Friday, April 09, 2010

Brothers in Arms : Fiction and Non-fiction

Good Reads About a Horrific Subject
Hugh Ambrose, son of noted historian, the late Stephen Ambrose, serves as a consultant on the 10-part HBO mini-series, The Pacific. The book tells the stories of amphibious landings on Peleliu and Iwo Jima and the campaigns on Guadalcanal and Okinawa. Read the author's companion book as well as other titles on which the miniseries is based.

Matterhorn : a Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes has found a place on many a bestseller list, along side rave reviews. The novel is set in Quang-Tri province, site of many of the war's fiercest battles. The author is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, Yale graduate, and Rhodes scholar.

In Daring Young Men : the Heroism and Triumph of the Berlin Airlift, June 1948-May 1949, author Richard Reeves details the harrowing journey of two men who risked their lives to defy the Soviet blockade intended to drive Western powers out of Berlin.

Alternate history (what-if) novels can sometimes be chancy; this one is particularly good. Robert Conroy's Red Inferno, 1945 speculates on what might have happened after Yalta, if Allied armies had moved to stop Stalin's grab for much of Europe. Very scary take but plausible.