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Book report

Thaddeus Kosciuszko

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Cliff notes on the books I've read over the past month...




Some might not like this book as it doesn't contain the graphic intensity of Marine infantry accounts of WWII.  I think the author's experience probably resembled many other young men serving as pilots in any of the services.  I liked the book for that reason - it made it understandable why so many WWII veterans spoke so little about their war experience.





I've read very little about the Great Depression or that era. Through the lives of the people in the book, it ties together the economic, social, and scientific factors that lead to the Dust Bowl   A fact I found interesting - some areas of the Midwest turned into desert by the Dust Bowl in the 1930's are still virtually uninhabitable desert today.





Story about how the medical profession took some cells during a routine examination and - as was ethical at the time - turned them into a huge industry with no compensation to the person from whom the cells were taken.  By the way, that can still happen today. 





It's almost silly for me to say anything at all about the book because the author is so accomplished. But I will anyway.  I really enjoyed this book.  The author presents a series of reflections on Civil War topics with some conclusions and opinions rather different than popular belief.






Well, perhaps not epic, and perhaps not WWII's most daring submarine raid but still a pretty good book about a group of submarines sent to sink Japanese ships in the Sea of Japan at the end of WWII. Interesting side story about the technology that let submarines 'see' mines while submerged.




The Russians had many times more troops and tanks in Europe than their former Allies when they closed off Berlin from the world - except from the air.  Pilots from England and the US flew military and civilian cargo planes into improvised Berlin airports, in dense fog, entirely on instruments, literally between apartment buildings, and landing a plane as often a once every 30 seconds to keep Berliners supplied with food and fuel.




After Germany conquered France in WWII men joined the Resistance.  And the German military and Gestapo swept up many of them.  French women took their places, and Germans swept them up too.  A group of women were sent to Bergen-Belsen and then Ravensbruck.  Not many survived.




During WWII Jewish people were detained in Italy under much different conditions than elsewhere in Europe.  Originally I thought the book was about those times.  Instead, it's about a number of visits back to Italy of Jewish people living in America who lived in through the War in Italy.  The visits were arranged by an American woman with ties to an Italian town.  I didn't like the writing style and all the 'testimonials' woven into the story about how wonderful everyone thought the author was for arranging these trips.  Disappointing.




I really liked this book.  Politics, intrigue, mercenaries, religion, slavery, impossible odds, desperate bluffing, patriotism and courage all set in motion by significant figures from America's early history.  But wait! There's more!  But I'm not going to tell you so you have to read it for yourself.


And that's all I have for now.  ;)

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