With 257 combat missions in Vietnam under his belt, Gary Smith is a living witness to the realities of Naval Special Warfare. He worked with some of the toughest and most highly motivated men in the world, executing missions in the murderous terrain of Rung Sat Special Zone and Dung Island. The key to their success: go where no ordinary soldier would go and no VC would expect them.
Though death reigned as king in the jungles of Vietnam, Gary Smith considered it a privilege and an honor to serve under the officers and with the men of Underwater Demolition Team Twelve and SEAL Team 1. Because he and his teammates, trained to the max, gave each other the courage to attain the unattainable . . . .
From the Paperback edition.
With five tours of Vietnam and 257 combat missions under his belt, Navy SEAL Gary R. Smith has witnessed hell itself. DEATH IN THE DELTA covers his third and fourth tours in Nam. From Cam Ranh Bay to Nam Canh to night insertions into Cambodia, he served as SEAL adviser to volatile Vietnamese special forces, including the fierce PRUs (Provincial Reconnaissance Units), Biet Hai, and Regional Forces. Often accompanying their missions, Smith vividly captures the nightmare of a jungle war, whether staging sudden deadly ambushes or sitting silently for hours soaking in mosquito-infested swamps.
It wasn't pretty, but Smith makes no apologies for himself or his fellow warriors in this no-holds-barred account. For him, its a privilege and honor to pass on a small part of the history of the U.S. Navy SEALs experience as he saw it in Vietnam.
From the Paperback edition.
Gary Smith’s sportswriting stands among the best journalism being written today. His award-winning stories shatter the confines of traditional sports reportage, getting beneath the wins and losses and penetrating into the hearts of the athletes themselves—into their lives and personal struggles, their communities and their worlds.
Beyond the Game brings together fifteen of Smith’s greatest stories, from groundbreaking profiles of international stars like Mike Tyson and Magic Johnson, to intimate looks at lesser-known athletes whose lives are driven by the thrill of competition and the love of a game. There is “Damned Yankee,” the heartbreaking story of John Malangone, who seemed destined to succeed Yogi Berra as the Yankees’ starting catcher—until his career was destroyed by the crushing weight of a childhood trauma that continued to haunt him. “Someone to Lean On” is the inspirational story of an extraordinary retarded man named Radio and the South Carolina high school football team that has adopted him for over thirty years. “Shadow of a Nation” tells of a Crow Indian community’s intense passion for basketball—and how former high school star Jonathan Takes Enemy must struggle to escape the tragic history of his tribe as he seeks a place in the world outside the reservation.
The stories in Beyond the Game are stories of dreams and fears, failure and triumph, self-destruction and salvation, set in the twilight shadows between the sun-drenched playing fields and brightly lit arenas at the heart of sports and the darkness of the locker rooms and lonely streets that lurk at their periphery. Each of Gary Smith’s moving stories will profoundly touch you and remain with you, long after you have closed the pages of this book.
For almost ten years, Gary Smith, S.J., lived and worked among the poor of Portland, Oregon. With this memoir, he invites us to walk with him and meet some of the abandoned, over-looked, and forgotten members of our society with whom he has shared his life. Just as Smith found a deeper, truer understanding of himself and of the heart of God through his work, these people and their stories stand to transform us. "Although its subject matter is bleak, the book is not. Smith has found love amid the despair. His book is touching, at times hopeful, and the kind of book that is hard to put down, that fascinates, horrifies, and rivets one's attention."
--"Booklist" "Smith takes us where we would rather not go, the heart of the poor, the lonely, and the abandoned. In true Ignatian fashion, he finds God there. An unforgettable experience for those who have the courage to walk with him."
--Michael L. Cook, S.J.
Professor of theology
Gonzaga University "Smith performs modern-day miracles of compassion, and his book sets a new standard for writing about the rich faith of those who are materially poor. His stirring prose and utter honesty will change the hearts and minds of many readers."
--Gerald T. Cobb, S.J.
Chair, department of English
Smith's journal is a vivid, inspiring account of the deep connections he forged during his life-changing experience with the Sudanese refugees in Uganda. Along the way, he discovered a suffering people who, despite being displaced by a brutal civil war, find the strength to let go of the many and deep sorrows of the past.
Ultimately, They Come Back Singing is a window to the spiritual life and growth of a priest whose generous spirit and genuine love allow him to serve—and be served—in truly extraordinary ways.
These are just a few of the questions that are answered in this definitive book on goalie masks. Saving Face looks at the development of the mask from its earliest days as a rudimentary face-saving device to its current high-tech design, bullet-proof construction, and cutting-edge artwork.
The book offers a visual journey, too. More than 150 historic and modern photos, including thirty-plus full-page shots of some of the most famous masks ever created, support a text that weaves the tale of the mask’s development.
Based on extensive archival research and exclusive interviews, Saving Face tells the story of the goalies behind the mask and their fight for the right to wear one. It also looks at the talented mask makers, artisans, and artists behind hockey’s modern masterpieces. This updated edition includes masks worn by some of the most exciting stars in the game today.
While goaltenders the world over owe a debt of thanks to those who created, developed, championed, and continuously improved the mask, hockey fans everywhere are thankful, too. For the mask today has gone far beyond its original function—saving face—to become the most intriguing piece of equipment in sports.
Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Sports Publishing imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in sports—books about baseball, pro football, college football, pro and college basketball, hockey, or soccer, we have a book about your sport or your team.
Whether you are a New York Yankees fan or hail from Red Sox nation; whether you are a die-hard Green Bay Packers or Dallas Cowboys fan; whether you root for the Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals, UCLA Bruins, or Kansas Jayhawks; whether you route for the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, or Los Angeles Kings; we have a book for you. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
As Nobel Prize–winning economist Ronald Coase once cynically observed, “If you torture data long enough, it will confess.” Lying with statistics is a time-honored con. In Standard Deviations, economics professor Gary Smith walks us through the various tricks and traps that people use to back up their own crackpot theories. Sometimes, the unscrupulous deliberately try to mislead us. Other times, the well-intentioned are blissfully unaware of the mischief they are committing. Today, data is so plentiful that researchers spend precious little time distinguishing between good, meaningful indicators and total rubbish. Not only do others use data to fool us, we fool ourselves.
With the breakout success of Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise, the once humdrum subject of statistics has never been hotter. Drawing on breakthrough research in behavioral economics by luminaries like Daniel Kahneman and Dan Ariely and taking to task some of the conclusions of Freakonomics author Steven D. Levitt, Standard Deviations demystifies the science behind statistics and makes it easy to spot the fraud all around.
London Times Book of the Week (2014)
Frederick Winston is an aging, egocentric billionaire working on the architectural piece-de-resistance of his illustrious career. Winston Center will be the culmination of a life-long dream, to be constructed in New York City. One thing, however, is standing in Winston's way: cancer. Winston learns that he has mere months to live. Desperate to stay alive long enough to fulfil his dream, he agrees to purchase a very expensive miracle cure from a very unscrupulous, secret oragnization.
Both men quickly become caught up in a tangled web of secrets, espionage and danger as they race against time in their personal struggles to uncover the truth behind their life and death situations. The fast moving story is a blend of action, mystery and interwoven plot twists and turns.
In Israel, pilot trainees who were praised for doing well subsequently performed worse, while trainees who were yelled at for doing poorly performed better. It is an empirical fact that highly intelligent women tend to marry men who are less intelligent. Students who get the highest scores in third grade generally get lower scores in fourth grade.
And yet, it's wrong to conclude that screaming is not more effective in pilot training, women choose men whose intelligence does not intimidate them, or schools are failing third graders. In fact, there's one reason for each of these empirical facts: Statistics. Specifically, a statical concept called Regression to the Mean.
Regression to the mean seeks to explain, with statistics, the role of luck in our day to day lives. An insufficient appreciation of luck and chance can wreak all kinds of mischief in sports, education, medicine, business, politics, and more. It can lead us to see illness when we are not sick and to see cures when treatments are worthless. Perfectly natural random variation can lead us to attach meaning to the meaningless.Freakonomics showed how economic calculations can explain seemingly counterintuitive decision-making. Thinking, Fast and Slow, helped readers identify a host of small cognitive errors that can lead to miscalculations and irrational thought. In What the Luck?, statistician and author Gary Smith sets himself a similar goal, and explains--in clear, understandable, and witty prose--how a statistical understanding of luck can change the way we see just about every aspect of our lives...and can help us learn to rely less on random chance, and more on truth.
Gary V. Smith (Ph.D., Dropsie College) was a member of the translation teams for both the NLT and HCSB Bible translation projects and has written numerous articles, reviews, and books on the Old Testament. These include Hosea, Amos, and Micah for the NIV Application Commentary series and Isaiah in the New American Commentary series. He has taught Old Testament at Bethel Theological Seminary in Minnesota and was professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Missouri. In 2004 he began teaching at Union University, where he is currently professor of Christian Studies.
During a cold Montana Christmas, Alan cuts down and decorates a Christmas tree for himself and his dying grandfather, George. As his present, Alan may choose one of eight keepsakes of his grandfathers. Yet before he can choose, he must read a story George wrote about each keepsake. Through these stories, Alan learns the secrets of his grandfather's life.
Christmas 1897. Ellen Pierce and her brother are determined to reach the Alaska gold rush. But when ice stalls their steamship, all seems lost, until Buck Lewis makes a decision: he'll lead all who dare to follow on foot toward Dawson City. Buck is determined to leave behind a heartbreaking past. No amount of ice or weather will stop him. But he never counted on a woman joining a dangerous wilderness trek--or on falling in love with her. As their journey unfolds and Christmas approaches, Ellen and Buck discover that the greatest gift of all can't be wrapped in paper and tied with a bow. It comes from, and is received in, the heart. Come share in a soul-deep romance that gives a joyful reminder of a redeeming God who makes us each unique, yet loves us all the same.
The Angel of Bastogne
In the tradition of It's a Wonderful Life and John Grisham's Skipping Christmas… Newspaper reporter Ben Raines is a full-fledged cynic trying to bypass what he feels is the least wonderful time of the year-Christmas. But his plan to escape on a dream vacation overseas is foiled when the boss assigns him to write the annual front-page
There have been many Marines. There have been many marksmen. But there has only been one Sergeant Carlos Hathcock.
He stalked the Viet Cong behind enemy lines—on their own ground. And each time, he emerged from the jungle having done his duty. His record is one of the finest in military history, with ninety-three confirmed kills.
This is the story of a simple man who endured incredible dangers and hardships for his country and his Corps. These are the missions that have made Carlos Hathcock a legend in the brotherhood of Marines. They are exciting, powerful, chilling—and all true.
In November 1965, some 450 men of the First Battalion, Seventh Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Col. Harold Moore, were dropped into a small clearing in the Ia Drang Valley. They were immediately surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers. Three days later, only two and a half miles away, a sister battalion was brutally slaughtered. Together, these actions at the landing zones X-Ray and Albany constituted one of the most savage and significant battles of the Vietnam War. They were the first major engagements between the US Army and the People’s Army of Vietnam.
How these Americans persevered—sacrificing themselves for their comrades and never giving up—creates a vivid portrait of war at its most devastating and inspiring. Lt. Gen. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway—the only journalist on the ground throughout the fighting—interviewed hundreds of men who fought in the battle, including the North Vietnamese commanders. Their poignant account rises above the ordeal it chronicles to depict men facing the ultimate challenge, dealing with it in ways they would have once found unimaginable. It reveals to us, as rarely before, man’s most heroic and horrendous endeavor.
More than half a million copies of Chickenhawk have been sold since it was first published in 1983. Now with a new afterword by the author and photographs taken by him during the conflict, this straight-from-the-shoulder account tells the electrifying truth about the helicopter war in Vietnam. This is Robert Mason’s astounding personal story of men at war. A veteran of more than one thousand combat missions, Mason gives staggering descriptions that cut to the heart of the combat experience: the fear and belligerence, the quiet insights and raging madness, the lasting friendships and sudden death—the extreme emotions of a "chickenhawk" in constant danger.
"Very simply the best book so far about Vietnam." -St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Guns up!" was the battle cry that sent machine gunners racing forward with their M60s to mow down the enemy, hoping that this wasn't the day they would meet their deaths. Marine Johnnie Clark heard that the life expectancy of a machine gunner in Vietnam was seven to ten seconds after a firefight began. Johnnie was only eighteen when he got there, at the height of the bloody Tet Offensive at Hue, and he quickly realized the grim statistic held a chilling truth.
The Marines who fought and bled and died were ordinary men, many still teenagers, but the selfless bravery they showed day after day in a nightmarish jungle war made them true heroes. This new edition of Guns Up!, filled with photographs and updated information about those harrowing battles, also contains the real names of these extraordinary warriors and details of their lives after the war. The book's continuing success is a tribute to the raw courage and sacrifice of the United States Marines.
From the Paperback edition.
In the United States Marine Corps, the most dangerous job in combat is that of the sniper. With no backup and little communication with the outside world, these men disappeared for weeks on end in the wilderness with nothing but intellect and iron will to protect them—as they would watch, wait, and finally strike.
But of all of the snipers who ever hunted human prey, one man stands above and beyond as one of the most legendary fighting men ever to pull a trigger. That man was Carlos Hathcock.
In Marine Sniper, the true-life missions of United States Marine Corps sniper Carlos Hathcock were revealed in explosive detail. Now, the incredible story of a remarkable Marine continues—with harrowing, never-before-published accounts of courage and perseverance. These are the powerful stories of a man who rose to greatness not for personal gain or glory, but for duty and honor. A rare inside look at the U.S. Marine’s most challenging missions—and the one man who made military history.
From the Paperback edition.
While offering rare glimpses of an aspect of the war most of the military and media never saw, Cornett tells the full, gut-wrenching story of his Vietnam. He also gives an unsparing view of himself - telling a no-holds-barred story of an American soldier who made sacrifices far beyond the call of duty . . . a soldier who, in defiance of the U.S. government, refused to turn his back on the Vietnamese.
From the Paperback edition.
From Da Nang to Cu Chi and the Mekong Delta, Sever spent thirty-one months in Vietnam, fighting in eleven of the war’s sixteen campaigns. Every morning when his gunship lifted off, often to the clacking and muzzle flashes of AK-47s hidden in the dawn fog, Sever knew he might not return. This raw, gritty, gut-wrenching firsthand account of American boys fighting and dying in Vietnam captures all the hell, horror, and heroism of that tragic war.
From the Paperback edition.
In March of 1965, Lieutenant Philip J. Caputo landed at Danang with the first ground combat unit deployed to Vietnam. Sixteen months later, having served on the line in one of modern history’s ugliest wars, he returned home—physically whole but emotionally wasted, his youthful idealism forever gone.
A Rumor of War is far more than one soldier’s story. Upon its publication in 1977, it shattered America’s indifference to the fate of the men sent to fight in the jungles of Vietnam. In the years since then, it has become not only a basic text on the Vietnam War but also a renowned classic in the literature of wars throughout history and, as the author writes, of "the things men do in war and the things war does to them."
"Heartbreaking, terrifying, and enraging. It belongs to the literature of men at war." —Los Angeles Times Book Review
In 1965 nearly four hundred men were interviewed and only thirty-two selected for the infant LRRP Detachment of the lst Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. Old-timers called it the suicide unit. Whether conducting prisoner snatches, search and destroy missions, or hunting for the enemy's secret base camps, LRRPs depended on one another 110 percent. One false step, one small mistake by one man could mean sudden death for all.
Author Reynel Martinez, himself a 101st LRRP Detachment veteran, takes us into the lives and battles of the extraordinary men for whom the brotherhood of war was and is an ever-present reality: the courage, the sacrifice, the sense of loss when one of your own dies. In the hills, valleys, and triple-canopy jungles, the ambushes, firefights, and copter crashes, LRRPs were among the best and bravest to fight in Vietnam.
From the Paperback edition.
In Taking Fire, Alexander and acclaimed military writer Charles Sasser transport you right into the cramped cockpit of a Huey on patrol, offering a bird's eye view of the Vietnam conflict. Packed with riveting action and gritty "you-are-there" dialogue, this outstanding book celebrates the everyday heroism of the chopper pilots of Vietnam.
‘War, what is it good for?’ THE VIETNAM WAR: HISTORY IN AN HOUR gives a gripping account of the most important Cold War-era conflict, fought between the United States and the Viet Cong, the Vietnam People’s Army and their Communist allies. It was one of the most traumatic military conflicts America has ever been involved in – and provoked a backlash of anti-war protests at home.
Here are the key events leading up to the Vietnam War, the deadly guerrilla warfare of the Viet Cong, the domestic anti-war movement and the fall of Saigon. THE VIETNAM WAR: HISTORY IN AN HOUR is essential reading for anyone interested in post-war history.
Know your stuff: read about the Vietnam War in just one hour.
In 1967, a young E. Michael Helms boarded a bus to the legendary grounds of Parris Island, where mere boys were forged into hardened Marines—and sent to the jungles of Vietnam. It was the first stop on a journey that would forever change him—and by its end, he would be awarded the Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Citation, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.
From the brutality and endurance-straining ordeals of boot camp to the endless horror of combat, Helms paints a vivid, unflinchingly realistic depiction of the lives of Marines in training and under fire. As powerful and compelling a battlefield memoir as any ever written, Helms's “grunt's-eye” view of the Vietnam War, the men who fought it, and the mindless chaos that surrounded it, is truly a modern military classic.
In Vietnam, Mobile Guerrilla Force conducted unconventional operations against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army. Armed with silencer-equipped MK-II British Sten guns, M-16s, M-79s, and M-60 machine guns, the men of the Mobile Guerrilla Force operated in the steamy, triple-canopy jungle owned by the NVA and VC, destroying base camps, ambushing patrols, and gathering the intelligence that General Westmoreland desperately needed.
In 1967, James Donahue was a Special Forces medic and assistant platoon leader assigned to the Mobile Guerrilla Force and their fiercely anti-Communist Cambodian freedom fighters. Their mission: to locate the 271st Main Force Viet Cong Regiment so they could be engaged and destroyed by the 1st Infantry Division.
Now, with the brutal, unflinching honesty only an eye witness could possess, Donahue relives the adrenaline rush of firefights, air strikes, human wave attacks, ambushes, and attacks on enemy base camps. Following the operation the surviving Special Forces members of the Mobile Guerrilla Force were decorated by Major General John Hay, Commanding General, 1st Infantry Division.
From the Paperback edition.
In 1967, a bullet cost thirteen cents, and no one gave Uncle Sam a bigger bang for his buck than the 5th Marine Regiment Sniper Platoon. So feared were these lethal marksmen that the Viet Cong offered huge rewards for killing them. Now noted Vietnam author John J. Culbertson, a former 5th Marine sniper himself, presents the riveting true stories of young Americans who fought with bolt rifles and bounties on their heads during the fiercest combat of the war, from 1967 through the desperate Tet battle for Hue in early ’68.
In spotter/shooter pairs, sniper teams accompanied battle-hardened Marine rifle companies like the 2/5 on patrols and combat missions. Whether fighting their way out of a Viet Cong “kill zone” or battling superior numbers of NVA crack troops, the sniper teams were at the cutting edge in the art of jungle warfare, showing the patience, stealth, combat marksmanship, and raw courage that made the unit the most decorated regimental sniper platoon in the Vietnam War. Harrowing and unforgettable, these accounts pay tribute to the heroes who made the greatest sacrifice of all–and leave no doubt that among 5th Marine snipers uncommon valor was truly a common virtue.
From the Paperback edition.
Through three tours in the jungle hell of Vietnam, he walked the point -- staying alert to trip wires, booby traps and punji pits, guiding his squad of amphibious fighters on missions of rescue, reconnaissance and demolition -- confronting a war's unique terrors head-on, unprotected . . . and unafraid.This is the story of a hero told from the heart and from the gut -- an authentic tour of duty with one of the most legendary commandoes of the Vietnam War.
Praise for Low Level Hell
“An absolutely splendid and engrossing book. The most compelling part is the accounts of his many air-to-ground engagements. There were moments when I literally held my breath.”—Dr. Charles H. Cureton, Chief Historian, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine (TRADOC) Command
“Low Level Hell is the best ‘bird’s eye view’ of the helicopter war in Vietnam in print today. No volume better describes the feelings from the cockpit. Mills has captured the realities of a select group of aviators who shot craps with death on every mission.”—R.S. Maxham, Director, U.S. Army Aviation Museum
On May 2, 1968, a twelve-man Special Forces team covertly infiltrated a small clearing in the jungles of neutral Cambodia—where U.S. forces were forbidden to operate. Their objective, just miles over the Vietnam border, was to collect evidence that proved the North Vietnamese Army was using the Cambodian sanctuary as a major conduit for supplying troops and materiel to the south via the Ho Chi Minh Trail. What the team didn’t know was that they had infiltrated a section of jungle that concealed a major enemy base. Soon they found themselves surrounded by hundreds of NVA, under attack, low on ammunition, stacking the bodies of the dead as cover in a desperate attempt to survive the onslaught.
When Special Forces Staff Sergeant Roy Benavidez heard their distress call, he jumped aboard the next helicopter bound for the combat zone. What followed would become legend in the Special Operations community. Flown into the foray of battle by the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, Benavidez jumped from the hovering aircraft, ran nearly 100 yards through withering enemy fire, and--despite being immediately and severely wounded--organized an extraordinary defense and rescue of the Special Forces team.
Written with extensive access to family members, surviving members of the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, on-the-ground eye-witness accounts never before published, as well as recently discovered archival, and declassified military records, Blehm has created a riveting narrative both of Roy Benavidez’s life and career, and of the inspiring, almost unbelievable events that defined the brotherhood of the air and ground warriors in an unpopular war halfway around the world. Legend recounts the courage and commitment of those who fought in Vietnam in service of their country, and the story of one of the many unsung heroes of the war.
From its terrifying opening pages to its final eloquent words, Dispatches makes us see, in unforgettable and unflinching detail, the chaos and fervor of the war and the surreal insanity of life in that singular combat zone. Michael Herr’s unsparing, unorthodox retellings of the day-to-day events in Vietnam take on the force of poetry, rendering clarity from one of the most incomprehensible and nightmarish events of our time.
Dispatches is among the most blistering and compassionate accounts of war in our literature.
From the Paperback edition.
EACH DAWN COULD BE YOUR LAST.
Raw, straightforward, and powerful, Ed Kugler's account of his two years as a Marine scout-sniper in Vietnam vividly captures his experiences there--the good, the bad, and the ugly. After enlisting in the Marines at seventeen, then being wounded in Santo Domingo during the Dominican crisis, Kugler arrived in Vietnam in early 1966.
As a new sniper with the 4th Marines, Kugler picked up bush skills while attached to 3d Force Recon Company, and then joined the grunts. To take advantage of that experience, he formed the Rogues, a five-sniper team that hunted in the Co Bi-Than Tan Valley for VC and NVA. His descriptions of long, tense waits, sudden deadly action, and NVA countersniper ambushes are fascinating.
In DEAD CENTER, Kugler demonstrates the importance to a sniper of patience, marksmanship, bush skills, and guts--while underscoring exactly what a country demands of its youth when it sends them to war.
In the exclusive world of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Studies and Observation Group, Miller ran missions deep into enemy territory to gather intelligence, snatch prisoners, and to kill. Leading small bands of battle-hardened Montagnard and Meo tribesmen, he was fierce and fearless -- fighting army policy to stay in combat for six tours. On a top-secret mission in 1970, Miller and a handful of men, all critically injured, held off the NVA in an incredible Alamo-like stand -- for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. When his time in Southeast Asia ended, he had also received the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, an Air Medal, and six Purple Hearts. This is his incredible story.
These are LRRP, LRP, and Ranger units at their finest, under the most desperate circumstances: one team surrounded by the enemy with no choice but to break out of the trap—or die, another caught in an ambush of horrific proportions. When recon missions suddenly became contact missions, when grenades started flying and AK-47s were smoking, each man’s life was instantly on the line—and only his skills and the grit of his teammates could prevent certain death.
These highly trained warriors were among the best America had to offer, and they gave their best, no matter how high the price. . . .
In the mid-nineteen sixties, Harry Constance made a life-altering journey that led him out of Texas and into the jungles of Vietnam. As a young naval officer, he went from UDT training to the U.S. Navy's newly formed SEAL Team Two, and then straight into furious action. By 1970, he was already the veteran of three hundred combat missions and the recipient of thirty-two military citations, including three Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart.
Good To Go is Constance's powerful, firsthand account of his three tours of duty as a member of America's most elite, razor-sharp stealth fighting force. It is a breathtaking memoir of harrowing missions and covert special-ops—from the floodplains of the Mekong Delta to the beaches of the South China Sea—that places the reader in the center of bloody ambushes and devastating firefights. But his extraordinary adventure goes even farther—beyond 'Nam—as we accompany Constance and the SEALs on astonishing missions to some of the world's most dangerous hot-spots . . . and experience close-up the courage, dedication, and unparalleled skill that made the U.S. Navy SEALs legendary.
Includes 8 Pages of SEAL Team Action Photos!
From the Paperback edition.
Few American battles have been so extended, savage and personal. A handful of Americans volunteered to live among six thousand Vietnamese, training farmers to defend their village. Such “Combined Action Platoons” (CAPs) are now a lost footnote about how the war could have been fought; only the villagers remain to bear witness. This is the story of fifteen resolute young Americans matched against two hundred Viet Cong; how a CAP lived, fought and died. And why the villagers remember them to this day.
But even as these formidable hunters and killers were themselves swallowed up by the Screaming Eagles' Division LRPs to eventually become F Co., 58th Infantry, they continued the deadly, daring LRRP tradition. From saturation patrols along the Laotian border to near-suicide missions and compromised positions in the always dangerous A Shau valley, the F/58th unflinchingly faced death every day and became one of the most highly decorated companies in the history of the 101st.
From the Paperback edition.
"Using a lean style and a sense of pacing drawn from the tautest of novels, McDonough has produced a gripping account of his first command, a U.S. platoon taking part in the 'strategic hamlet' program. . . . Rather than present a potpourri of combat yarns. . . McDonough has focused a seasoned storyteller’s eye on the details, people, and incidents that best communicate a visceral feel of command under fire. . . . For the author’s honesty and literary craftsmanship, Platoon Leader seems destined to be read for a long time by second lieutenants trying to prepare for the future, veterans trying to remember the past, and civilians trying to understand what the profession of arms is all about.”–Army Times
In 1969, First Lieutenant Bill Peters and the Force Recon Marines had one of the most difficult, dangerous assignments in Vietnam. From the DMZ to the Central Highlands, their job was to provide strategic and operational intelligence to insure the security of American units as the withdrawal of the troops progressed.
Making perilous helicopter inserts deep in the Que Son Mountains, where the constant chatter of AK-47 rifle fire left no doubt who was in charge, Peters and the other men of 1st Force Recon Company risked their lives every day in six-man teams, never knowing whether they would live to see the sunset. Peters's accounts of silently watching huge movements of heavily armed NVA regulars, prisoner snatches, sudden-death ambushes, and extracts from fiercely fought firefights vividly capture the realities of Recon Marine warfare, and offer a gritty tribute to the courage, heroism, and sacrifice of the U. S. Marines. . . .
From the Paperback edition.
By 1969, the NVA had grown more experienced at countering the tactics of the long range patrols, and SIX SILENT MEN: Book Three describes some of the fiercest fighting Lurps saw during the war. Based on his own experience and extensive interviews with other combat vets of the 101st's Lurp companies, Gary Linderer writes this final, heroic chapter in the seven bloody years that Lurps served God and country in Vietnam. These tough young warriors--grossly outnumbered and deep in enemy territory--fought with the guts, tenacity, and courage that have made them legends in the 101st.
From the Paperback edition.
A Dual Main Selection of the Military Book Club
From the Paperback edition.
Using portraits of America’s flawed policy makers and accounts of the forces that drove them, The Best and the Brightest reckons magnificently with the most important abiding question of our country’s recent history: Why did America become mired in Vietnam, and why did we lose? As the definitive single-volume answer to that question, this enthralling book has never been superseded. It is an American classic.
Christian G. Appy's monumental oral history of the Vietnam War is the first work to probe the war's path through both the United States and Vietnam. These vivid testimonies of 135 men and women span the entire history of the Vietnam conflict, from its murky origins in the 1940s to the chaotic fall of Saigon in 1975. Sometimes detached and reflective, often raw and emotional, they allow us to see and feel what this war meant to people literally on all sides: Americans and Vietnamese, generals and grunts, policymakers and protesters, guerrillas and CIA operatives, pilots and doctors, artists and journalists, and a variety of ordinary citizens whose lives were swept up in a cataclysm that killed three million people. By turns harrowing, inspiring, and revelatory, Patriots is not a chronicle of facts and figures but a vivid human history of the war.
"A gem of a book, as informative and compulsively readable as it is timely." -The Washington Post Book World
An oral history unlike any other, Bloods features twenty black men who tell the story of how members of their race were sent off to Vietnam in disproportionate numbers, and of the special test of patriotism they faced. Told in voices no reader will soon forget, Bloods is a must-read for anyone who wants to put the Vietnam experience in historical, cultural, and political perspective.
Praise for Bloods
“Superb . . . a portrait not just of warfare and warriors but of beleaguered patriotism and pride. The violence recalled in Bloods is chilling. . . . On most of its pages hope prevails. Some of these men have witnessed the very worst that people can inflict on one another. . . . Their experience finally transcends race; their dramatic monologues bear witness to humanity.”—Time
“[Wallace] Terry’s oral history captures the very essence of war, at both its best and worst. . . . [He] has done a great service for all Americans with Bloods. Future historians will find his case studies extremely useful, and they will be hard pressed to ignore the role of blacks, as too often has been the case in past wars.”—The Washington Post Book World
“Terry set out to write an oral history of American blacks who fought for their country in Vietnam, but he did better than that. He wrote a compelling portrait of Americans in combat, and used his words so that the reader—black or white—knows the soldiers as men and Americans, their race overshadowed by the larger humanity Terry conveys. . . . This is not light reading, but it is literature with the ring of truth that shows the reader worlds through the eyes of others. You can’t ask much more from a book than that.”—Associated Press
“Bloods is a major contribution to the literature of this war. For the first time a book has detailed the inequities blacks faced at home and on the battlefield. Their war stories involve not only Vietnam, but Harlem, Watts, Washington D.C. and small-town America.”—Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“I wish Bloods were longer, and I hope it makes the start of a comprehensive oral and analytic history of blacks in Vietnam. . . . They see their experiences as Americans, and as blacks who live in, but are sometimes at odds with, America. The results are sometimes stirring, sometimes appalling, but this three-tiered perspective heightens and shadows every tale.”—The Village Voice
“Terry was in Vietnam from 1967 through 1969. . . . In this book he has backtracked, Studs Terkel–like, and found twenty black veterans of the Vietnam War and let them spill their guts. And they do; oh, how they do. The language is raw, naked, a brick through a window on a still night. At the height of tension a sweet story, a soft story, drops into view. The veterans talk about fighting two wars: Vietnam and racism. They talk about fighting alongside the Ku Klux Klan.”—The Boston Globe
The expertise of the low, slow FACs, as well as the hazard attendant to their role, made for a unique bird’s-eye perspective on how the entire war in Vietnam unfolded. For Tom Yarborough, who logged 1,500 hours of combat flying time, the risk was constant, intense, and electrifying. A member of the super-secret “Prairie Fire” unit, Yarborough became one of the most frequently shot-up pilots flying out of Da Nang—engaging in a series of dangerous secret missions in Laos. In this work, the reader flies in the cockpit alongside Yarborough in his adrenaline-pumping chronicle of heroism, danger, and wartime brotherhood. From the rescuing of downed pilots to taking out enemy positions, to the most harrowing extended missions directly overhead of the NVA, here is the dedication, courage and skill of the fliers who took the war into the enemy’s backyard.
When Chuck Gross left for Vietnam in 1970, he was a nineteen-year-old Army helicopter pilot fresh out of flight school. He spent his entire Vietnam tour with the 71st Assault Helicopter Company flying UH-1 Huey helicopters. Soon after the war he wrote down his adventures, while his memory was still fresh with the events. Rattler One-Seven (his call sign) is written as Gross experienced it, using these notes along with letters written home to accurately preserve the mindset he had while in Vietnam.
During his tour Gross flew Special Operations for the MACV-SOG, inserting secret teams into Laos. He notes that Americans were left behind alive in Laos, when official policy at home stated that U.S. forces were never there.
He also participated in Lam Son 719, a misbegotten attempt by the ARVN to assault and cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail with U.S. Army helicopter support. It was the largest airmobile campaign of the war and marked the first time that the helicopter was used in mid-intensity combat, with disastrous results. Pilots in their early twenties, with young gunners and a Huey full of ARVN soldiers, took on experienced North Vietnamese antiaircraft artillery gunners, with no meaningful intelligence briefings or a rational plan on how to cut the Trail. More than one hundred helicopters were lost and more than six hundred aircraft sustained combat damage. Gross himself was shot down and left in the field during one assault. Rattler One-Seven will appeal to those interested in the Vietnam War and to all armed forces, especially aviators, who have served for their country.
In 1967, death was the constant companion of the Marines of Hotel Company, 2/5, as they patrolled the paddy dikes, mud, and mountains of the Arizona Territory southwest of Da Nang. But John Culbertson and most of the rest of Hotel Company were the same lean, fighting Marines who had survived the carnage of Operation Tuscaloosa. Hotel's grunts walked over the enemy, not around him.
In graphic terms, John Culbertson describes the daily, dangerous life of a soldier fighting in a country where the enemy was frequently indistinguishable from the allies, fought tenaciously, and thought nothing of using civilians as a shield. Though he was one of the top marksmen in 1st Marine Division Sniper School in Da Nang in March 1967--a class of just eighteen, chosen from the division's twenty thousand Marines--Culbertson knew that against the VC and the NVA, good training and experience could carry you just so far. But his company's mission was to find and engage the enemy, whatever the price. This riveting, bloody first-person account offers a stark testimony to the stuff U.S. Marines are made of.
From the Paperback edition.