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Member Books for August 2014

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Nonfiction

America’s Joint General: Leadership Analysis of Air Force General David C. Jones the Ninth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. By Lt. Col. John R. Edwards, USAF, Life Member. BiblioScholar. ISBN 978-1249415510. 118 pp. $49. 

A leadership biography of General (ret) David Jones, 9th Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff and Air Force Chief of Staff.  The framework for analysis is US Air Force Doctrine AFDD 1-1 Leadership.  Gen Jones lead the Air Force during the post-Vietnam War era from 1974-1978 where he was instrumental to the creation of Exercise Red Flag; acquisition of the A-10, F-15, F-16 and E-3; development of the F-117 Stealth Fighter; and the challenges of the "Hollow Force."  He later became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Iranian Hostage Crisis and its failed rescue attempt that spurred efforts for reorganization, which was the genesis for the Goldwater-Nichols Act. 

Civil War Soldiers of Kendall County, Texas: A Biographical Dictionary. By Col. Frank W. Kiel, USA (Ret), Life Member, Texas Hill Country Chapter. Skyline Ranch Press, 133 Skyline Dr., Comfort, TX 78013. ISBN 978-0-9834160-1-2. $35 plus $4 shipping and handling. 

The 373 biographies vary in size — some brief, some long. They include men with a short time in Kendall County, or long; some at the time of the Civil War and some afterwards. An essay on the subject precedes the biographies. 

Ten appendices analyze aspects of service, such as unit affiliation, prisoner/wounded/dead, obituaries and cemeteries identified, last living soldiers and last widows, etc. 

Controlling Paris: Armed Forces and Counter-Revolution, 1789-1848. By Col. Jonathan M. House, USA (Ret). New York University Press. ISBN 978-1-4798-8115-4. 324 pp. $55. 

When not at war, armies are often used to control civil disorders, especially in eras of rapid social change and unrest. But in nineteenth century Europe, without the technological advances of modern armies and police forces, an army’s only advantages were discipline and organization—and in the face of popular opposition to the regime in power, both could rapidly deteriorate. Such was the case in France after the Napoleonic Wars, where a cumulative recent history of failure weakened an already fragile army’s ability to keep the peace. 

After the February 1848 overthrow of the last king of France, the new republican government proved remarkably resilient, retaining power while pursuing moderate social policies despite the concerted efforts of a variety of radical and socialist groups. These efforts took numerous forms, ranging from demonstrations to attempted coups to full-scale urban combat, and culminated in the crisis of the June Days. At stake was the future of French government and the social and economic policy of France at large. 

In Controlling Paris, Jonathan M. House offers us a study of revolution from the viewpoint of the government rather than the revolutionary. It is not focused on military tactics so much as on the broader issues involved in controlling civil disorders: relations between the government and its military leaders, causes and social issues of public disorder, political loyalty of troops in crisis, and excessive use of force to control civil disorders. Yet somehow, despite all these disadvantages, the French police and armed forces prevented regime change far more often than they failed to do so. 

Viper-7: Forward Air Controlling in South Vietnam in 1966. By Lt. Col. Charles L. Pocock, USAF (Ret), Life Member. McNaughton & Gunn Inc. ISBN 0-9703068-0-6. 448 pp. $36. 

Charles L. Pocock records what happened during his tour of duty as a FAC pilot. Viper-7 was his call sign. His account is gripping. While in country for 12 months, he flew 628 combat missions; one night he walked out of the jungle when his plane was hit by ground fire; has 12 notches on his M-16; on one intense encounter against insurgents, he directed 24 flights providing 62 sorties; and became a “brother” of one of the indigenous Montagnards tribes during one of their religious ceremonies. 

Whips to Walls: Naval Discipline From Flogging to Progressive Era Reform at Portsmouth Prison. By Capt. Rodney K. Watterson, USN (Ret), Life Member. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-61251-445-1. 272 pp. $59.95. 

The abolishment of flogging in 1850 started the U.S. Navy on a quest for a prison system that culminated with the opening of Portsmouth Naval Prison in 1908. During World War I, that prison became the center of the Navy's attempt to reform what many considered outdated means of punishment. Driven by Progressive Era ideals and led by Thomas Mott Osborne, cell doors remained opened, inmates governed themselves, and thousands of rehabilitated prisoners were returned to the fleet. Championed by Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels and Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Roosevelt, Osborne's reforms proceeded positively until Vice Adm. William. Sims and others became convinced that too many troublemakers were being returned to the fleet. In response, FDR led an on-site investigation of conditions at Portsmouth prison, which included charges of gross mismanagement and rampant homosexual activity. Although exonerated, Osborne resigned and initiatives were quickly reversed as the Navy returned to a harsher system. 

Fiction

Buckskin Scots: Book I of the Creation of America. By Col. Art Loughry, USMC (Ret), Life Member. Booklocker.com. ISBN 978-1-62646-912-9. 282 pp. $16.95. Available at www.amazon.com and www.bn.com as a book and e-book. 

The Scottish Mackenzies plan an escape from poverty and an oppressive English King. John provides superior leadership with Scottish soldiers and militias to help the English army control Indians. The Crown’s policies reduce the army as soldiers are sent to confront American rebels who want independence. Events separate the family. The oldest son finds his love at sea in the English Navy while the second son follows his father into military service. Their daughter is a talented artist. The Mackenzies adopt a Negro boy, Joseph who is freed during a counter-attack on renegade Indians. 

The Mackenzies go to America and for seven years they join the quest for independence. They are patriots learning the price is high in blood, separation and distrust of friends. John and Tom create a ranger brigade. Bernard remains an English naval officer. Sarah and Joseph find separate paths to independence. 

Victory at Yorktown, like Lexington and Concord are always celebrated. Between victories come numerous defeats, stalemates, doubts with people trying to live every day out of harm’s way. The English army stays two years with every dawn expecting another battle until a patriot offers a solution sending the English army and loyalists from American soil. 

Long Range Patrol: A Novel of Vietnam. By Lt. Col. Dennis Foley, USA (Ret). San Val. ISBN 978-1417714148. $9.99.

In 1965, Lieutenant Jim Hollister become one of the first platoon leaders helping to develop the support skills that would make LRRPs a legend of the war. Hollister quickly became an expert at judging the abilities and weaknesses of his men--men who became closer than brothers, men who fought for one another in a brutal, merciless jungle war where one small mistake could mean sudden death for everyone...

The Other Eisenhower. By Lt. Col. Augustine Campana, USAF (Ret), Life Member, and Marco Di Tillo. Webster House Publishing, www.campana-ditillo.com. ISBN 978-1-932635-35-5. 272 pp. $14.99. 

The Other Eisenhower is woven into a set of actual events that occurred just prior to 6 June 1944. The tale takes the reader on an exciting journey filled with plot twists, suspense, and danger, all experienced by a simple London postman who unwittingly reads secret Operation Overlord plans and becomes the target of both the Allies, who want to keep him from talking, and the Germans, who are desperate to learn what he knows. The adventure begins on a warm May day with a security breach at the British War Office in Whitehall and progresses to an air base in the English countryside. An abduction and escape then takes the reader on a thrilling adventure from Germany, into Holland, and through Belgium. The story's climax begins in German-occupied France where, with the help of the French Underground, the postman deals with the high intrigue and ominous circumstances of the Nazi Gestapo led by one of Hitler's most sinister generals. From the medieval town of Laon, to a luxurious mansion in Paris, followed by captivity at Rommel's headquarters at La Roche-Guyon, the excitement never stops. Nor does the postman's quest to return home and to the woman he loves. Throughout, we look in on General Dwight Eisenhower and his staff as they implement Allied plans to invade Europe and free that continent from the grip of Hitler's despotism. The reader also experiences the plotting and scheming of Nazi leaders to learn those plans and foil what would be the greatest amphibious assault in history--D-Day. 

The Scarlet Shamrock: A Tale of the Troubles and a Path toVietnam. By Col. John Murphy, USMC (Ret), Life Member. CreateSpace. ISBN 9781489598868. 350 pp. $11.31.

In the turmoil of the 1960s, two strikingly different countries, Ireland and Vietnam, each shared a common conviction-the unification of its country and the expulsion of foreign aggressors. One man, Ned O'Shea, lands in the very heart of this darkness. "The Scarlet Shamrock" is the debut military thriller by John Murphy that charts the perilous journey of a partisan caught up in the brutal throes of two wars. Fierce loyalties clash and betrayals abound. Fast-paced and richly evocative of a turbulent time in world history, this absorbing story charts two legendary conflicts through the lens of one relentless warrior. At the height of "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland, IRA operative Ned O'Shea will stop at nothing to banish the British from his beloved Irish soil. When a traitor reveals Ned's involvement with a plot to assassinate an English official, the Irish patriot is forced to flee his homeland. He slips away aboard a Polish freighter bound for Boston. There, he assumes a false identity and joins the Marine Corps, which leads him to another clash in Vietnam. "The Scarlet Shamrock" offers a vivid and arresting look at a world in chaos, and one man's rigorous resolve to honor both his native land and his newly ingrained Marine commitment. As the United States observes the 50th anniversary of its involvement in Vietnam, this tome, as did the novel "All Quiet on the Western Front," depicts the discord and trauma experienced by those who both lived and served in this period of history.

Memoir

Hangar Flying. By Lt. Col. Alfred J. D’Amario, USAF (Ret). AuthorHouse, www.authorhouse.com. ISBN 978-1-4343-5529-4. 292 pp. $23.55. Order signed copies from the author at www.ajdamario.com or email ajdamario@yahoo.com.

Flying is sometimes defined as "hours and hours of sheer boredom punctuated by moments of stark panic." In HANGER FLYING, Lt/Col Alfred J. D'Amario shares many of those "moments of stark panic" that punctuated the 5,000 or so flying hours he accumulated during his twenty years in the Air Force. The author, who much prefers to be called Joe, takes the reader through Basic and Advanced pilot training, transition to jets, fighter gunnery and fighter bomber training and real combat in Korea. Then there are six years of "peace time" flying in Training Command followed by eleven years of Cold War missions in the six engine B-47 and eight engine B-52. But, Hanger Flying is about in-flight emergencies and hair-raising experiences, not about the hours and hours of just boring holes in the sky. Hanger Flying (the practice, not the book) is what assembled pilots do when they aren't flying. It is a "Can you top this?" exercise in story telling. And that is what the author does in this easy reading, fast paced account of many of the close calls he had both in and out of combat.

A Life of Blood and Danger. By Capt. Daniel J. Hill, USAR (Ret), Life Member, Ancient City (Fla.) Chapter. Dragunkelt Press. ISBN 978-149496576-1. 728 pp. $24.95. Available at www.amazon.com.

From his early childhood, Dan Hill wanted to be a soldier. At the age of 15, he forged his birth certificate and enlisted in the United States Army. By the time he was 22 he had seen action as a covert sniper in the Hungarian Revolution, a paratrooper during the Lebanon invasion, an infiltrator during the Algerian Revolt, a gunrunner to Cuba, an undercover mercenary in the Congo– and he had killed more than 200 men. That's when he stopped counting. That was before two tours in Vietnam, before fighting with the Mujahedin in Afghanistan, before going undercover to spy on Islamic and domestic terrorist groups, before predicting both attacks on the World Trade Center, before doing all those deeds that he officially did not do. Dan Hill has truly lived A Life of Blood and Danger.