The Ice Diaries tells the incredible true story of Captain William R. Anderson and his crew's harrowing top-secret mission aboard the USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear-powered submarine. Bristling with newly classified, never-before-published information and photos from the captain's personal collection, The Ice Diaries takes readers on a dangerous journey beneath the vast, unexplored Arctic ice cap during the height of the Cold War.
"Captain Anderson and the crew of the USS Nautilus exemplified daring and boldness in taking their boat beneath the Arctic ice to the North Pole. This expertly told story captures the drama, danger, and importance of that monumental achievement." ?Capt. Stanley D. M. Carpenter, Professor of Strategy and Policy, United States Naval War College
"Few maritime exploits in history have so startled the world as the silent, secret transpolar voyage of the U.S. Navy's nuclear submarine Nautilus, and none since the age of Columbus and Vasco da Gama has opened, in one bold stroke, so vast and forbidding an area of the seas." ?Paul O'Neil, Life magazine
While hiding in "sale houses" in Brussels, Watt had a ringside view of bold acts of defiance by Belgian patriots against the German occupation. From Brussels he traveled by rail past Gestapo control to Bordeaux, rode a bicycle through southern France, and was led by Basque guides along ancient smugglers' trails over the Pyrenees into Spain.
Six years earlier. Watt had climbed those same Pyrenees to join the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War against General Franco. Watt's experience in that prelude to World War II adds insight and drama to the story of his escape from Fortress Luropa, his fears of capture heightened by his having been a Lincoln Brigader as well as a Jew.
Forty years after the war Watt returned to Belgium to find that the "story of George Watt" had become a legend in the villages of Zele and Flamme, passed on to second and third generations. And in Brussels he heard with grief of the tragic fates of several of the underground comrades who had helped.
Whether writing about the war in the skies or the "war within the war" (the resistance movement) or recalling the earlier fighting in Spain, Watt's style is uncompromising and direct. The writing is tilled with suspense and humor, illumined by love and appreciation for its participants. This gripping story of compassion and commitment can be enjoyed for its high adventure alone. For the young, and for students of history, it is also a valuable contribution to understanding the two great antifascist struggles of our century.
Not in Vain: A Rifleman Remembers World War II looks at American involvement in the war from the firsthand perspective of this nineteen-year-old soldier. As an infantryman in France and Germany during the latter part of the war, Standifer experienced the numbing boredom of daily routine and the adrenaline-pumping excitement of combat. He recalls the anguish of losing friends in battle and the decisive moment when he slit the throat of an enemy soldier, memories that still haunt him.
But Not in Vain is far more than a conventional soldier's memoir. Although he recounts in vivid detail his personal experiences, Standifer also makes a far broader inquiry into the forces that turned a sheltered young man from a religious, small-town background into an effective soldier. Growing up in the Baptist church, Standifer thought he had learned the differences between good and evil, right and wrong. But after his days in battle, moral distinctions were no longer as clear.
Not in Vain documents Standifer's lifelong debate with himself over the justification for war by considering not only his reactions during combat but also the feelings that have remained with him for life. He describes these intense emotions in his account of a trip taken to Europe many years after the war and of his reunion with some of the former members of his rifle company. Written in an effort to come to terms with his involvement in the war, Not in Vain is a probing and timely study of a citizen's dedication to his country.
AK47s, masked thugs, and brutal urgency erupt from Roy Hallums' account of his abduction in Iraq, shredding through those frequently sterile cable news reports revealing that another "American contractor is being held hostage . . ."
Hallums was the everyman behind that report?a 56-year-old retired Naval commander working as a food supply contractor in Baghdad's high-end Mansour District.
His abduction was transacted in a matter of minutes, amidst a hail of gunfire and a handful of casualties. For the first few months of his captivity, Hallums endured beatings and psychological torture while being shuffled from one ramshackle safe house to another.
From the four-foot-tall crawlspace where he carried out the bulk of his nearly year-long abduction, Hallums established a surprising degree of normalcy?a system of routines and timekeeping, along with an attention to the particulars that defined his horrific ordeal. His experience is recreated here, rich with harrowing specifics and surprising observations.
Having founded the bank that became the most powerful in Europe in the fifteenth century, the Medici gained massive political power in Florence, raising the city to a peak of cultural achievement and becoming its hereditary dukes. Among their number were no fewer than three popes and a powerful and influential queen of France. Their influence brought about an explosion of Florentine art and architecture. Michelangelo, Donatello, Fra Angelico, and Leonardo were among the artists with whom they were socialized and patronized.
Thus runs the "accepted view” of the Medici. However, Mary Hollingsworth argues that the idea that the Medici were enlightened rulers of the Renaissance is a fiction that has now acquired the status of historical fact. In truth, the Medici were as devious and immoral as the Borgias—tyrants loathed in the city they illegally made their own. In this dynamic new history, Hollingsworth argues that past narratives have focused on a sanitized and fictitious view of the Medici—wise rulers, enlightened patrons of the arts, and fathers of the Renaissance—but that in fact their past was reinvented in the sixteenth century, mythologized by later generations of Medici who used this as a central prop for their legacy.
Hollingsworth's revelatory re-telling of the story of the family Medici brings a fresh and exhilarating new perspective to the story behind the most powerful family of the Italian Renaissance.