by The History Reader
Veterans Day is the day we honor and commemorate our brave service men and women who are fighting and have fought for America’s freedom and security since the early beginnings of our nation. To understand and learn more about some of our military’s most historic battles and courageous individuals, we’ve compiled a list of impressive stories from the Revolutionary War, through to the most recent conflict in Afghanistan.
by Jack Kelly
Band of Giants sheds light upon the fighting men who took on the grim, risky, and brutal work of war in order to make real the dreams of politicians and theorists. These soldiers were a diverse lot: merchants and mechanics, farmers and fishermen, paragons and drunkards. Most were ardent amateurs. Here, Jack Kelly vividly captures the fraught condition of war—the bitterly divided populace, the lack of supplies, the repeated setbacks on the battlefield, and the appalling physical hardships. That these inexperienced warriors could take on and defeat the superpower of the day was one of the remarkable feats in world history.
by John F. Ross
Enduring Courage is the electrifying story of the beginning of America’s love affair with speed—and how one man above all the rest showed a nation the way forward. No simple daredevil, Eddie Rickenbacker was an innovator on the racetrack, a skilled aerial dualist and squadron commander, and founder of Eastern Air Lines. He showed a war-weary nation what it took to survive against nearly insurmountable odds when he and seven others endured a harrowing three-week ordeal adrift without food or water in the Pacific during World War II. John F. Ross tells the unforgettable story of this WWI ace of aces and Medal of Honor recipient who pushed the limits of speed, endurance, and courage to emerge as an American legend.
by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
Bill O’Reilly, anchor of The O’Reilly Factor, authors this nonfiction journey into the heart of one of the most famous murders in history: General George S. Patton, Jr. The celebrated commander died under mysterious circumstances in the months following the end of World War II. For almost seventy years, there has been suspicion that his death was not an accident—and may very well have been an act of assassination. Killing Patton takes readers inside the final year of war and recounts the events surrounding Patton’s tragic demise, naming names of the many powerful individuals who wanted him silenced.
by Tony Zinni and Tony Koltz
General Tony Zinni, a veteran with vast experience ranging from combat in Vietnam to peacekeeping in Somalia, war games in Washington, D.C., and negotiations with former rebels in the Philippines, covers ground between the Oval Office and the battlefield with Before the First Shots are Fired. In his book, this retired four-star general argues that we have a lot of work to do to make the process of going to war—or not—more clear-eyed and ultimately successful. His provocative points include the fact that virtually every recent American military operation follows a disconnected series of actions that has lead to outcomes we never foresaw or intended; we need to assign accountability for the political decisions that can make or break a mission; words and ideas are as important to victory in today’s conflicts as bullets; the cyber “war” is ongoing—either you must build better tech that the other guy, or you must steal it; our foreign aid budget is pitiful, our State Department, USAID, and other government agencies that should be on par with our military are underfunded, undermanned, and poorly structured for their current objectives. Before the First Shots Are Fired is a hard-hitting analysis of the history of America’s use of military action and a spirited call for change.
by Michael Golembesky and John R. Bruning
In 2009, U.S. Marine Special Operations Team 8222 deployed to the remote and isolated Taliban stronghold known as Bala Murghab. Their assignment consisted of special operations to break the Taliban’s grip on the Valley. Former team member, Michael Golembesky, shares the powerful and moving story of Marine Operators doing what they do best; from close-quarters firefights in Afghan villages to capturing key-terrain from the Taliban in the unforgiving Afghan winter, this intense and personal story depicts the brave actions and sacrifices of MSOT 8222. Level Zero Heroes brings to life the mission of these selected few that fought side-by-side in Afghanistan, in a narrative as action-packed and emotional as anything to emerge from the Special Operations community contribution to the Afghan War.