Named one of the Best Books of 1999 by the "Los Angeles Times," "The Pianist "is now a major motion picture directed by Roman Polanski and starring Adrien Brody ("Son of Sam"). "The Pianist" won the Cannes Film Festival's most prestigious prize--the Palme d'Or.
On September 23, 1939, Wladyslaw Szpilman played Chopin's Nocturne in C-sharp minor live on the radio as shells exploded outside--so loudly that he couldn't hear his piano. It was the last live music broadcast from Warsaw: That day, a German bomb hit the station, and Polish Radio went off the air.
Though he lost his entire family, Szpilman survived in hiding. In the end, his life was saved by a German officer who heard him play the same Chopin Nocturne on a piano found among the rubble. Written immediately after the war and suppressed for decades, "The Pianist "is a stunning testament to human endurance and the redemptive power of fellow feeling.
General James Longstreet fought in nearly every campaign of the Civil War, from Manassas (the first battle of Bull Run) to Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chickamauga, Gettysburg, and was present at the surrender at Appomattox. Yet, he was largely held to blame for the Confederacy's defeat at Gettysburg. General James Longstreet sheds new light on the controversial commander and the man Robert E. Lee called "my old war horse."
General George S. Patton. His tongue was as sharp as the cavalry saber he once wielded, and his fury as explosive as the shells he'd ordered launched from his tank divisions. Despite his profane, posturing manner, and the sheer enthusiasm for conflict that made both his peers and the public uncomfortable, Patton's very presence commanded respect. Had his superiors given him free rein, the U.S. Army could have claimed victory in Berlin as early as November of 1944.
General Erwin Rommel. His battlefield manner was authoritative, his courage proven in the trenches of World War I when he was awarded the Blue Max. He was a front line soldier who led by example from the turrets of his Panzers. Appointed to command Adolf Hitler's personal security detail, Rommel had nothing for contempt for the atrocities perpetrated by the Reich. His role in the F hrer's assassination attempt led to his downfall.
Except for a brief confrontation in North Africa, these two legendary titans never met in combat. Patton and Rommel is the first single-volume study to deal with the parallel lives of two generals who earned not only the loyalty and admiration of their own men, but the respect of their enemies, and the enmity of the leaders they swore to obey. From the origins of their military prowess, forged on the battlefields of World War I, to their rise through the ranks, to their inevitable clashes with political authority, military historian Dennis Showalter presents a riveting portrait of two men whose battle strategies changed the face of warfare and continue to be studied in military academies around the globe.
Written by two World War II veterans who later became well-known war correspondents, this biography records the inspiring life of one of America's great naval heroes. Popularly referred to as "31-Knot" Burke, Admiral Arleigh Burke fought savage battles at sea and won every decoration a grateful nation could bestow, yet his service to his country was not in combat alone. This book is at once a stirring testament to Burke's World War II record as a combat leader and to his talents as a diplomat at the armistice table in Korea and as a politician in Washington. It details his legendary victories with DESRON 23 in the Pacific and his development of high-speed night tactics for destroyers that resulted in what many call the perfect naval engagement at the Battle of Cape St. George.
Burke's most enduring contributions occurred during his unprecedented three terms as chief of naval operations when he directed the Navy's technical development during its revolutionary change from steam and gunpowder to nuclear concepts in ships, weaponry, strategy, and tactics. Published soon after Burke's retirement from the Navy in 1961, the book has remained a standard reference for four decades.
This book vividly portrays the illustrious career of John Paul Jones, from his early training at sea in the British West Indian merchant trade to his exploits in the newly independent American navy and his appointment as an admiral in the Russian navy and command of a squadron in the Black Sea. With compelling detail and remarkable insight, the dramatic narrative captures Jones's tenacity and fierce dedication and loyalty to his men and country, despite ill treatment and only begrudged recognition from his superiors. Jones's incredible victories at sea form an important part of the book. Morison's description of the battle between Jones's Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis is considered one of the most vivid accounts of a naval battle in the English language.
Stephen E. Ambrose, acclaimed author of Band of Brothers and Undaunted Courage, carries us along in the crowded and dangerous B-24s as their crews fought to destroy the German war machine during World War II.The young men who flew the B-24s over Germany in World War II fought against horrific odds, and, in The Wild Blue, Ambrose recounts their extraordinary heroism, skill, daring, and comradeship with vivid detail and affection. Ambrose describes how the Army Air Forces recruited, trained, and selected the elite few who would undertake the most demanding and dangerous jobs in the war. These are the boys--turned pilots, bombardiers, navigators, and gunners of the B-24s--who suffered over fifty percent casualties. With his remarkable gift for bringing alive the action and tension of combat, Ambrose carries us along in the crowded, uncomfortable, and dangerous B-24s as their crews fought to the death through thick black smoke and deadly flak to reach their targets and destroy the German war machine. Twenty-two-year-old George McGovern, who was to become a United States senator and a presidential candidate, flew thirty-five combat missions (all the Army would allow) and won the Distinguished Flying Cross. We meet him and his mates, his co-pilot killed in action, and crews of other planes. Many went down in flames. As Band of Brothers and Citizen Soldiers portrayed the bravery and ultimate victory of the American soldiers from Normandy on to Germany, The Wild Blue illustrates the enormous contribution that these young men of the Army Air Forces made to the Allied victory.