Military Biographies and Memoirs
Featured Items
Knight's Cross: Life of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, a
Knight's Cross
Life of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, a
Paperback      ISBN: 0060925973

Erwin Rommel's instinct for battle and leadership places him among the great commanders in history. His military tactics are still studied, and his reputation during World War II was legendary. But Rommel's credentials as a great general are tempered by the fact that he fought for Hitler during Germany's darkest hour. In this comprehensive biography, David Fraser examines the complicated life of the "Desert Fox" -- both his genius and his failures.

Fraser, a retired British general, brings a soldier's expertise to this compelling biography, as well as the cooperation of Rommel's son. Knight's Cross recounts Rommel's meteoric rise to fame, from his duty in World War I to his command of Hitler's personal guard, to his role in Germany's campaigns in France and North Africa. Rommel's involvement with a plot to assassinate Hitler, and his subsequent forced suicide, are also explored. This is the definitive study of a man who fought brilliantly for a terrible cause.

"A vivid, balanced and frequently enthralling biography of Rommel, the general and the man. It is must reading for every aficionado of modern military history." -- San Francisco Chronicle
The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach
The Collaborator
The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach
Paperback      ISBN: 0226424154

On February 6, 1945, Robert Brasillach was executed for treason by a French firing squad. He was a writer of some distinction--a prolific novelist and a keen literary critic. He was also a dedicated anti-Semite, an acerbic opponent of French democracy, and editor in chief of the fascist weekly Je Suis Partout, in whose pages he regularly printed wartime denunciations of Jews and resistance activists.

Was Brasillach in fact guilty of treason? Was he condemned for his denunciations of the resistance, or singled out as a suspected homosexual? Was it right that he was executed when others, who were directly responsible for the murder of thousands, were set free? Kaplan's meticulous reconstruction of Brasillach's life and trial skirts none of these ethical subtleties: a detective story, a cautionary tale, and a meditation on the disturbing workings of justice and memory, The Collaborator will stand as the definitive account of Brasillach's crime and punishment.

A National Book Award Finalist

A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

A well-researched and vivid account.--John Weightman, New York Review of Books

A gripping reconstruction of Brasillach's] trial.--The New Yorker

Readers of this disturbing book will want to find moral touchstones of their own. They're going to need them. This is one of the few works on Nazism that forces us to experience how complex the situation really was, and answers won't come easily.--Daniel Blue, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

The Collaborator is one of the best-written, most absorbing pieces of literary history in years.--David A. Bell, New York Times Book Review

Alice Kaplan's clear-headed study of the case of Robert Brasillach in France has a good deal of current-day relevance. . . . Kaplan's fine book . . . shows that the passage of time illuminates different understandings, and she leaves it to us to reflect on which understanding is better.--Richard Bernstein, The New York Times
LeJeune: A Marine's Life, 1867-1942
LeJeune
A Marine's Life, 1867-1942
Paperback      ISBN: 1557500630

This well-documented and hard-hitting biography of the thirteenth commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps succeeds in converting John A. Lejeune from a near mythical figure in corps history to a flesh and blood officer who helped build the service from a small appendage of the U.S. Navy to an important arm of naval warfare.

Commandant from 1920 to 1929, when he retired from military service to become president of Virginia Military Institute, Major General Lejeune is regarded by many as the man most responsible for the establishment of the modern Marine Corps. In capturing the life and times of this visionary leader who directed the corps toward major amphibious operations, Merrill Bartlett provides vivid insight into the political and military giants of the era and shows Lejeune to be an adroit player of Washington politics and a shrewd manipulator who marshalled the energies and loyalties of his senior officers to accomplish his vision.

Joker One: A Marine Platoon's Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood
Joker One
A Marine Platoon's Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood
Paperback      ISBN: 0812979567

After graduating from Princeton, Donovan Campbell wanted to give back to his country, engage in the world, and learn to lead. So he joined the service, becoming a commander of a forty-man infantry platoon called Joker One. Campbell had just months to train and transform a ragtag group of brand-new Marines into a first-rate cohesive fighting unit, men who would become his family. They were assigned to Ramadi, the capital of the Sunni-dominated Anbar province that was an explosion just waiting to happen. And when it did happen--with the chilling cries of Jihad, Jihad, Jihad echoing from minaret to minaret--Campbell and company were there to protect the innocent, battle the insurgents, and pick up the pieces.

Thrillingly told by the man who led the unit of hard-pressed Marines, Joker One is a gripping tale of a leadership and loyalty.
Black Virgin Mountain: A Return to Vietnam
Black Virgin Mountain
A Return to Vietnam
Paperback      ISBN: 1400076897

In 1967 Larry Heinemann was sent to Vietnam as an ordinary soldier. It was the most horrific year of his life, truly altering him--and his family--forever. In his powerful memoir, Heinemann returns to Vietnam, riding the train from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh city and confronting the memories of his war year. Black Virgin Mountain confirms Heinemann's legendary plain-spoken reputation as one of the essential chroniclers of our war in Vietnam

Dispatches
Dispatches
Paperback      ISBN: 0679735259
The best book to have been written about the Vietnam War (The New York Times Book Review); an instant classic straight from the front lines.

From its terrifying opening pages to its final eloquent words, Dispatches makes us see, in unforgettable and unflinching detail, the chaos and fervor of the war and the surreal insanity of life in that singular combat zone. Michael Herr's unsparing, unorthodox retellings of the day-to-day events in Vietnam take on the force of poetry, rendering clarity from one of the most incomprehensible and nightmarish events of our time.

Dispatches is among the most blistering and compassionate accounts of war in our literature.
So Sad to Fall in Battle: An Account of War Based on General Tadamichi Kuribayashi's Letters from Iwo Jima
So Sad to Fall in Battle
An Account of War Based on General Tadamichi Kuribayashi's Letters from Iwo Jima
Paperback      ISBN: 0891419179

The Battle of Iwo Jima has been memorialized innumerable times as the subject of countless books and motion pictures, most recently Clint Eastwood's films Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima, and no wartime photo is more famous than Joe Rosenthal's Pulitzer Prize-winning image of Marines raising the flag on Mount Suribachi. Yet most Americans know only one side of this pivotal and bloody battle. First published in Japan to great acclaim, becoming a bestseller and a prize-winner, So Sad to Fall in Battle shows us the struggle, through the eyes of Japanese commander Tadamichi Kuribayashi, one of the most fascinating and least-known figures of World War II.

As author Kumiko Kakehashi demonstrates, Kuribayashi was far from the stereotypical fanatic Japanese warrior. Unique among his country's officers, he refused to risk his men's lives in suicidal banzai attacks, instead creating a defensive, insurgent style of combat that eventually became the Japanese standard. On Iwo Jima, he eschewed the special treatment due to him as an officer, enduring the same difficult conditions as his men, and personally walked every inch of the island to plan the positions of thousands of underground bunkers and tunnels. The very flagpole used in the renowned photograph was a pipe from a complex water collection system the general himself engineered.

Exclusive interviews with survivors reveal that as the tide turned against him, Kuribayashi displayed his true mettle: Though offered a safer post on another island, he chose to stay with his men, fighting alongside them in a final, fearless, and ultimately hopeless three-hour siege.

After thirty-six cataclysmic days on Iwo Jima, Kurbiayashi's troops were responsible for the deaths of a third of all U.S. Marines killed during the entire four-year Pacific conflict, making him, in the end, America's most feared-and respected-foe. Ironically, it was Kuribayashi' s own memories of his military training in America in the 1920s, and his admiration for this country's rich, gregarious, and self-reliant people, that made him fear ever facing them in combat-a feeling that some suspect prompted his superiors to send him to Iwo Jima, where he met his fate.

Along with the words of his son and daughter, which offer unique insight into the private man, Kuribayashi's own letters cited extensively in this book paint a stirring portrait of the circumstances that shaped him. So Sad to Fall in Battle tells a fascinating, never-before-told story and introduces America, as if for the first time, to one of its most worthy adversaries.
The Rickover Effect: How One Man Made a Difference
The Rickover Effect
How One Man Made a Difference
Hardcover      ISBN: 1557507023

More than anyone else, Adm. Hyman G. Rickover made nuclear power a reality. Building on the scientific breakthroughs of the atomic bomb project, he created the nuclear Navy almost overnight, when nearly everyone else thought it was a pipe dream, and built the world's first commercial atomic power station. He did most of this in a single decade.

Rickover's incredible ability to get things done won his program wide public acclaim and personal honors that included presidential citations, honorary doctoral degrees, and congressional gold medals. Despite all this, Rickover was the subject of bitter controversy and was twice passed over for promotions. In 1953 he was saved from involuntary retirement only through congressional intervention. Nearly forty years later, when he was fired as a four-star admiral, all three living American ex-presidents attended his post-retirement party.

Now, for the first time, one of Rickover's close associates tells what it was like to be with this remarkable man day and night as he accomplished his miracles, and why he was bitterly opposed by so many powerful people. Theodore Rockwell, the admiral's long time technical director, takes the reader behind the zirconium curtain that protected the program to give an inside account of those turbulent times. Using on-the-spot anecdotes and little-known documents, he explores Rickover's methods and relationships with others to help us understand his strengths and weaknesses.

The author describes Rickover's successes beginning right after World War II in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. His account includes the first submarine voyage from Pearl Harbor to England to the North Pole, the continuously submerged round-the-world journey of the USS Triton, and the buildup of the U.S. nuclear fleet and the civilian nuclear power industry.

This candid, insightful portrait could only have been written by a key player. The Rickover Effect makes and important contribution to the understanding to one of this century's most elusive personalities.

Ulysses S. Grant: Memoirs & Selected Letters (Loa #50)
Ulysses S. Grant
Memoirs & Selected Letters (Loa #50)
Hardcover      ISBN: 0940450585

Twenty years after Appomattox, stricken by cancer and facing financial ruin, Ulysses S. Grant wrote his Personal Memoirs to secure his family's future. in doing so, the Civil War's greatest general won himself a unique place in American letters. His character, intelligence, sense of purpose, and simple compassion are evident throughout this vivid and deeply moving account, which has been acclaimed by readers as diverse asMark Twain, Matthew Arnold, Gertrude Stein, and Edmund Wilson. Annotated and complete with detailed maps, battle plans, and facsimiles reproduced from the original edition, this volume offers an unparalleled vantage on the most terrible, moving, and inexhaustibly fascinating event in American history. included are 174 letters, many of them to his wife, Julia, which offer an intimate view of their affectionate and enduring marriage.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Memoirs of the Second World War: An Abridgement of the Six Volumes of the Second World War With an Epilogue by the Author on the Postwar Years Writt
Memoirs of the Second World War
An Abridgement of the Six Volumes of the Second World War With an Epilogue by the Author on the Postwar Years Writt
Hardcover      ISBN: 0395522625

Surveys the war and its politics