Staff Sergeant Camilo Mej a became the new face of the antiwar movement when he applied for discharge from the army as a conscientious objector.
After serving in the army for nearly nine years, he was the first known Iraq veteran to refuse to fight, citing moral concerns about the war and the US occupation. His principled stand helped rally the growing opposition and embolden other soldiers.
Mej a was eventually convicted of desertion by a military court and sentenced to a year in prison, prompting Amnesty International to declare him a prisoner of conscience. Here Mej a tells his own story, from his upbringing in Central America to his service in Iraq--where he witnessed prisoner abuse--to his struggle today to end the occupation there.
In this stirring book, he argues passionately for the end to an unjust war. As New York Times columnist Bob Herbert writes, "The issues Mej a] has raised deserve a close reading by the nation as a whole. . . . He has made a contribution to the truth about Iraq."
Includes a new afterword by the author.
Camilo Mej a grew up in Nicaragua and Costa Rica before moving to the United States in 1994. He joined the military at age nineteen, serving as an infantryman in the active-duty army for three years before transferring to the Florida National Guard. He fought in Iraq for five months. He lives in Miami.
From America's preeminent military historian, Stephen E. Ambrose, comes a brilliant telling of the war in Europe, from D-Day, June 6, 1944, to the end, eleven months later, on May 7, 1945. This authoritative narrative account is drawn by the author himself from his five acclaimed books about that conflict, most particularly from the definitive and comprehensive "D-Day" and "Citizen Soldiers," about which the great Civil War historian James McPherson wrote,
If there is a better book about the experience of GIs who fought in Europe during World War II, I have not read it. "Citizen Soldiers" captures the fear and exhilaration of combat, the hunger and cold and filth of the foxholes, the small intense world of the individual rifleman as well as the big picture of the European theater in a manner that grips the reader and will not let him go. No one who has not been there can understand what combat is like but Stephen Ambrose brings us closer to an understanding than any other historian has done.
"The Victors" also includes stories of individual battles, raids, acts of courage and suffering from "Pegasus Bridge," an account of the first engagement of D-Day, when a detachment of British airborne troops stormed the German defense forces and paved the way for the Allied invasion; and from "Band of Brothers," an account of an American rifle company from the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment who fought, died, and conquered, from Utah Beach through the Bulge and on to Hitter's Eagle's Nest in Germany.
Stephen Ambrose is also the author of "Eisenhower," the greatest work on Dwight Eisenhower, and one of the editors of the Supreme Allied Commander's papers. He describes themomentous decisions about how and where the war was fought, and about the strategies and conduct of the generals and officers who led the invasion and the bloody drive across Europe to Berlin.
But it is, as always with Stephen Ambrose, the ranks, the ordinary boys and men, who command his attention and his awe. "The Victors" tells their stories, how citizens became soldiers in the best army in the world. Ambrose draws on thousands of interviews and oral histories from government and private archives, from the high command Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton -- on down through officers and enlisted men, to re-create the last year of the Second World War when the Allied soldiers pushed the Germans out of France, chased them across Germany, and destroyed the Nazi regime.
Smedley Butler's life and career epitomize the contradictory nature of American military policy through the first part of this century. Butler won renown as a Marine battlefield hero, campaigning in most of America's foreign military expeditions from 1898 to the late 1920s. He became the leading national advocate for paramilitary police reform. Upon his retirement, however, he renounced war and imperialism and devoted his energy and prestige to various dissident and leftist political causes.
Iconic Virginian, brilliant general, and complex human being--it is this last facet of Robert E. Lee that is rarely seen. But now Roy Blount, Jr. combines acute character insight with lively storytelling and a full-hearted Southern directness to craft this unique, personal portrait.
Fascinated by what made Lee into such a great, though reluctant, leader, Blount delves into his family history and his personality. He illustrates how, descended from two illustrious families, Lee embodied the best of all their traits and became Lincoln's first choice to lead the Union troops in 1861. But Lee's Virginia roots drew him, instead, to the Confederate command. Blount vividly conveys not only his ambition and courage but also his humility and humor, and his sorrowful sense of responsibility for his outnumbered, outgunned, half-starved army. Robert E. Lee, the first succinct biography of this American legend, will appeal to history and military buffs, proud Southerners, and every reader curious to discover the man behind the military leader.
A comprehensive biography of General George Patton draws on hitherto unavailable letters, diaries, and memoirs, uncovering many new facts to create an insightful and definitive portrait of an American military hero.
An instant classic. --Douglas Brinkley
Fifty years after his death, General George S. Patton Jr. remains one of the most colorful, charismatic, misunderstood, and controversial figures ever to set foot on the battlefields of World War II. And the image of the man has been not a little influenced by the 1970 film Patton, starring George C. Scott, in which he is portrayed as a swashbuckling, brash, profane, impetuous general who wore ivory-handled pistols into battle and slapped two hospitalized soldiers in Sicily.
It is one of the achievements of this riveting biography that it reveals the complex and contradictory personality that lay behind the facade. With full access to Patton's private and public papers, and the cooperation of the general's family, D'Este shows us not only the extrovert Patton of public perception but also the intensely private Patton - the devoted student of history, the poet, the humble man very unsure of his own abilities - who could burst into tears, be charming or insulting quite unexpectedly, and the Patton who trained himself for greatness with a determination matched by no other general in the twentieth century.
The personal and candid account of General Patton's celebrated, relentless crusade across western Europe during World War II
First published in 1947, War as I Knew It is an absorbing narrative that draws from Patton's vivid memories of battle and his detailed diaries, covering the moment the Third Army exploded onto the Brittany Peninsula to the final Allied casualty report. The result is not only a grueling, human account of daily combat and heroic feats--including a riveting look at the Battle of the Bulge--but a valuable chronicle by one of the most brilliant military strategists in history. Patton's letters from earlier military campaigns in North Africa and Sicily, complemented by a powerful retrospective of his guiding philosophies, further reveal a man of uncompromising will and uncommon character, which made Georgie a household name in mid-century America.
"I hope The Long Walk will remain as a memorial to all those who live and die for freedom, and for all those who for many reasons could not speak for themselves."--Slavomir Rawicz In 1941, the author and six other fellow prisoners escaped a Soviet labor camp in Yakutsk--a camp where enduring hunger, cold, untended wounds, untreated illnesses, and avoiding daily executions were everyday feats. Their march--over thousands of miles by foot--out of Siberia, through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India is a remarkable statement about man's desire to be free. While the original book sold hundreds of thousands of copies, this updated paperback version includes a new Afterword by the author, as well as the author's Foreword to the Polish book. Written in a hauntingly detailed, no holds barred way, the new edition of The Long Walk is destined to outrank its classic status and guaranteed to forever stay in the reader's mind. *** Six-time Academy Award nominee Peter Weir (Master and Commander, The Truman Show, and The Dead Poets Society) recently directed The Way Back, a much-anticipated film based on The Long Walk. Starring Colin Farrell, Jim Sturgess, and Ed Harris, it is due for release in 2011."
In 1942, Leo Marks left his father's famous bookshop, 84 Charing Cross Road, and went off to fight the war. He was twenty-two. Soon recognized as a cryptographer of genius, he became head of communications at the Special Operations Executive (SOE), where he revolutionized the codemaking techniques of the Allies and trained some of the most famous agents dropped into occupied Europe, including the White Rabbit and Violette Szabo. As a top codemaker, Marks had a unique perspective on one of the most fascinating and, until now, little-known aspects of the Second World War.
Writing with the narrative flair and vivid characterization of his famous screenplays, Marks gives free rein to his keen sense of the absurd and his wry wit, resulting in a thrilling and poignant memoir that celebrates individual courage and endeavor, without losing sight of the human cost and horror of war.
Long out of print, theses wartime diaries of a key admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy, provide a revealing inside look into the Japanese view of the Pacific War. Matome Ugaki was chief of staff of the Combined Fleet under Admiral Isoroki Yamamoto until both were shot down over Bougainville in April 1943, resulting in Yamamoto's death. He later served as commander of battleship and air fleets, finally directing the kamikaze attacks off Okinawa. Invaluable for its details of the Japanese navy at war, the diaries offer a running appraisal of the fighting and are augmented by editorial commentary that proves especially useful to American readers eager to see the war from the other side. When first published in 1991, this dairy was hailed as a major contribution to World War II literature as the only firsthand account of strategic planning for the entire war by a Japanese commander.
cover torn at top of spine; otherwise used -like new