Happy Flag Day! Today commemorates the official adoption of the flag of the United States by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. To celebrate, we’ve pulled together a collection of books that feature our beloved stars & stripes on their covers. 🇺🇸
Two Flags over Iwo Jima
*Coming in October 2018* The saga of the flags on Iwo Jima has fascinated America for decades. Eric Hammel himself grew up in the company of WWII veterans and has always been intrigued by ‘The Photo’ of the flag, which became a powerful symbol of patriotism and national pride. But the story of how the flag got there, and even the identity of the soldiers in the photo, has been muddied by history. Hammel here sets the record straight, viewing complex events through the lens of the story of the infantry company in which all the flag raisers served.
Two Flags over Iwo Jima reveals the all-but-forgotten first-flag raising, and the aftermath of the popularization campaign undertaken by the post-WWII Marine Corps and national press. Hammel attempts to untangle the various battles which led up to the first and second flag raisings, as well as following the men of the 28th Marine Regiment in the events which took place after. Not only is the full story behind one of the most iconic photographs ever taken revealed, but also the real heroism and stories of the men behind this most fervent expression of American patriotism.
Marines in Vietnam
On the morning of March 8th, 1965, the men of the United States Marine Corps prepared to land on Red Beach II in the Republic of Vietnam. The resulting conflict became the most protracted war of the Corps’ history. The Marines evolved through early, nervous attempts to fend off the North Vietnamese enemy, to ‘hearts and minds’ programmes with the local population, and the larger operations Hastings and Dewey Canyon, where fighting resembled some of the worst in the Pacific arena of World War II.
This illustrated guide brings together more than 100 rare and unusual photographs to demonstrate the uniforms, insignia and equipment of the U.S.M.C., including the M14 rifle (later replaced by the M16); grenades, mines and flamethrowers; body armor flak jackets, helmets, camouflage and jungle boots; and transports such as the LVTP-5, Sea Knight and Chinook.
Shade It Black
In 2008, CBS’ Chief Foreign Correspondent, Lara Logan, candidly speculated about the human side of the war in Iraq: “Tell me the last time you saw the body of a dead American soldier. What does that look like? Who in America knows what that looks like? Because I know what that looks like, and I feel responsible for the fact that no one else does…” Logan’s query raised some important yet ignored questions: How did the remains of American service men and women get from the dusty roads of Fallujah to the flag-covered coffins at Dover Air Force Base? And what does the gathering of those remains tell us about the nature of modern warfare and about ourselves? These questions are the focus of Jess Goodell’s story, Shade it Black: Death and After in Iraq.
With sensitivity and insight, Jess describes her job retrieving and examining the remains of fellow soldiers lost in combat in Iraq, and the psychological intricacy of coping with their fates, as well as her own. Death assumed many forms during the war, and the challenge of maintaining one’s own humanity could be difficult. Responsible for diagramming the outlines of the fallen, if a part was missing she was instructed to “shade it black.” This insightful memoir also describes the difficulties faced by these Marines when they transition from a life characterized by self-sacrifice to a civilian existence marked very often by self-absorption. In sharing with us the story of her own journey, Goodell also helps us to better understand how PTSD affects female veterans. With the assistance of John Hearn, she has written one of the most unique accounts of America’s current wars overseas yet seen.
Warriors of the 106th
The 106th were fresh, green and right in the pathway of the German 5th Panzer Army when the Battle of the Bulge began at 0530 hours on December 16, 1944. This book covers the history along with the individual stories of the incredible heroism, sacrifice and tenacity of these young Americans in the face of overwhelming odds. From this division 6,800 men were taken prisoner but their story didn’t end there. For the ones who miraculously escaped, there was a battle to fight, and fight it they would with every ounce of strength and courage they could muster. They would fight debilitating weather conditions more reminiscent of Stalingrad than the Belgian Ardennes. They would fight a determined enemy and superior numbers and despite all adversity they would eventually prevail. One 106th GI waged his own personal war using guerilla tactics that caused serious consternation amongst the German troops. For another GI his main concern was recovering his clean underwear. These stories are heartwarming, heartbreaking, nerve-wracking and compelling. They aim to put the reader right there in the front lines, and in the stalags, during the final months of WWII.
*25% off through June 18th* Although he missed combat in World War II and Korea, Donn Starry became one of the most influential commanders of the Vietnam War, and after Vietnam was one of the “intellectual giants” who reshaped the US Army and its doctrines. Throughout his career he worked to improve training, leadership and conditions for the men who served under him.
Starry was a leading advocate for tank warfare in Vietnam and his recommendations helped shape the contours for American armor in Southeast Asia—and paved the way for his success as commander of 11th Armored Cavalry during the invasion of Cambodia.
When commander of Fort Knox and the Armor Center and School in the 1970s, Starry redeveloped armor tactics and doctrine and improved training. In his 16 months as commander of V Corps, he thoroughly tested the doctrine of “Active Defense,” then used his observations to create a new doctrine “AirLand Battle,” which paved the way for overwhelming victory in the Gulf War. Like most battlefield commanders from the Vietnam era, Starry’s legacy is often overshadowed by the controversy of the war itself and the turmoil of the immediate postwar Army. However, with the invasion of Cambodia and the development of AirLand Battle, it is hard to imagine anyone who has had a greater impact on modern maneuver warfare.
In this new biography of General Donn Starry, armor officer Mike Guardia examines the life and work of this pioneering, crusading officer using extracts from interviews with veterans and family, and from Starry’s personal papers.
Courage in Combat
Published in conjunction with the Legion of Valor of the United States of America, this book tells stories about our military heroes from the Civil War onward. They relate personal accounts and reflections on combat and war from members of the Legion of Valor of the Unites States of America, Inc. and their friends. Courage in Combat explores the concept of courage through aspects of the lives, thoughts, and actions of this elite group. They are recipients of the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, and the Air Force Cross. Their awards are our nation’s highest military decorations, given only to one in 20,000 combatants. Among them are sergeants and generals as well as corpsmen, civilians, engineers, “grunts,” and paratroopers. There are men and women, a mess attendant, aviators, spies and POWs, a cavalry scout, candidates for sainthood, and a President of the United States.
This book also includes a short history of this unique group, America’s oldest military service organization, and an extensive this of its members, past and present.
Courage in Combat discusses the nature of courage, explores the different ways in which courage is shown, and celebrates the courage shown by these recipients, most of whom would say, “I was just doing my job.”
Bluff, Bluster, Lies and Spies
In the first years of the Civil War, Southern arms won spectacular victories on the battlefield; however, cooler heads in the Confederacy recognized the demographic and industrial weight pitted against them, and counted on British intervention to even those scales in order to deny the United States victory.
Bluff, Bluster Lies and Spies is a wild ride through the mismanaged State Department of William Henry Seward in Washington, DC, to the more skillful work of Lords Palmerston, Russell and Lyons in the British Foreign Office. Fearful that Great Britain would recognize the Confederacy and provide the help that might have defeated the Union, the Lincoln administration was careful not to upset the greatest naval power on earth.
7 Leadership Lessons of the American Revolution
On these pages you learn about real people facing historic challenges and overcoming what reasonable observers believed were insurmountable odds. More reasonable people might have surrendered or given up. Many reasonable people did. These leaders, thankfully, were unreasonable for the cause of Liberty.
The leadership skills told in these stories are timeless and telling. These leadership stories tell the story of the birth of the United States as well as providing case studies that can improve your leadership at home, business, in your community, in the military or in government. If you wish to improve your personal leadership skill, this book provides the role models for you to study.
Hidden Battles on Unseen Fronts
This book is crafted around soldiers’ personal descriptions of their war experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan that culminate in life-altering injuries to the brain and psyche, along with the equally dramatic story of their recoveries. An irony of America’s 21st century wars has been that while our combat medical and medevac capabilities have grown enormously (from a rough average of 4:1 wounded to dead in WWII to 8:1 today), the nature of many of our soldiers’ wounds has undergone a subtle change. Men and women who survive the thick of combat, including repeated concussion blasts, increasingly present a difficult-to-detect kind of injury, no less debilitating then wounds from bullets or shrapnel.
Hidden Battles on Unseen Fronts documents the ever-increasing cases of physical or mental brain trauma among our vets that has risen as a direct result of more soldiers surviving their flesh wounds on the battlefield. The chapters are crafted from interviews with troops and their family members, and bridged with essays by internationally known mental health professionals, veterans’ advocates, and members of the Veterans Administration and Department of Defense, all of whom are working in the front lines of what is quickly developing into a national crisis of unfathomable cost in both lives and money.
All royalties from this work will go directly to the front line of support for wounded warriors with PTSD and TBI, and their families.
War on Truth
The War on Truth investigates all aspects of the lead up to the war in Iraq, its execution, and its aftermath. Neil MacKay contends that the public was systematically fed untruths in a manner that questions what kind of democracy we really have. MacKay, award winning investigative journalist for Scotland’s Sunday Herald newspaper has covered the West’s intelligence agencies for many years.
In this book he questions why ‘intelligence’ missed 9/11 and why the best funded intelligence networks in history got things so badly wrong. The WMD debate is also covered. MacKay’s extensive contacts in the intelligence community make a telling contribution to this investigation and we see an intimate picture of how intelligence is gathered, how it is interpreted and why things go wrong.
New Wars of the West
The New Wars of the West covers the dramatic world events which unfolded from September 11, 2001 to the operations in Iraq. Many books have been written on the war on terror, but none include contributions from so many top military and political leaders. These contributions, from some of the leading political and military thinkers in the United States and Great Britain, are linked by a series of essays to form a compelling narrative of the new way of war.
In their own words the key decision-makers such as Secretary for Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle and British Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon talk about the strategic dilemmas. The military implementation of the political decisions is discussed by leaders such as the head of the US Air Force and the British Royal Navy’s First Sea Lord.
Highly charged critiques by anti war British member of parliament. George Galloway MP are also included, as well as Iraq’s former deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, who was interviewed on the eve of the war. Senior foreign correspondents such as Channel Four’s Lindsey Hilsum add their own frontline assessments.
All of the books featured in this list are available for purchase on our website, or from all major retailers.