Was ever another war fought with more literary panache than the English Civil War? The pugnacious royalist poets known as the Cavaliers receive vivid treatment from the erudite John Stubbs, who dispels the cliché of their dandified nature and shows such men as Robert Herrick and Sir John Suckling in all their brawling glory.
Casting a contrarian eye on the first major conflict of the twentieth century, Sean McMeekin finds the roots of WWI inside Russia, whose leaders deliberately sought -- for their own ends -- to expand a brawl that the Germans wanted to keep local. The author tracks the fallout of these antique plots right down to the present geopolitical landscape.
Michael Hastings' startling 2010 Rolling Stone essay "The Runaway General" painted a portrait of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, then the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, that shocked readers and resulted in McChrystal's ouster. In this revealing book, Hastings delves deeper into the conduct of high-level military brass and the complexities of our involvement in the chaotic region. An irreverent take on the realities of modern conflict.
Mungo Melvin's biography of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein depicts the career of a general as accomplished as Erwin Rommel, albeit less well known. Accorded high honors for military brilliance by both his peers and his enemies, von Manstein possessed a genius in the field that was matched only by his independence of spirit (he disobeyed Hitler and was punished for his temerity). His long postwar career helped Germany to recover from the havoc he had unleashed.
In a virtual onslaught of fast-firing and insightful essays, Victor Davis Hanson ranges from ancient Greece to the present day to consider why mankind has always made war, whether the nature of conflict has changed, and how the seemingly ineradicable practice of large-scale violence can be made to offer some benefits amidst the primary and collateral damage.
W. Stanley Moss's true story of one of the Second World War's most daring adventures unfolds on the island of Crete, where British commandos and Greek resistance fighters kidnap Nazi General Heinrich Kreipe and spirit him away to British-occupled Egypt. Added to the thrill of the caper itself is the reader's delight in realizing that standing tall among its ingenious heroes is one of the best English prose writers of modern times, Patrick Leigh Fermor.
May 20: Blue jeans celebrate their unofficial 140th birthday today, the dry goods merchant Levi Strauss and the tailor Jacob Davis receiving a patent on May 20, 1873 for "a new article of manufacture, a pair of pantaloons having the…