War and Veterans (RD 115)
Simon & Schuster 2010
Documents the escape of ten American prisoners of war from a World War II Japanese prison camp in the Philippines, describing the inhumane conditions they endured and the political struggle that influenced their return home.
Berkeley Caliber 2008
"They were called a generation without heroes. Then they were called upon to be heroes. Within hours of 9/11, America's war on terror fell to those like the Marines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open-ended combat since Vietnam. They were a new breed of warrior unrecognizable to their forebears--soldiers raised on hip-hop, Internet porn, and video games, a disparate band of born-again Christians, dopers, Buddhists, and New Agers who gleaned their precepts from kung fu movies and Oprah Winfrey. Cocky, brave, headstrong, wary, and mostly unprepared for the physical, emotional, and moral horrors ahead, the "First Suicide Battalion" would spearhead the blitzkrieg on Iraq, and be among the first American combat units baptized in the horrors of Iraq's terrifying guerilla war. Generation Kill is the funny, frightening, and profane firsthand account of those remarkable men, of the personal toll of victory, and of the randomness, brutality, and camaraderie of a new American War."--Cover, p. 4.
Picador/Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2010
In the tradition of "Black Hawk Down," The Good Soldiers takes an unforgettable look at the heroes and the ruined soldiers fighting in the Iraq War. "It was the last-chance moment of the war. In January 2007, President George W. Bush announced a new strategy for Iraq. It became known as "the surge." Among those called to carry it out were the young, optimistic army infantry soldiers of the 2-16, the battalion nicknamed the Rangers. About to head to a vicious area of Baghdad, they decided the difference would be them. Fifteen months later, the soldiers returned home -- forever changed. With The Good Soldiers, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Finkel has produced an eternal story -- not just of the Iraq War, but of all wars, for all time." -- Publisher's description.
New American Library 2007
It is June 1941 and the war is not going well for England. Somehow, the Germans are anticipating the RAFUs flight paths, and shooting down British bombers with impunity. Filled with knife-edge suspense and rich, tantalizing characters, this is Ken Follett writing at the top of his form -- unforgettable storytelling from an unforgettable writer.
A memoir of the Gulf War by a front-line infantry marine recounts his struggles with the conflict on the front lines, his battles with fear and suicide, his brushes with death, and his identity as a soldier and an American. Anthony Swofford's Jarhead is the first Gulf War memoir by a frontline infantry marine, and it is a searing, unforgettable narrative. When the marines -- or "jarheads," as they call themselves -- were sent in 1990 to Saudi Arabia to fight the Iraqis, Swofford was there, with a hundred-pound pack on his shoulders and a sniper's rifle in his hands. It was one misery upon another. He lived in sand for six months, his girlfriend back home betrayed him for a scrawny hotel clerk, he was punished by boredom and fear, he considered suicide, he pulled a gun on one of his fellow marines, and he was shot at by both Iraqis and Americans. At the end of the war, Swofford hiked for miles through a landscape of incinerated Iraqi soldiers and later was nearly killed in a booby-trapped Iraqi bunker. Swofford weaves this experience of war with vivid accounts of boot camp (which included physical abuse by his drill instructor), reflections on the mythos of the marines, and remembrances of battles with lovers and family. As engagement with the Iraqis draws closer, he is forced to consider what it is to be an American, a soldier, a son of a soldier, and a man. Unlike the real-time print and television coverage of the Gulf War, which was highly scripted by the Pentagon, Swofford's account subverts the conventional wisdom that U.S. military interventions are now merely surgical insertions of superior forces that result in few American casualties. Jarhead insists we remember the Americans who are in fact wounded or killed, the fields of smoking enemy corpses left behind, and the continuing difficulty that American soldiers have reentering civilian life. A harrowing yet inspiring portrait of a tormented consciousness struggling for inner peace, Jarhead will elbow for room on that short shelf of American war classics that includes Philip Caputo's A Rumor of War and Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, and be admired not only for the raw beauty of its prose but also for the depth of its pained heart.
Random House 2010
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared; it was Lt. Louis Zamperini. Captured by the Japanese and driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor. Zamperini had a troubled youth, yet honed his athletic skills and made it all the way to the 1934 Olympics in Berlin. However, what lay before him was a physical gauntlet unlike anything he had encountered before: thousands of miles of open ocean, a small raft, and no food or water. He spent forty-seven days adrift in the ocean before being rescued by the Japanese Navy, and was held as a prisoner until the end of the war.
Little, Brown and Co. 2012
In the midst of a bloody battle in the Iraq War, two soldiers, bound together since basic training, do everything to protect each other from both outside enemies and the internal struggles that come from constant danger. This novel written by a veteran of the war in Iraq, is the harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive. "The war tried to kill us in the spring." So begins this powerful account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. Bound together since basic training when Bartle makes a promise to bring Murphy safely home, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for. In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger. As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare, Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes actions he could never have imagined. In addition the novel also offers insight into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home.