Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

The last Monday in May is often considered the official beginning of summer. Yet -- as anyone driving down Asheville's flag-lined Kimberly Avenue today would be reminded -- it is also the time to remember all who have fought in our nation's wars, and particularly those who have died in these conflicts. Here are a few titles available at Accent on Books which it seems particularly appropriate to mention today. All books are hardcovers, unless otherwise noted.

The First American Army, by Bruce Chadwick (paperback). By consulting journals, memoirs and other primary sources, Chadwick tells the story of the American Revolution through the eyes of the common soldiers who made up the Continental Army.

Fields of Honor, by Edwin C. Bearss (paperback). A Marine veteran of World War II, Bearss has been leading tours of Civil War battlefields since 1950. Here, he gives accounts of fourteen Civil War battles and campaigns, calling on his unique knowledge of both tactics and the stories of individual soldiers.

The Day of Battle, by Rick Atkinson. An Army at Dawn, the first volume of Atkinson's "Liberation Trilogy," won a Pulitzer Prize for its chronicling of the World War II North Africa campaign. The Day of Battle is the second volume, and covers the hard fought and desperate Italian campaign of 1943-44.

Iwo Jima, by Larry Smith. This book tells the story of the infamous World War II battle directly through the words of soldiers whom Smith interviewed. He also talked to survivors of Japanese soldiers who fought there, and brings the history of the island up to the present time.

The Coldest Winter, by David Halberstam. America lost one of its greatest journalists and historians when David Halberstam died last year. Fortunately, before his passing, he was able to complete this epic narrative of the Korean War. More than ten years in the making, it stands as a final testimony to Halberstam's passion and eloquence.

On Call in Hell, by Richard Jadick (paperback). At the age of 38, Navy doctor Richard Jadick volunteered to go to the front lines in Iraq, and eventually found himself treating the wounded in the middle of the Battle of Fallujah. His chronicle is a harrowing tale of dedication and heroism.

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