by Max Green
Once you finish reading your firework safety manual, take a look at some of these patriotic collections. A few good reads for your 4th of July weekend that will make you feel like a well read American.
JFK’s Final Hours in Texas: An Eye Witness Remembers the Tragedy and Its Aftermath
By: Julian Read
A moment in our nations history we will never forget. This personal account follows the untimely death of John F. Kennedy hours after the shooting along with the years of disdain many felt towards Dallas, Texas. This is a commendable addition to a broad collection following such a troubled time.
Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies
By: J.B. West
For almost three decades one man has planned parties, weddings and funerals, tended gardens and made extensive renovations from within 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. A new perspective of American history has emerged from behind the Palladian doors. J.B. West began as an assistant to the chief usher under Franklin Delano Roosevelt and worked his way up to chief usher through the Nixon Era. He witnessed national crises and triumphs, all the while tending to the children, grandchildren and the first ladies. I’m not too sure who had a harder job, the president or the chief usher?
12 Years a Slave
By: Solomon Northup
Now a major motion picture, (which, if you haven’t seen yet, I highly recommend it) 12 years a slave is a harrowing tale of Solomon Northrup, a free man from the New York, who is captured and taken back to the south and sold into slavery. What makes this an incredible American story is Northup’s detailed depictions of slavery and his desire to be free again and with his family. After publishing his traumatic story, controversy immediately followed, but helped sway public opinion towards abolition: A major turning point in America’s history.
Operation Cowboy: The Secret American Mission to Save the World’s Most Beautiful Hoses in the Last Days of World War II
By: Stephen Talty
Okay, I will admit that this one is far from a great American story and I may be reaching quite a bit, but I have to share this oddity. This is one of the strangest war stories I have ever heard. American soldiers team up with the Nazis to save the world’s rarest horses (horses that have bloodlines tracing back to Genghis Kahn) from the Russian army. This is a heart-warming story of American soldiers that just wanted to save something beautiful.
Long Range Patrol: A Novel of Vietnam
By: Dennis Foley
This is a remarkable story following young army Ranger Lieutenant Jim Hollister. Eager to prove himself he leads his six-man regime on risky missions throughout Vietnam. Within this novel you will be immersed into thrilling stories of heroism, brotherhood, and passion to keep the American Dream alive.
Amongst My Enemies: A Cold War Thriller
By: William F. Brown
If you are looking for great fiction book and a political thriller, then look no further. This novel plays host to a fictional American hero in hiding following World War II. Mike Randal knows a secret and its hiding at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. When the KGB, Nazi hit men, and the US government are after you, chances are you’re in for a thrilling adventure with twists and turns around every page. You wont dog ear any pages of this novel (I realize this is dated saying, especially since I am suggesting you buy this for your Kindle, but you know what I mean).
By: Ronald J. Glasser, MD
The Vietnam War holds a vital role in the shaping of America’s history. This, however, is a different perspective of the Vietnam War with a different type of American Hero. Dr. Ronald Glasser gives a voice to the young, wounded service men of the American army. Rather then telling the heroic stories of those men on the front line, Dr. Glasser elaborates on the wounded and their desire to return home. I highly recommend this remarkable, firsthand account of the Vietnam War and toll it took on so many young individuals.
The Atomic Times: My H-Bomb Year at the Pacific Proving Ground
By: Michael Harris
This is by far the most interesting and entertaining memoir I have come across this year. Michael Harris’ The Atomic Times is not only a true story, but it had to be snuck out of an army base inside another mans luggage. Harris draws back the shades on top-secret military H-Bomb tests during 1956. He was sent to Einwetok to “observe” nuclear bomb explosions (he was basically a human guinea pig). Throughout his stay at Einwetok he wrote this memoir of what he saw and experienced, the friends he made and their stories. Not only did he manage to sneak confidential papers out of a secure military base, but also he was also able to create emotional characters and develop an amazing story, all in secrecy. You will laugh and you will cry and you will not want to put this one down.
Hal Moore: A Soldier Once…And Always
By: Mike Guardia
For all you history buffs out there, this is the biography for your 4th of July. Hal Moore, now age 90 at the start of this book enlightens Mike Guardia with personal letters, photos, and first hand accounts of war. Hal Moore retells his own stories from the Korean War in 1950 to the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. This is a must read for all history buffs and a fans Hal Moore. He was truly a great American.
Day of Infamy
By: Walter Lord
This is not the heartwarming story of love and heroism that some may be familiar with thanks to Ben Affleck and Kate Beckinsale. On the contrary, Walter Lord has put together a collection of eyewitness accounts from the attack on Pearl Harbor. This is not a great moment in American history, but it should never be forgoten. I recommend this book for all of those interested in learning more about the attack on the home front. This chilling moment in American history sparked shock, fear and then rage into many Americans. Definitely a must read for the most patriotic holiday of the year.
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