In early summer of 1990, Joel Turnipseed was homeless--kicked out of his college's philosophy program, dumped by his girlfriend. He had been AWOL from his Marine Corps Reserve unit for more than three months, spending his days hanging out in coffee shops reading Plato and Thoreau.
Then Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.
Turnipseed's unit was activated for service in Operation Desert Shield. By January of '91, he was in Saudi Arabia driving tractor-trailers for the Sixth Motor Transport Battalion--the legendary "Baghdad Express." The greatest logistical operation in Marine Corps history, the Baghdad Express hauled truckloads of explosives and ammunition across hundreds of miles of desert. But on the brink of war, Turnipseed's greatest struggles are still within. Armed with an M-16 and a seabag full of philosophy books, he is a wise-ass misfit, an ironic observer with a keen eye for vivid detail, a rebellious Marine alive to the moral ambiguity of his life and his situation.
Developed from Turnipseed's 1997 feature article for GQ Magazine, this innovative memoir--simultaneously terrifying and hilarious, equal parts Catch-22 and Catcher in the Rye--explores both the absurdities of war and the necessity of accepting our flawed world of shadows. With expansive humanity and profane grace, Turnipseed finds the real-world answers to his philosophical questions and reaches the hardest peace for any young man to achieve--with himself.
The history of America's conflict with the piratical states of the Mediterranean runs through the presidencies of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison; the adoption of the Constitution; the Quasi-War with France and the War of 1812; the construction of a full-time professional navy; and, most important, the nation's haltering steps toward commercial independence. Frank Lambert's genius is to see in the Barbary Wars the ideal means of capturing the new nation's shaky emergence in the complex context of the Atlantic world.Depicting a time when Britain ruled the seas and France most of Europe, The Barbary Wars proves America's earliest conflict with the Arabic world was always a struggle for economic advantage rather than any clash of cultures or religions.
On the foggy morning of August 16, 1780, American and British armies clashed in the pine woods north of Camden, South Carolina, in one of the most important and influential battles of the Revolutionary War. An American victory would quash British plans to subjugate the southern colonies and virtually guarantee the independence of the fledgling United States. A victory for the British would pave the way for the conquest of North Carolina and Virginia.
After nearly an hour of frenzied, bloody combat, the British army emerged victorious, and American morale plummeted to its lowest point of the war. The rout at Camden was not a total loss, however, as Patriot forces eventually came away with a renewed determination to resist British advances, and the lessons from the defeat were applied to secure future victories that finally allowed the Patriots to triumph in the South.
This engaging new book presents the Battle of Camden as never before: through the eyes and words of American and British participants and contemporary observers. The events leading up to the conflict, the combat itself and the consequences of Camden are all described in striking detail. The cunning strategies of both American Major General Horatio Gates and British Lieutenant General Lord Cornwallis are revealed, as are a number of battlefield reports from soldiers on both sides. In addition to these compelling first-hand accounts, The Battle of Camden includes analysis of the battle and its effects in America and Europe from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Lord George Germain. With this landmark text, author and historian Jim Piecuch offers a comprehensive consideration of a vital Revolutionary battle and its effects on the war for American independence.
This first full-length treatment of the Revolutionary War battle recounts British general Charles Grey's brutal attack on Anthony Wayne's division of 1,500 Continentals in September 1777. The detailed account follows the action from the arrival of Wayne's division south of the Schuylkill River, near Paoli Tavern, to defend Philadelphia against Howe's encroaching troops to Grey's discovery of Wayne's position, the bloody battle that ensued, and the subsequent court-martial of Wayne, who had been accused of negligence.
Already a classic of war reporting and now reissued as a Grove Press paperback, Black Hawk Down is Mark Bowden's brilliant account of the longest sustained firefight involving American troops since the Vietnam War.
On October 3, 1993, about a hundred elite U.S. soldiers were dropped by helicopter into the teeming market in the heart of Mogadishu, Somalia. Their mission was to abduct two top lieutenants of a Somali warlord and return to base. It was supposed to take an hour. Instead, they found themselves pinned down through a long and terrible night fighting against thousands of heavily-armed Somalis. The following morning, eighteen Americans were dead and more than seventy had been badly wounded.
Drawing on interviews from both sides, army records, audiotapes, and videos (some of the material is still classified), Bowden's minute-by-minute narrative is one of the most exciting accounts of modern combat ever written--a riveting story that captures the heroism, courage, and brutality of battle.
On October 3, 1993, a band of U.S. soldiers embarked on a mission in Somalia to capture two warlords. It was a simple plan. What erupted instead was a night of bloodshed and death. It became the longest sustained firefight involving American troops since the Vietnam War. This is the extraordinary minute-by-minute account of that courageous, historic, and brutal night.
Winner, 2015, American Revolution Round Table of Richmond Book Award
"Brandywine Creek calmly meanders through the Pennsylvania countryside today, but on September 11, 1777, it served as the scenic backdrop for the largest battle of the American Revolution, one that encompassed more troops over more land than any combat fought on American soil until the Civil War. Long overshadowed by the stunning American victory at Saratoga, the complex British campaign that defeated George Washington's colonial army and led to the capture of the capital city of Philadelphia was one of the most important military events of the war. Michael C. Harris's impressive Brandywine: A Military History of the Battle that Lost Philadelphia but Saved America, September 11, 1777, is the first full-length study of this pivotal engagement in many years.
General Sir William Howe launched his campaign in late July 1777, when he loaded his army of 16,500 British and Hessian soldiers aboard a 265-ship armada in New York and set sail. Six difficult weeks later Howe's expedition landed near Elkton, Maryland, and moved north into Pennsylvania. Washington's rebel army harassed Howe's men at several locations including a minor but violent skirmish at Cooch's Bridge in Delaware on September 3. Another week of hit-and-run tactics followed until Howe was within three miles of Chads's Ford on Brandywine Creek, behind which Washington had posted his army in strategic blocking positions along a six-mile front. The young colonial capital of Philadelphia was just 25 miles farther east.
Obscured by darkness and a heavy morning fog, General Howe initiated his plan of attack at 5:00 a.m. on September 11, pushing against the American center at Chads's Ford with part of his army while the bulk of his command swung around Washington's exposed right flank to deliver his coup de main, destroy the colonials, and march on Philadelphia. Warned of Howe's flanking attack just in time, American generals turned their divisions to face the threat. The bitter fighting on Birmingham Hill drove the Americans from the field, but their heroic defensive stand saved Washington's army from destruction and proved that the nascent Continental foot soldiers could stand toe-to-toe with their foe. Although fighting would follow, Philadelphia fell to Howe's legions on September 26.
Harris's Brandywine is the first complete study to merge the strategic, political, and tactical history of this complex operation and important set-piece battle into a single compelling account. More than a decade in the making, his sweeping prose relies almost exclusively upon original archival research and his personal knowledge of the terrain. Enhanced with original maps, illustrations, and modern photos, and told largely through the words of those who fought there, Brandywine will take its place as one of the most important military studies of the American Revolution ever written."
The Naval Academy's culture is a unique and sometimes baffling phenomenon to the outside world, but with this newly updated guide in hand relatives and friends of midshipmen will find answers to all the questions they might have about Academy life. Since it was first published more than a decade ago, parents have relied on the almanac for insights into their sons' and daughters' experiences at Annapolis. Now the son of the original author has taken on the responsibility of bringing the popular reference up to date.
An Academy graduate, active duty naval officer, and former English instructor at the Academy, the younger Mackenzie makes full use of his intimate knowledge of Annapolis to fill in the gaps. Along with the latest facts on car ownership, dating policies, athletic requirements, and disciplinary demands, you'll now find a useful guide to Internet resources. A midshipman profile and a dictionary of Midspeak completes the picture in a book whose title recalls the midshipmen's own manual, Reef Points, but extends its concept for outsiders seeking practical information about the Academy, the Navy, and Annapolis. Prospective applicants, graduates, newcomers to the USNA staff, and visitors seeking a memento will also be attracted to this useful guide.
Captain Philip Broke's victory in 1813 over Captain Lawrence of USS Chesapeake, did much to restore the morale of the Royal Navy, shattered by three successive defeats in single-ship duels with U.S. frigates, and stunned the American nation which had come to expect success. The near-fatal wound Broke received in hand-to-hand fighting as he boarded the Chesapeake meant that he never served again at sea, but his work on naval gunnery, paid for out of his own pocket, transformed Admiralty thinking and led to the establishment of the British naval school of gunnery, HMS Excellent. With 2013 the Bicentenary year of his victory, this work is a reassessment of one of Britain's finest frigate captains. A fictionalized account of the encounter was used by Patrick O'Brian in his novels The Fortune of War and The Surgeon's Mate, with Broke presented as a cousin of Captain Jack Aubrey.
A joint biography of John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles, who led the United States into an unseen war that decisively shaped today's worldDuring the 1950s, when the Cold War was at its peak, two immensely powerful brothers led the United States into a series of foreign adventures whose effects are still shaking the world. John Foster Dulles was secretary of state while his brother, Allen Dulles, was director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In this book, Stephen Kinzer places their extraordinary lives against the background of American culture and history. He uses the framework of biography to ask: Why does the United States behave as it does in the world? The Brothers explores hidden forces that shape the national psyche, from religious piety to Western movies--many of which are about a noble gunman who cleans up a lawless town by killing bad guys. This is how the Dulles brothers saw themselves, and how many Americans still see their country's role in the world. Propelled by a quintessentially American set of fears and delusions, the Dulles brothers launched violent campaigns against foreign leaders they saw as threats to the United States. These campaigns helped push countries from Guatemala to the Congo into long spirals of violence, led the United States into the Vietnam War, and laid the foundation for decades of hostility between the United States and countries from Cuba to Iran. The story of the Dulles brothers is the story of America. It illuminates and helps explain the modern history of the United States and the world.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2013