Bookmarks: Recently released books about wars — past and present

Published: Saturday, May 26 2012 1:00 p.m. MDT

Here are some books about World War II and other wars, recent and historical, that have crossed our desks recently.


"HELL ABOVE EARTH: The Incredibly True Story of an American WWII Bomber Commander the Copilot Ordered to Kill Him," by Stephen Frater, St. Martin's Press, $25.99, 302 pages (nf)

U.S. Capt. Werner Goering was an exceptional pilot during World War II, but he was the nephew of Herman Goering, a leading member of the Nazi party. That let to a secret order that if Capt. Goering's plane went down over Nazi-occupied territory, someone would be in the cockpit to kill him and, if possible, get the plane back home.

Jack Rencher, a B-17 instructor who was one of the Army's best pistol shots, was found to be Goering's co-pilot and the pair became unlikely friends.

"ASSIGNMENT TO HELL: The War Against Nazi Germany with Correspondents Walter Cronkite, Andy Rooney, A.J. Liebling, Homer Bigart and Hal Boyle," by Timothy M. Gay, New American Library Caliber, $26.95, 498 pages (nf)

It took two years for author Timothy M. Gay to research the lives of five journalists who covered World War II in Europe and Africa, from their diaries to exploring battlefields. These five young journalists helped honor and share the stories about the men who fought against Hitler and helped shaped the opinions of the war.

Gay had cooperation from the five mens' family, friends and former colleagues.

"SERVICE: A Navy SEAL at War," by Marcus Luttrell with James Hornfischer, Little, Brown and Company, $27.99, 364 pages (nf)

Marcus Luttrell, a U.S. Navy SEAL, tells war stories from tours to Afghanistan and Iraq and the fellow SEAL team members who helped rescue others, bringing peace to a city of fighting and the lives of SEALS and their wives.

More hardback books recently released:

"THE LAST CAMEL CHARGE: The Untold Story of America's Desert Military Experiment," by Forrest Bryant Johnson (nf): The history of how the U.S. imported camels from the Middle East in the 1850s in the Arizona and Utah territories and in the early stages of the Civil War.

"HITLER," by A.N. Wilson (nf): A biography of Adolf Hitler, including insights into his psyche and how an ordinary man rose to change the history of the world.

"CROSSING THE BORDERS OF TIME: A True Story of War, Exile and Love Reclaimed," by Leslie Mailand (nf): Leslie's mother, Janine Gunzburger, was 19 when her family was on the last refugee boat to leave France before the end of World War II, leaving behind her first love in France. Fifty years later, Leslie Mailand, a journalist worked to put the pieces of this love story back together and possibly reclaim the love they once had.

"ESCAPE FROM CAMP 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West," by Blaine Harden (nf): This is the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, born in 1982, the only known person born in a North Korean no-exit camp to have escaped at age 23 — motivated by hunger — and survived as he went to China, then South Korea and finally the United States.

"AUTOPSY OF WAR: A Personal History," by John A. Parrish, M.D. (nf): This memior looks at a physician's wartime work in Vietnam and his 40-year struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. To be released June 5.

"HUNTING IN THE SHADOWS: The Pursuit of Al Qa'ida since 9/11," by Seth G. Jones (nf): The author looks at counterterrorism as he sees it in three "waves" (or cycles of expansion and contraction) since 1988 and also looks to the future of preventing terrorist attacks.

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