"When war comes, you look for certain special qualities in the people you'll be working with. General Tom Franks embodies those qualities: strength, experience, a keen mind, energy, honor, good humor, and a deep loyalty to his troops and to his country.
"Tom Franks is truly a soldier's soldier."
-- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
The Commander in Chief of the United States Central Command from July 2000 through July 2003, General Tommy Franks made history by leading American and Coalition forces to victory in Afghanistan and Iraq -- the decisive battles that launched the war on terrorism.
In this riveting memoir, General Franks retraces his journey from a small-town boyhood in Oklahoma and Midland, Texas, through a lifetime of military service -- including his heroic tour as an Artillery officer in Vietnam, where he was wounded three times. A reform-minded Cold War commander and a shrewd tactician during Operation Desert Storm, Franks took command of CENTCOM at the dawn of what he calls a "crease in history" -- becoming the senior American military officer in the most dangerous region on earth.
Now, drawing on his own recollections and military records declassified for this book, Franks offers the first true insider's account of the war on terrorism that has changed the world since September 11, 2001. He puts you in the Operations Center for the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom just weeks after 9/11, capturing its uncertain early days and the historic victory that followed. He traces his relationship with the demanding Donald Rumsfeld, as early tensions over the pace of the campaign gave way to a strong and friendly collaboration.
When President Bush focused world attention on the threat of Iraq, Franks seized the moment to implement a bold new vision of joint warfare in planning Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rejecting Desert Storm-style massive troop deployment in favor of flexibility and speed, Franks was questioned by the defense establishment -- including Secretary of State Colin Powell. Yet his vision was proven on the ground: Within three weeks, Baghdad had fallen.
American Soldier is filled with revelation. Franks describes the covert diplomacy that helped him secure international cooperation for the war, and reveals the role of foreign leaders -- and a critical double agent code-named "April Fool" -- in the most successful military deception since D-Day in 1944. He speaks frankly of intelligence shortcomings that endangered our troops, and of the credible WMD threats -- including eleventh-hour warnings from Arab leaders -- that influenced every planning decision. He offers an unvarnished portrait of the "disruptive and divisive" Washington bureaucracy, and a candid assessment of the war's aftermath. Yet in the end, as American Soldier demonstrates, the battles in Afghanistan and Iraq remain heroic victories -- wars of liberation won by troops whose valor was "unequalled," Franks writes, "by anything in the annals of war."
Few individuals have the chance to contribute so much of themselves to the American story as General Tommy Franks. In American Soldier, he captures it all.
A self-described desert rat who rocketed to fame at the age of twenty-two, Bill Mauldin used flashing black brush lines and sardonic captions to capture the world of the American combat soldier in World War II. His cartoon dogfaces, Willie and Joe, appeared in Stars and Stripes and hundreds of newspapers back home, bearing grim witness to life in the foxhole. We ve never viewed war in the same way since. This lushly illustrated biography draws on private papers, correspondence, and thousands of original drawings to render a full portrait of a complex and quintessentially American genius."
--Minneapolis Star and Tribune
Before writing his award-winning Going After Cacciato, Tim O'Brien gave us this intensely personal account of his year as a foot soldier in Vietnam. The author takes us with him to experience combat from behind an infantryman's rifle, to walk the minefields of My Lai, to crawl into the ghostly tunnels, and to explore the ambiguities of manhood and morality in a war gone terribly wrong. Beautifully written and searingly heartfelt, If I Die in a Combat Zone is a masterwork of its genre. Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader's guide and bonus content.
This fresh look at America's first sea warrior avoids both the hero worship of past biographies and the inaccurate and denigrating views of more recent accounts. Writing from the perspective of a naval officer with more than thirty years of experience and a seaman with a lifetime of sailing know-how, Callo examines Jones' extraordinary accomplishments by going beyond a narrow naval context to establish him as a key player in the American Revolution. He also analyzes his relationships with such civilian leaders as Benjamin Franklin. How Jones handled those often difficult dealings contributed to the nation's concept of civilian control of the military. The author also focuses on the fact that Jones was the first serving American naval officer who emphasized the role the Navy could play in the rise of the United States as a global power.
An oral history of the themes of war provides letters, photographs, and sketches, from from U.S. veterans' that have fought in World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf.
" A] one-in-a-billion story . . . designed to wrench from self-respecting critics all the blurby adjectives we normally try to avoid: It is amazing, unforgettable, gripping, harrowing, chilling, and inspiring."--New York "Staggering . . . mesmerizing . . . Hillenbrand's writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don't dare take your eyes off the page."--People
"A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life."--The Washington Post
"Ambitious and powerful . . . a startling narrative and an inspirational book."--The New York Times Book Review
"Marvelous . . . Unbroken is wonderful twice over, for the tale it tells and for the way it's told. . . . It manages maximum velocity with no loss of subtlety."--Newsweek "Moving and, yes, inspirational . . . Laura] Hillenbrand's unforgettable book . . . deserve s] pride of place alongside the best works of literature that chart the complications and the hard-won triumphs of so-called ordinary Americans and their extraordinary time."--Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air "Hillenbrand . . . tells this] story with cool elegance but at a thrilling sprinter's pace."--Time
"Unbroken is too much book to hope for: a hellride of a story in the grip of the one writer who can handle it."--Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run
THE HEART AND THE FIST shares one man's story of extraordinary leadership and service as both a humanitarian and a warrior. In a life lived at the raw edges of the human experience, Greitens has seen what can be accomplished when compassion and courage come together in meaningful service.
As a Rhodes Scholar and Navy SEAL, Greitens worked alongside volunteers who taught art to street children in Bolivia and led US Marines who hunted terrorists in Iraq. He's learned from nuns who fed the destitute in one of Mother Teresa's homes for the dying in India, from aid workers who healed orphaned children in Rwanda, and from Navy SEALs who fought in Afghanistan. He excelled at the hardest military training in the world, and today he works with severely wounded and disabled veterans who are rebuilding their lives as community leaders at home.
Greitens offers each of us a new way of thinking about living a meaningful life. We learn that to win any war, even those we wage against ourselves; to create and obtain lasting peace; to save a life; and even, simply to live with purpose requires us--every one of us--to be both good and strong.
The insider's guide to the secret world of espionage in a revised, expanded edition. From the Civil War to the present day, learn about famous spies throughout history, how they were recruited, and what really happened in some of their most daring missions in history. With more than 600 full-color photographs and illustrations, detailed accounts of formerly secret operations, descriptions of spy equipment and techniques used to gather information, The Ultimate Spy is the insider's guide to the secret world of espionage.