MILITARY BOOKSHELF - 3
By MAJ Glenn MacDonald
U.S. Army Reserve (Ret.)
Welcome, dear readers, to the third edition of MILITARY BOOKSHELF. This is your column, and we strive to bring you reviews from not only the old and established publishers, but lesser-known releases from relatively obscure printing houses. This month is no exception.
We are reviewing two excellent World War II books from one of the most respected military publishers in the world, Naval Institute Press in Annapolis, MD. But we also introduce you to two works from a new publisher to us, Adventures Unlimited of Kempton, Ill. Included in this edition is a fascinating book from Skyhorse Publishing in New York on a murder mystery that
is connected with the late President John F. Kennedy. And Zenith Press of Minneapolis, Minn. brings us the inspiring story of medically-retired Army CPT Allen Clark, a West Point graduate who lost his legs in combat in Vietnam, but found his own soul.
So, without further ado, on to the reviews . . .
"CAPTURED - THE FORGOTTEN MEN OF GUAM"
By Roger Mansell and edited by Linda Goetz Holmes
Naval Institute Press (www.usni.org)
Many books have been written about American prisoners of war in the Pacific. But few works, comparatively, have been done about the fate of those Americans captured by the Japanese at Guam in the first month of World War II for the U.S.A.
Military historian Roger Mansell passed away before this book could be completed, but USNI was fortunate to have had the well-known writer Linda Goetz Holmes edit the manuscript into final completion.
There were more than 400 American military men and some civilian women who were taken prisoner by the enemy and shipped off to Japan as slave laborers.
The story of their fate is brilliantly told by Mansell, who first became interested in Guam while he was compiling lists of prisoners-of-war from Bataan and Corregidor in the Philippines.
As he worked on these compilations, he began to realize that no one had written much about the military and civilian personnel captured on Guam. As a result, for the next ten years, his new mission became telling their stories. Drawing on diaries and interviews with survivors, as well as archival records, Mansell has documented the mostly unknown story of these POW's.
His work, and Holme's expert editing, have resulted in this invaluable contribution to books on the war in the Pacific.
We rate this book four stars
"VICTORY IN DEFEAT - THE WAKE ISLAND
DEFENDERS IN CAPTIVITY 1941 - 1945"
By Gregory J. W. Urwin
(Naval Institute Press - www.usni.org)
We first became aware of Greg Urwin's talents as a military historian when we read his outstanding book FACING FEARFUL ODDS: THE SIEGE OF WAKE ISLAND some 15 years ago.
He has followed up that superb book with a volume telling the fate of the Wake Island POW's. Two of whom became well-known in their own right - Navy CMDR Winfield Scott Cunningham (who wrote a book about his imprisonment by the Japanese), and Marine MAJ James P.S. Devereaux. After the war, that officer went on to become a Congressman from his home state of Maryland.
Author Urwin picks up with this book where he left off in his last, as we are the better for it.
Drawing on interviews with their captors, dozens of prisoners, and the diaries the POWs secretly kept, Urwin reveals how the defeated Americans survived in captivity and emerged with a much lower death rate than most other Allied personnel captured in the Pacific.
VICTORY IN DEFEAT is a testament to the collective character of the captives themselves. We highly recommend this book and give it our top rating of four stars
"MARY'S MOSAIC - THE CIA CONSPIRACY
TO MURDER JOHN F. KENNEDY, MARY PINCHOT
MEYER, AND THEIR VISION FOR WORLD PEACE"
By Peter Janney (www.skyhorsepublishing.com)
Just a few months after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Tex. in November 1963, his former lover (there were many) Mary Pinchot Meyer, was mysteriously murdered on the Chesapeake and Ohio towpath near her Georgetown home in Washington, D.C.
The police quickly grabbed up an innocent man - later cleared of the slaying in court - and the powers-that-be at the CIA hoped the public would not be interested in the fate of a socially-prominent woman who, many years later, we learn was a secret lover of the President of the United States.
She was also sister-in-law of Kennedy confidant and powerful editor of the Washington POST, Benjamin Bradlee.
Why did Mary die? Did she possess information that could blow the Warren Commission cover-up right out of the water? Did she know who was behind the slaying of John F. Kennedy?
The author spent years researching this baffling case and comes to conclusions that will stagger even the most jaded assassination researchers. The high-spirited, beautiful, and fatally-talkative Mary Pinchot Meyer was killed in a professional hit.
We won't tell you more because you need to read the book, but we can say MARY'S MOSAIC is so compelling, you will have a hard time not reading this book from start to finish.
It has earned our highest rating: four stars
"JFK: THE FRENCH CONNECTION"
By Peter Kross
Ten months after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Warren Commission reported that Lee Harvey Oswald, alone, killed the president on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Tex. Oswald had no confederates, nor did any foreign power aid him in his deadly deed. Case closed, or so the White House, CIA and FBI hoped.
However, what most Americans didn't know - and is revealed in this book - is that one day after the assassination, Hoover's boys deported a known French assassin - a member of the militant anti-Charles de Gaulle organization called OAS. Jean Souetre was sent to either Mexico or Canada. Why was a known French triggerman in Dallas on the exact day that the president of the United States was killed, and what role, if any, did he play in the monstrous deed?
This fascinating book delves deep into three major areas: (1) the investigation of Jean Souetre and the two other men whose identities he used; (2) the investigation of the identities of two European assassins and their use by the CIA, and (3) the role of the Agency in the drug trade after World War II.
Anyone interested in adding to their library of books on the Kennedy assassination needs to buy this book.
We rate it three stars
"LBJ AND THE CONSPIRACY TO KILL KENNEDY
A COALESCENCE OF INTERESTS"
By Joseph P. Farrell
Was former President Lyndon B. Johnson part of a conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy? Investigative reporter and author Joe Farrell thinks so.
"Who had the power to cover-up the crime of the century?" he asks.
And who stood to benefit the most from the removal of the young President, who historians now know intended to dump Johnson from the ticket in the 1964 Presidential election? Right.
An Oxford University graduate, Farrell brings his analytical skills to bear on the evidence he has studied and finds a coalescence of interests between the CIA, the military-industrial complex, and the powerful corrupt political machine Johnson ran in Texas that culminated in the assassination.
Farrell rightly praises Adventures Unlimited owner and publisher David Hatcher Childress for having the courage to publish a view that still is taboo and avoided by the so-called "mainstream media" in this country.
We rate this book three stars
"WOUNDED SOLDIER, HEALING WARRIOR"
By Allen Clark
(Zenith Books, Minneapolis, Minn.)
This is the personal story of a Vietnam veteran who lost his legs in combat but found his soul.
A West Point graduate and airborne-infantry captain, Clark was seriously wounded during an early-morning mortar attack July 17, 1967, on the Special Forces camp at Dak To. His wounds resulted in the amputation of both his legs.
Allen's recovery from this ordeal was long and arduous, marked with periods of deep despair. Later he would be diagnosed as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, a malady little known or understood at the time.
After he left the Army, Allen attained an MBA from Southern Methodist University, worked for Ross Perot, and became a successful banker. Despite this material success, his soul and spirit were still deeply damaged.
Allen Clark's soulful and spiritual journey of growth and fulfillment following the physical tragedy of his wartime wounds led him to his calling of service to other wounded and troubled veterans through his Combat Faith Ministry. His story, as related in this powerful book, is a testimony to the resilience of the human spirit.
We urge our faithful readers to visit www.woundedsoldierhealingwarrior.com. Thank you.
MilitaryCorruption.com rates this book four stars