-battered North.
The book is rated 3.36/5 at goodreads.com, from 55 ratings. See 21 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dBQbXe.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tRpBhq.

A war book recommendation: The Rest I Will Kill: William Tillman and the Unforgettable Story of How a Free Black Man Refused to Become a Slave by Brian McGinty

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2dBSqtk.
Brian McGinty is in full stride here. What results is an outstanding book powered by a compelling story as rendered by a talented author.
Book description from Google Books:
Independence Day, 1861. The schooner S. J. Waring sets sail from New York on a routine voyage to South America. Seventeen days later, it limps back into New York’s frenzied harbor with the ship’s black steward, William Tillman, at the helm. While the story of that ill-fated voyage is one of the most harrowing tales of captivity and survival on the high seas, it has, almost unbelievably, been lost to history.Now reclaiming Tillman as the real American hero he was, historian Brian McGinty dramatically returns readers to that riotous, explosive summer of 1861, when the country was tearing apart at the seams and the Union army was in near shambles following a humiliating defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run. Desperate for good news, the North was soon riveted by reports of an incident that occurred a few hundred miles off the coast of New York, where the Waring had been overtaken by a marauding crew of Confederate privateers. While the white sailors became chummy with their Southern captors, free black man William Tillman was perfectly aware of the fate that awaited him in the ruthless, slave-filled ports south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Stealthily biding his time until a moonlit night nine days after the capture, Tillman single-handedly killed three officers of the privateer crew, then took the wheel and pointed it home. Yet, with no experience as a navigator, only one other helper, and a war-torn Atlantic seaboard to contend with, his struggle had just begun.It took five perilous days at sea–all thrillingly recounted here–before the Waring returned to New York Harbor, where the story of Tillman’s shipboard courage became such a tabloid sensation that he was not only put on the bill of Barnum’s American Museum but also proclaimed to be the “first hero” of the Civil War. As McGinty evocatively shows, however, in the horrors of the war then engulfing the nation, memories of his heroism–even of his identity–were all but lost to history.As such, The Rest I Will Kill becomes a thrilling and historically significant work, as well as an extraordinary journey that recounts how a free black man was able to defy efforts to make him a slave and become an unlikely glimmer of hope for a disheartened Union army in the war-battered North.
The book is rated 3.36/5 at goodreads.com, from 55 ratings. See 21 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dBQbXe.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tRpBhq.

A war book recommendation: News From the Red Desert: A novel by Kevin Patterson

A critic review (source Globe and Mail) can be read at: https://tgam.ca/2s5tT8e.
News from the Red Desert is a powerful voice in an area where there are no answers, easy or otherwise. “Write whichever truth you need to,” one of the characters says, late in the book. Thankfully, Patterson took that admonition to heart.
Book description from Google Books:
From the award-winning author of The Water in Between and Consumption, the definitive novel of the Afghanistan war. News From the Red Desert begins in late 2001, when everyone believes the war is already won and the Taliban defeated, then leaps late in the severely escalated conflict–into the mess, and death, and confusion. At its heart are the men and women who have come to Afghanistan to seek purpose, and adventure, and danger, by engaging in the most bewitching and treacherous of human pursuits: making war.      It’s the story of Deirdre O’Malley, an American journalist who had been covering municipal politics when the airplanes went into the towers. Now a war correspondent, she has come to love the soldiers she covers and to grieve so hard over their wounds and their deaths she considers herself a member of the mission too. Embedded with Canadian infantry, she can’t ignore the situation on the ground. Her loyalty toward her ex-lover, the American general who has taken command of the theatre, wavers as the war wavers, and the use of torture and the slaughter of civilians is brought to light. Fuelling the tension is a melancholy American supply sergeant who accidentally releases a trove of war porn online that sparks a furious hunt for the person who leaked it. Fearing arrest at any moment, he has stayed on too long in Kandahar for reasons he doesn’t understand himself. Caught up in these currents are the Pakistanis who operate the Green Beans caf� on the Kandahar Airfield, led by optimist Rami Issay, who wants to lighten his customers’ hearts (and make a success of his business) by running film and chess clubs in the only zone of recreation on the base. But the war intrudes even into the lives of the well-intentioned. In a powerful climax that tests everyone’s loyalty and faith, the essential chaos of violence asserts itself. Love and desire endure, but no-one escapes unscathed.
The book is rated 3.89/5 at goodreads.com, from 61 ratings. See 14 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2qMEv84.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2qMC2KR.

A war book recommendation: Ghost Sniper: A Sniper Elite Novel by Scott McEwen

A critic review (source Washington Times) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2audMUJ.
My only objections to the book are that the CIA is portrayed as far too sinister…That aside, this thriller is action-packed and suspenseful. “Ghost Sniper” is a good book to read on a long flight or by the beach and pool.
Book description from Google Books:
In the next thrilling installment of the non-stop action Sniper Elite series from the coauthor of the #1 New York Times bestseller American Sniper, a top secret band of elite warriors are forced to take a side in the Mexican narco wars.Bob Pope, the director of an American secret intelligence anti-terrorist program, loses contact with his most trusted operative, Navy Master Chief Gil Shannon, fearing him dead when a mission to take out a Swiss banker who is channeling funds to Muslim extremists goes awry. But when an American politician and her convoy are assassinated in Mexico City by the Ghost Sniper—an American ex-military gunman for hire employed by Mexico’s most ruthless drug cartel—Pope must turn to retired Navy SEAL Daniel Crosswhite and the newest Sniper Elite hero, ex-Green Beret Chance Vaught, to track down the assassin and expose the corrupt officials behind the murderous plot. The newest heart-pounding Sniper Elite thriller takes you on an action-packed adventure to both sides of the Atlantic, filled with the intrigue and movie-worthy warfare fans of the series have come to know and love.
The book is rated 4.15/5 at goodreads.com, from 357 ratings. See 34 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2avhTU0.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tZEtib.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A war book recommendation: The Crime and the Silence: Confronting the Massacre of Jews in Wartime Jedwabne by Anna Bikont

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2fdhOrn.
The Crime and the Silence is at once haunting, engaging, and revealing. Part memoir, part historical account, this amazing book chronicles the events leading up to and during that fateful day in 1941…
Book description from Google Books:
A monumental work of nonfiction on a wartime atrocity, its sixty-year denial, and the impact of its truthJan Gross’s hugely controversial Neighbors was a historian’s disclosure of the events in the small Polish town of Jedwabne on July 10, 1941, when the citizens rounded up the Jewish population and burned them alive in a barn. The massacre was a shocking secret that had been suppressed for more than sixty years, and it provoked the most important public debate in Poland since 1989. From the outset, Anna Bikont reported on the town, combing through archives and interviewing residents who survived the war period. Her writing became a crucial part of the debate and she herself an actor in a national drama. Part history, part memoir, The Crime and the Silence is the journalist’s account of these events: both the story of the massacre told through oral histories of survivors and witnesses, and a portrait of a Polish town coming to terms with its dark past. Including the perspectives of both heroes and perpetrators, Bikont chronicles the sources of the hatred that exploded against Jews and asks what myths grow on hidden memories, what destruction they cause, and what happens to a society that refuses to accept a horrific truth. A profoundly moving exploration of being Jewish in modern Poland that Julian Barnes called “one of the most chilling books,” The Crime and the Silence is a vital contribution to Holocaust history and a fascinating story of a town coming to terms with its dark past.
The book is rated 4.23/5 at goodreads.com, from 238 ratings. See 41 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2e8aOIp.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2teu9it.

A war book recommendation: KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps by Nikolaus Wachsmann

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2dtsAJu.
Wachsmann makes the unimaginable palpable. That is his great achievement. It is therefore strange that he bitterly attacks the psychologist Bruno Bettelheim, a survivor of Dachau and Buchenwald, for saying the Jews of Europe had gone “like lemmings” to the gas.
Book description from Google Books:
Winner of the 2016 Mark Lynton History PrizeWinner of the 2015 Wolfson History PrizeA Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2015A Kirkus Reviews Best History Book of 2015Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust categoryThe first comprehensive history of the Nazi concentration camps In a landmark work of history, Nikolaus Wachsmann offers an unprecedented, integrated account of the Nazi concentration camps from their inception in 1933 through their demise, seventy years ago, in the spring of 1945. The Third Reich has been studied in more depth than virtually any other period in history, and yet until now there has been no history of the camp system that tells the full story of its broad development and the everyday experiences of its inhabitants, both perpetrators and victims, and all those living in what Primo Levi called “the gray zone.” In KL, Wachsmann fills this glaring gap in our understanding. He not only synthesizes a new generation of scholarly work, much of it untranslated and unknown outside of Germany, but also presents startling revelations, based on many years of archival research, about the functioning and scope of the camp system. Examining, close up, life and death inside the camps, and adopting a wider lens to show how the camp system was shaped by changing political, legal, social, economic, and military forces, Wachsmann produces a unified picture of the Nazi regime and its camps that we have never seen before. A boldly ambitious work of deep importance, KL is destined to be a classic in the history of the twentieth century.
The book is rated 4.45/5 at goodreads.com, from 671 ratings. See 127 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2avTmhw.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uvzINu.

A war book recommendation: The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History by Paul Andrew Hutton

A critic review (source Washington Times) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2dTnsgM.
“The Apache Wars” is history as history should be written. It doesn’t just simply tell you — it seems to take you there.
Book description from Google Books:
In the tradition of Empire of the Summer Moon, a stunningly vivid historical account of the manhunt for Geronimo and the 25-year Apache struggle for their homeland   They called him Mickey Free. His kidnapping started the longest war in American history, and both sides–the Apaches and the white invaders–blamed him for it. A mixed-blood warrior who moved uneasily between the worlds of the Apaches and the American soldiers, he was never trusted by either but desperately needed by both. He was the only man Geronimo ever feared. He played a pivotal role in this long war for the desert Southwest from its beginning in 1861 until its end in 1890 with his pursuit of the renegade scout, Apache Kid.   In this sprawling, monumental work, Paul Hutton unfolds over two decades of the last war for the West through the eyes of the men and women who lived it. This is Mickey Free’s story, but also the story of his contemporaries: the great Apache leaders Mangas Coloradas, Cochise, and Victorio; the soldiers Kit Carson, O. O. Howard, George Crook, and Nelson Miles; the scouts and frontiersmen Al Sieber, Tom Horn, Tom Jeffords, and Texas John Slaughter; the great White Mountain scout Alchesay and the Apache female warrior Lozen; the fierce Apache warrior Geronimo; and the Apache Kid. These lives shaped the violent history of the deserts and mountains of the Southwestern borderlands–a bleak and unforgiving world where a people would make a final, bloody stand against an American war machine bent on their destruction.
The book is rated 4.06/5 at goodreads.com, from 421 ratings. See 97 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2e7JoSV.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tgAjyI.

A war book recommendation: The Crime and the Silence: Confronting the Massacre of Jews in Wartime Jedwabne by Anna Bikont

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2fdhOrn.
The Crime and the Silence is at once haunting, engaging, and revealing. Part memoir, part historical account, this amazing book chronicles the events leading up to and during that fateful day in 1941…
Book description from Google Books:
A monumental work of nonfiction on a wartime atrocity, its sixty-year denial, and the impact of its truthJan Gross’s hugely controversial Neighbors was a historian’s disclosure of the events in the small Polish town of Jedwabne on July 10, 1941, when the citizens rounded up the Jewish population and burned them alive in a barn. The massacre was a shocking secret that had been suppressed for more than sixty years, and it provoked the most important public debate in Poland since 1989. From the outset, Anna Bikont reported on the town, combing through archives and interviewing residents who survived the war period. Her writing became a crucial part of the debate and she herself an actor in a national drama. Part history, part memoir, The Crime and the Silence is the journalist’s account of these events: both the story of the massacre told through oral histories of survivors and witnesses, and a portrait of a Polish town coming to terms with its dark past. Including the perspectives of both heroes and perpetrators, Bikont chronicles the sources of the hatred that exploded against Jews and asks what myths grow on hidden memories, what destruction they cause, and what happens to a society that refuses to accept a horrific truth. A profoundly moving exploration of being Jewish in modern Poland that Julian Barnes called “one of the most chilling books,” The Crime and the Silence is a vital contribution to Holocaust history and a fascinating story of a town coming to terms with its dark past.
The book is rated 4.23/5 at goodreads.com, from 238 ratings. See 41 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2e8aOIp.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2teu9it.

A war book recommendation: Vietnam: A New History by Christopher Goscha

A critic review (source The Economist) can be read at: http://econ.st/2aBMHSX.
Christopher Goscha’s thorough and thoughtful new history of Vietnam counters these simple portrayals with large and welcome doses of complexity.
Book description from Google Books:
The definitive history of modern Vietnam and its diverse and divided past
The book is rated 3.89/5 at goodreads.com, from 53 ratings. See 13 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2aALpod.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uaTLkf.

A war book recommendation: KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps by Nikolaus Wachsmann

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2dtsAJu.
Wachsmann makes the unimaginable palpable. That is his great achievement. It is therefore strange that he bitterly attacks the psychologist Bruno Bettelheim, a survivor of Dachau and Buchenwald, for saying the Jews of Europe had gone “like lemmings” to the gas.
Book description from Google Books:
Winner of the 2016 Mark Lynton History PrizeWinner of the 2015 Wolfson History PrizeA Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2015A Kirkus Reviews Best History Book of 2015Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust categoryThe first comprehensive history of the Nazi concentration camps In a landmark work of history, Nikolaus Wachsmann offers an unprecedented, integrated account of the Nazi concentration camps from their inception in 1933 through their demise, seventy years ago, in the spring of 1945. The Third Reich has been studied in more depth than virtually any other period in history, and yet until now there has been no history of the camp system that tells the full story of its broad development and the everyday experiences of its inhabitants, both perpetrators and victims, and all those living in what Primo Levi called “the gray zone.” In KL, Wachsmann fills this glaring gap in our understanding. He not only synthesizes a new generation of scholarly work, much of it untranslated and unknown outside of Germany, but also presents startling revelations, based on many years of archival research, about the functioning and scope of the camp system. Examining, close up, life and death inside the camps, and adopting a wider lens to show how the camp system was shaped by changing political, legal, social, economic, and military forces, Wachsmann produces a unified picture of the Nazi regime and its camps that we have never seen before. A boldly ambitious work of deep importance, KL is destined to be a classic in the history of the twentieth century.
The book is rated 4.45/5 at goodreads.com, from 667 ratings. See 127 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2avTmhw.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uvzINu.