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The stunning story of an Alabama serial killer and the true-crime book that Harper Lee worked on obsessively in the years after To Kill a Mockingbird
Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted – thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend. As Alabama is consumed by these gripping events, it’s not long until news of the case reaches Alabama’s – and America’s – most famous writer. Intrigued by the story, Harper Lee makes a journey back to her home state to witness the Reverend’s killer face trial. Harper had the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research. Lee spent a year in town reporting on the Maxwell case and many more years trying to finish the book she called The Reverend.
Now Casey Cep brings this story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country’s most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.
This is the story Harper Lee wanted to write. This is the story of why she couldn’t.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER `His masterpiece' Antony Beevor, Spectator `A masterful performance' Sunday Times `By far the best book on the Vietnam War' Gerald Degroot, The Times, Book of the Year Vietnam became the Western world's most divisive modern conflict, precipitating a battlefield humiliation for France in 1954, then a vastly greater one for the United States in 1975. Max Hastings has spent the past three years interviewing scores of participants on both sides, as well as researching a multitude of American and Vietnamese documents and memoirs, to create an epic narrative of an epic struggle. He portrays the set pieces of Dienbienphu, the Tet offensive, the air blitz of North Vietnam, and less familiar battles such as the bloodbath at Daido, where a US Marine battalion was almost wiped out, together with extraordinary recollections of Ho Chi Minh's warriors. Here are the vivid realities of strife amid jungle and paddies that killed 2 million people. Many writers treat the war as a US tragedy, yet Hastings sees it as overwhelmingly that of the Vietnamese people, of whom forty died for every American. US blunders and atrocities were matched by those committed by their enemies. While all the world has seen the image of a screaming, naked girl seared by napalm, it forgets countless eviscerations, beheadings and murders carried out by the communists. The people of both former Vietnams paid a bitter price for the Northerners' victory in privation and oppression. Here is testimony from Vietcong guerrillas, Southern paratroopers, Saigon bargirls and Hanoi students alongside that of infantrymen from South Dakota, Marines from North Carolina, Huey pilots from Arkansas. No past volume has blended a political and military narrative of the entire conflict with heart-stopping personal experiences, in the fashion that Max Hastings' readers know so well. The author suggests that neither side deserved to win this struggle with so many lessons for the 21st century about the misuse of military might to confront intractable political and cultural challenges. He marshals testimony from warlords and peasants, statesmen and soldiers, to create an extraordinary record.
Vietnam became the Western world’s most divisive modern conflict, precipitating a battlefield humiliation for France in 1954, then a vastly greater one for the United States in 1975. Max Hastings has spent the past three years interviewing scores of participants on both sides, as well as researching a multitude of American and Vietnamese documents and memoirs, to create an epic narrative of an epic struggle. He portrays the set pieces of Dienbienphu, the Tet offensive, the air blitz of North Vietnam, and less familiar battles such as the bloodbath at Daido, where a US Marine battalion was almost wiped out, together with extraordinary recollections of Ho Chi Minh’s warriors. Here are the vivid realities of strife amid jungle and paddies that killed 2 million people.
Many writers treat the war as a US tragedy, yet Hastings sees it as overwhelmingly that of the Vietnamese people, of whom forty died for every American. US blunders and atrocities were matched by those committed by their enemies. While all the world has seen the image of a screaming, naked girl seared by napalm, it forgets countless eviscerations, beheadings and murders carried out by the communists. The people of both former Vietnams paid a bitter price for the Northerners’ victory in privation and oppression. Here is testimony from Vietcong guerrillas, Southern paratroopers, Saigon bargirls and Hanoi students alongside that of infantrymen from South Dakota, Marines from North Carolina, Huey pilots from Arkansas.
No past volume has blended a political and military narrative of the entire conflict with heart-stopping personal experiences, in the fashion that Max Hastings’ readers know so well. The author suggests that neither side deserved to win this struggle with so many lessons for the 21st century about the misuse of military might to confront intractable political and cultural challenges. He marshals testimony from warlords and peasants, statesmen and soldiers, to create an extraordinary record.
From "Library Journal"At long last, the familiar and overused photographs of the "Day of Infamy" can be retired. The 430 prints in this new and welcome collection were gathered from various Japanese and U.S. sources, and most have never been seen by the general public. The majority were taken during the height of the air raid itself, many from Japanese cockpits. Along with numerous maps and sketches, they are arranged according to the various phases of the battle and are supplemented with commentary by two of Gordon Prange's coauthors (Goldstein and Katherine V. Dillon). The overall effect is to give the reader an uncanny sense of being present at the battle. This book will make a wonderful companion piece to Prange's now-classic "At Dawn We Slept,"
Comprehensive ethnographic portrait of contemporary rural Barbados focuses on patterns of work, gender relations and life cycle, community, and religion in St. Lucy Parish. Recurring theme throughout work is impact of widening social relations - throughglobalization, tourism, transnationalism, tech
**The New York Times Bestseller** **The book of the landmark documentary, The Vietnam War, by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick** The definitive work on the Vietnam War, the conflict that came to define a generation, told from all sides by those who were there. More than forty years after the Vietnam War ended, its legacy continues to fascinate, horrify and inform us. As the first war to be fought in front of TV cameras and beamed around the world, it has been immortalised on film and on the page, and forever changed the way we think about war. Drawing on hundreds of brand new interviews, Ken Burns and Geoffrey C. Ward have created the definitive work on Vietnam. It is the first book to show us the war from every perspective: from idealistic US Marines and the families they left behind to the Vietnamese civilians, both North and South, whose homeland was changed for ever; politicians, POWs and anti-war protesters; and the photographers and journalists who risked their lives to tell the truth. The book sends us into the grit and chaos of combat, while also expertly outlining the complex chain of political events that led America to Vietnam. Beautifully written, this essential work tells the full story without taking sides and reminds us that there is no single truth in war. It is set to redefine our understanding of a brutal conflict, to launch provocative new debates and to shed fresh light on the price paid in `blood and bone' by Vietnamese and Americans alike.
The Vietnam War is the definitive illustrated history of the world's first televised war. Compiling insightful maps, at-a-glance timelines, and incredible archive photography, The Vietnam War is an all-encompassing showcase of the story of the conflict, and a reflection on modern issues of battle such as prisoners of war and civil rights. Detailed descriptions of every episode, from Operation Passage to Freedom to the evacuation of the US embassy in Saigon, are enhanced by the stories of those who witnessed the drama unfold. Eyewitness features pick out iconic photographs and individual tales, giving you a truly immersive look at the events of the Vietnam War. Discover the stories of the conflict's most significant figures, with detailed biographies of Henry Kissinger, General Thieu, President Nixon, and Pol Pot. Hundreds of incredible images are brought together to form an incredible visual record of the suffering, sacrifice, and heroism in America's bloodiest conflict of the 20th century.
In 1960, the College Entrance Examination Board became an unexpected participant in the movement to desegregate education in the South. Working with its partner, Educational Testing Services, the College Board quietly integrated its Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) centers throughout the Deep South. Traveling from state to state, taking one school district and even one school at a time, two College Board staff members, both native southerners, waged "a campaign of quiet persuasion" and succeeded, establishing a roster of desegregated test centers within segregated school districts while the historic battle for civil rights raged around them. In the context of the larger struggle for equal opportunities for southern black students, their work addressed a small but critical barrier to higher education.
Shedding light on this remarkable story for the first time, Jan Bates Wheeler tells how the College Board staff members -- Ben Cameron and Ben Gibson -- succeeded. Their candid and thoughtfully written records of conversations and confrontations, untouched for nearly fifty years, reveal the persistence required to reach a goal many thought unachievable and even foolhardy. Indeed, their task placed them in the unusual position of advocating for school desegregation on a day-to-day basis as part of their jobs. This positioned Cameron and Gibson squarely in opposition to prevailing laws, customs, and attitudes -- an ill-advised stance for any nascent business venture, particularly one experiencing competition from a new, rival testing organization purported to accommodate openly those same laws, customs, and attitudes.
Cameron and Gibson also accepted the personal danger involved in confrontations with racist school officials. The officials who cooperated with the pair assumed even greater risk, and in order to minimize that threat, Cameron and Gibson pledged not to publicize their efforts. Even years after their work had ended, the two men refused to write about their campaign for fear of compromising the people who had helped them. Their concerns, according to Wheeler, kept this remarkable story largely untold until now.
The aircraft carrier USS Forrestal was preparing to launch attacks into North Vietnam when one of its jets accidentally fired a rocket into an aircraft occupied by pilot John McCain. A huge fire ensued, and McCain barely escaped before a 1,000-pound bomb on his plane exploded, causing a chain reaction with other bombs on surrounding planes. The crew struggled for days to extinguish the fires, but, in the end, the tragedy took the lives of 134 men. For thirty-five years, the terrible loss of life has been blamed on the sailors themselves, but this meticulously documented history shows that they were truly the victims and heroes.
"What should we tell our children about Vietnam?" That was the question facing junior high school teacher and Vietnam veteran Bill McCloud as he prepared to teach his students about the war. To find the answers, he went straight to the people who were involved in the war: soldiers, politicians, military officers, POWs, nurses, refugees, writers, and parents of soldiers who died in the war. He sent them handwritten letters, and responses poured in from all over the country. A collection of these responses, this book represents a unique and heartening outpouring of national conscience, hindsight, reflection, sorrow, and wisdom.
Respondents included here are: George Bush, Jimmy Carter, Geraldine A Ferraro, Allen Ginsburg, Barry Goldwater, Tom Hayden, Henry Kissinger, Timothy Leary, Robert S. McNamara, George S. Patton, Oliver Stone, Gary Trudeau, Kurt Vonnegut, and Caspar W. Weinberger.
What was it like to be a military combat photographer in the most photographed war in history the Vietnam War? Shooting Vietnam takes you there as you read the firsthand accounts and view the hundreds of photographs by men who lived the war through the lens of a camera. They documented everything from the horror of combat to the people and culture of a land they suddenly found themselves immersed in. Some even juggled cameras with rifles and grenade launchers as they fought to survive while carrying out their assignments to record the war. Shooting Vietnam also finally brings recognition to these unheralded military combat photographers in Vietnam that documented the brutal, unpopular, and futile war. Firsthand accounts and photographs by military photographers in Vietnam from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, Shooting Vietnam puts the reader right alongside these men as they struggle to document the war and stay alive while doing it although some didn't survive. The cameras around their necks often shared space with a rifle or grenade launcher that enabled them to stay alive while performing their assigned military duties, killing, if necessary, to survive. Often, during a brief respite from trudging through swamps and rice paddies or jumping from a chopper into a hot landing zone, they would wander the streets of villages or even downtown Saigon, curiously photographing a people and a culture so strange and different to them. It is these photographs, of a kinder, more personal nature, removed from the horror and death of war that they also share with the reader. The accounts in this book come from twelve men, all who had their own unique perspective on the war. Some were seasoned photographers before the military, others had only recently held a camera for the first time.
Exam Board: AQA, Edexcel, OCR & WJEC Level: AS/A-level Subject: History First Teaching: September 2015 First Exam: June 2016 Think more deeply and work more independently at A level History through a carefully thought-out enquiry approach from SHP. Enquiring History: It makes you think! The OFSTED report on school history suggests that the current generation of A Level students have been poorly served by exam-based textbooks which spoon-feed students while failing to enthuse them or develop deeper understandings of studying History The Schools History Project has risen to this challenge with a new series for the next generation. Enquiring History is SHP's fresh approach to Advanced Level History that aims: - To motivate and engage readers - To help readers think and gain independence as learners - To encourage enquiry, and deeper understanding of periods and the people of the past - To engage with current scholarship - To prepare A Level students for university Key features of each Student book - Clear compelling narrative - books are designed to be read cover to cover - Structured enquiries - that explore the core content and issues of each period - 'Insight' panels between enquiries provide context, overview, and extension - Full colour illustrations throughout The Vietnam War in context The Vietnam War was much more than just a war. As a conflict it was drawn out and deadly, but in the history of the 20th century its significance goes well beyond those jungle encounters that have been represented in so many feature films. The Vietnam War was also a watershed event in the story of American foreign policy and their attempt to contain Communism. This book examines how and why the Americans got so involved in Vietnam and with what consequences. It also examines its relationship to the Korean War and to World War Two; and how the Vietnam experience shaped US foreign policy over the following decades and into the present. Web-based support includes: - Lesson planning tools and guidance for teachers available from the SHP website http://www.schoolshistoryproject.org.uk/Publishing/BooksSHP/BooksALvlEHS.html - eBooks for whole class teaching or individual student reading available from eBook retailers
Every war has its "bridge"--Old North Bridge at Concord, Burnside's Bridge at Antietam, the railway bridge over Burma's River Kwai, the bridge over Germany's Rhine River at Remagen, and the bridges over Korea's Toko Ri. In Vietnam it was the bridge at Thanh Hoa, called Dragon's Jaw. For seven long years hundreds of young US airmen flew sortie after sortie against North Vietnam's formidable and strategically important bridge, dodging a heavy concentration of anti-aircraft fire and enemy MiG planes. Many American airmen were shot down, killed, or captured and taken to the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" POW camp. But after each air attack, when the smoke cleared and the debris settled, the bridge stubbornly remained standing. For the North Vietnamese it became a symbol of their invincibility; for US war planners an obsession; for US airmen a testament to American mettle and valor. Using after-action reports, official records, and interviews with surviving pilots, as well as untapped Vietnamese sources, Dragon's Jaw chronicles American efforts to destroy the bridge, strike by bloody strike, putting readers into the cockpits, under fire. The story of the Dragon's Jaw is a story rich in bravery, courage, audacity, and sometimes luck, sometimes tragedy. The "bridge" story of Vietnam is an epic tale of war against a determined foe.
'Wilensky does a fine job of examining medical aid programs in Vietnam and offers astute 'take aways'...This is a fine piece of scholarshipone that should inspire other historians to explore similar areas of the American experience in Vietnam' - ""Journal of Military History"". 'This well-researched volume contains much detail on the clinical and cultural problems of applying modern medicine in an underdeveloped country' - ""Journal of American History"". 'This volume covers the war from a truly different angle. Recommended' - ""Choice"". 'Rarely does one read a history book that has immediate lessons that can be applied. [This] is such a book...Highly recommended for those interested in the history of the Vietnam War' - ""On Point"". 'A valuable retrospective of the U.S. humanitarian military medical experience in Vietnam from the first engagement in 1954 to the departure of U.S. forces in 1973' - James Peake, ""Health Affairs"". American soldiers have provided medical aid to civilians in many wars, and no less in the Vietnam War, where there were more than forty million contacts between U.S. medical personnel and Vietnamese civilians. Robert J. Wilensky, using data derived from extensive archival research as well as his personal experience in Vietnam, shows how medical aid to Vietnamese civilians, at first based simply on good will, became policy. The original Medical Civic Action Program (MEDCAP), by which unit medical teams treated civilians in their area, soon expanded to other acronymically designated programs: the Military Provincial Hospital (later Health) Assistance Program (MILPHAP), the Civilian War Casualty Program (CWCP), and the Provincial Health Assistance Program (PHAP). Although MEDCAP treated many, American doctors were uniformly unhappy about the superficial care they were able to give. Labs, x-ray machines, and surgery were not available at the unit level; follow-up was sketchy or nonexistent. Other programs became so politicized that they were almost ineffective. Coordination with the government of South Vietnam was poor, creating areas that were underserved. Most important, there is no evidence that the good will built by U.S. doctors transferred to South Vietnamese forces. American programs may have emphasized the inability of the Republic of Vietnam to provide basic health care to its own people and may have demonstrated to Vietnamese civilians that foreign soldiers cared more for them than their own troops did. If that is the case, the programs actually did more harm than good in the attempt to win hearts and minds. Robert J. Wilensky, a battalion medical officer in Vietnam in 1967-68, is a surgeon who also holds a Ph.D. in history. He is on the staff of the Historical Section of the Office of the Surgeon General of the Army, teaches at George Mason University and American University, and has an appointment at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
Following the end of World War II, France attempted to reassert control over its colonies in Indochina. In Vietnam, this was resisted by the Viet Minh leading to the First Indochina War. By 1954, the French army was on the defensive and determined to force the Viet Minh into a decisive set-piece battle at Dien Bien Phu.
Over the past five decades, Western authors have generally followed a standard narrative of the siege of Dien Bien Phu, depicting the Viet Minh besiegers as a faceless horde which overwhelmed the intrepid garrison by sheer weight of numbers, superior firepower, and logistics. However, a wealth of new Vietnamese-language sources tell a very different story, revealing for the first time the true Viet Minh order of battle and the details of the severe logistical constraints within which the besiegers had to operate. Using these sources, complemented by interviews with French veterans and research in the French Army and French Foreign Legion archives, this book, now publishing in paperback, provides a new telling of the climactic battle in the Indochina War, the conflict that set the stage for the Vietnam War a decade later.
Analyzes the raucous career of one of the Mexican Revolution's central figures - Provides a fascinating introduction to Mexican political and cultural history - Examines a contentious period in U.S.-Mexican relations Starting with twenty-eight followers, Francisco Pancho Villa rose out of banditry to become a dynamic strategist who mastered the tactical use of a diverse array of weapons, including modern railroads and cavalry, to contest control of Mexico. In his early days as a brigand, the peasantry idolized him because he often gave them the largesse of his raids on the wealthy haciendas. His military career began in 1910 during the Mexican Revolution, and by the time of his defeat at the Battle of Celaya in 1915 he commanded 15,000 horsemen. Villa could be a generous patron to his loyal followers but a terrifying enemy. He believed that those whom he defeated earned the "privilege" of being executed by his own hand. During the bloodiest months of the Mexican Revolution, he even contended for control of the nation. He could not be intimidated by anyone, including the U.S. Army's Punitive Expedition led by Gen. John J. Pershing, who was sent to capture Villa after his raids into New Mexico during 1916. He died as he lived, violently, the victim of an assassination squad in 1923. Robert Scheina analyzes this complex man and provides a solid overview of Mexico's political history against the fabric of social and cultural turmoil.
Ron Kovic went to Vietnam dreaming of being an American hero. What he found there changed him profoundly, even before the severe battlefield injury that left him paralysed from the waist down. He returned to an America indifferent to the realities of war and the fate of those who fought for their country. From his wheelchair he became one of the most visible and outspoken opponents of the Vietnam War. Born on the Fourth of July is a journey of self-discovery, a reckoning with the horrors of an unjust war, a testament to courage and a call to protest. A modern classic of anti-war writing, it inspired an Oscar-winning film, sold over one million copies and remains as powerful and relevant today as when it was first published.
James Tollefson imparts an oral history that has the compelling drama of the best fiction. Conscientious objectors tell the stories behind the classification: the depth of their conviction, their efforts to prove sincere opposition in the face of persecution and criminal prosecution, and their feelings today about their actions during the Vietnam War.
In the fall of 1965, Army cadet Tom Carhart and five others at West Point Academy pulled off a feat of precision and ingenuity that made them famous: the theft of the Navy's Billy-Goat mascot from their rival academy, Annapolis, just before the biggest game of the year. With U.S. forces in Vietnam swollen to nearly 200,000 and American casualties steadily growing, it was an unnerving time to join the military. At West Point, the young men preparing to graduate the following June were well aware that they would be called upon to serve, and quite possibly die, in that far-off country where war raged. That November would be the last Army-Navy football game any of the six cadets would ever participate in, so they had to make it count. After an embarrassing theft of their mascot ten years earlier, the Navy went to extraordinary lengths to make sure it could never happen again. Formal agreements were made between the two superintendents, who subsequently threatened fire and brimstone to any of their charges who dared go near the other Academy. To reinforce those orders, during the week before The Big Game, the Navy placed their goat in an effectively impregnable lockup under 24/7 guard by U.S. Marines at an intimidating Naval Security Station--a modern day Golden Fleece. The Golden Fleece by Tom Carhart is the incredible true story, told by one of the participants, of how six West Point cadets in the Class of 1966 set out to steal that Golden Fleece, and how they succeeded against all odds. The Golden Fleece is a rollicking non-fiction military caper about a famous prank conducted by these cadets as their one last hurrah before shipping off to a war they might not come back from.
In the summer of 1967, the Marines in I Corps, South Vietnam's northernmost military region, were doing everything they could to lighten the pressure on the besieged Con Thien Combat Base. Still fresh after months of relatively light action around Khe Sanh, the 3d Battalion, 26th Marines, was sent to the Con Thien region to secure the combat bases' endangered main supply route. On 7 September 1967, its first full day in the new area of operations, separate elements of the battalion were attacked by at least two battalions of North Vietnamese infantry, and both were nearly overrun in night-long battles. On 10 September, while advancing to a new sector near Con Thien, the 3d Battalion, 26th Marines, was attacked by at least a full North Vietnamese regiment, the same NVA unit that had attacked it two days earlier. Divided into two separate defensive perimeters, the Marines battled through the afternoon and evening against repeated assaults by waves of NVA regulars intent upon achieving a major victory. In a battle described as 'Custer's Last Stand-With Air Support', the Americans prevailed by the narrowest of margins. Ambush Valley is an unforgettable account of bravery and survival under impossible conditions. It is told entirely in the words of the men who faced the ordeal together - an unprecedented mosaic of action and emotion woven into an incredibly clear and vivid combat narrative by one of today's most effective military historians. Ambush Valley achieves a new standard for oral history. It is a war story not to be missed.
The last great secret of the Vietnam War is revealed in a gripping
book that is the culmination of efforts for which the authors
received a Pulitzer Prize for investigative
On 18 August 1965, regiment fought regiment on the Van Tuong Peninsula near the new Marine base at Chu Lai - the first major clash of the Vietnam War. On the American side were three battalions of Marines under the command of Colonel Oscar Peatross, a hero of two previous wars. His opponent was the 1st Viet Cong Regiment commanded by Nguyen Dinh Trong, a veteran of many fights against the French and the South Vietnamese. Codenamed Operation Starlite, this action was a resounding success for the Marines and its result was cause for great optimism about America's future in Vietnam. Starlite catapulted the Vietnam War into the headlines across America and into the minds of Americans, where it took up residence for more than a decade. Starlite was the first step in Vietnam's becoming America's tar baby. The phrase "han tu" - "blood debt," came into Vietnamese usage early in the war with the United States. With this battle, the Johnson Administration began compiling its own blood debt, this one to the American people This unique account of the battle is based not only on interviews with the Marines involved, from private to colonel, but also on interviews and battlefield walks with men who fought with the 1st Viet Cong Regiment, all of them accomplished combat veterans years before the U.S. entry into the war. The result is a detailed narrative of the battle from the mud level, by those who were at the point of the spear. The book also examines the ongoing conflict between the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marines about the methodology of the Vietnam War. With decades of experience with insurrection and rebellion, the Marines were institutionally oriented to base the struggle on pacification of the population. The Army, on the other hand, having largely trained to meet the Soviet Army on the plains of Germany, opted for search-and-destroy missions against Communist main force units. The history of the Vietnam War is littered with many 'what ifs'. This may be the biggest of them.
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