City of Death: Humanitarian Warriors in the Battle of Mosul by Ephraim Mattos
Publisher: Center Street
This is the true story of Ephraim Mattos, a former US Navy SEAL, and what he witnessed while volunteering as a frontline combat medic during the historic battle to retake Mosul from ISIS - the deadliest urban combat the world has seen since WWII. After leaving the US Navy SEAL teams in spring of 2017, Ephraim Mattos, age twenty-four, flew to Iraq to join a small group of volunteer humanitarians known as the Free Burma Rangers, who were working on the frontlines of the war on ISIS. Until being shot by ISIS on a suicidal rescue mission, Mattos witnessed unexplainable acts of courage and sacrifice by the Free Burma Rangers, who, while under heavy machine gun and mortar fire, assaulted across ISIS minefields, used themselves as human shields, and sprinted down ISIS-infested streets-all to retrieve wounded civilians. In City of Death: Humanitarian Warriors in the Battle of Mosul, Mattos recounts in vivid detail what he saw and felt while he and the other Free Burma Rangers evacuated the wounded, conducted rescue missions, and at times fought shoulder-to-shoulder with the Iraqi Army against ISIS. Filled with raw and emotional descriptions of what it's like to come face-to-face with death, this is the harrowing and uplifting true story of a small group of men who risked everything to save the lives of the Iraqi people and who followed the credence, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." As the coauthor of the #1 New York Times bestselling American Sniper, Scott McEwen has teamed up with Mattos to help share an unforgettable tale of an American warrior turned humanitarian forced to fight his way into and out of a Hell on Earth created by ISIS.
The Hidden History of Burma: Race, Capitalism, and the Crisis of Democracy in the 21st Century by Thant Myint-U
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Less than a decade ago, the world cheered as a dictatorship crumbled and internationally beloved Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi emerged from twenty years of house arrest. Yet just three years after her landslide victory at the polls, the country stands accused of war crimes and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims. As an historian, former diplomat, and presidential advisor, Thant Myint-U was part of the momentous changes that pulled Burma toward democracy, working with the ex- generals and meeting many of the country's biggest supporters, from Bono to Barack Obama. Yet no one was prepared to Burma's underlying challenges, from fast- rising inequality, disintegrating state institutions, and the impacts of climate change, to the rise of China next door and the issues of race, religion, and "national identity" deeply rooted in the country's traumatic colonial past. In this riveting insider's diagnosis of a country in crisis, Myint-U challenges the black-and-white morality tales that have never fit the realities of Burma.
Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Croke
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
"J.H. "Billy" Williams always had an affinity for animals. So, when he responded to job offer with the East India Company to work with logging elephants his family wasn't surprised, though worried that he had already come back from World War I in one piece, would he be so lucky with India? Not only did he find his calling with the elephants in India, Billy and his elephants became war heroes. At the onset of World War II, Williams formed Elephant Company and was instrumental in defeating the Japanese in Burma and saving refugees, including on his own "Hannibal Trek." Billy Williams became a media sensation during the war, telling reporters that the elephants did more for him than he was ever able to do for them, but his story has since been forgotten. Part biography, part war story, and part wildlife adventure, Croke delivers an utterly charming narrative and an important, little-known piece of the legacy of World War II"--
"What God abandoned, these defended / And saved the sum of things for pay." In the bleak winter of 1941-1942, no American or British force could stem the tide in Southeast Asia, as the Philippines, Thailand, Malaya, and Singapore fell to the victorious Japanese. Only in Burma was there a ray of hope. There, over beleaguered Rangoon, a few dozen Americans clawed Japanese warplanes from the sky for a cash bounty from the Chinese government. Wearing mismatched uniforms, with Chinese insignia, and flying cast-off fighter planes, they did what no other air force seemed able to do, and won immortality as the Flying Tigers. Daniel Ford wrote "the definitive history" of the American Volunteer Group, as it was formally known. Here, he has collected five e-books about the Flying Tigers into an omnibus that details the AVG's planes, pilots, and history as remembered in the United States and in Japan. An essential collection for every admirer of the Flying Tigers. "The AVG's first encounter with the Japanese Air Force over Kunming, China, on 20 December 1941 is often written about. The version Dan Ford presents here is probably the most complete picture extant." (First Blood for the Flying Tigers) "I can wholeheartedly recommend his work to anyone desiring insight into the early years of the JAAF" (Rising Sun Over Burma) "Very well written and full of new information about a fascinating time in our history" (100 Hawks for China) "A unique insight into how the Japanese appeared to the pilots meeting them, and how the AVG learned to deal with them" (AVG Confidential)
Old Souls: Compelling Evidence from Children Who Remember Past Lives by Tom Shroder
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
A riveting firsthand account of one man’s mission to investigate and document some of the most astonishing phenomena of our time—children who speak of past life memory and reincarnation. All across the globe, small children spontaneously speak of previous lives, beg to be taken “home,” pine for mothers and husbands and mistresses from another life, and know things that there seems to be no normal way for them to know. From the moment these children can talk, they speak of people and events from the past—not vague stories of centuries ago, but details of specific, identifiable individuals who may have died just months, weeks, or even hours before the birth of the child in question. For thirty-seven years, Dr. Ian Stevenson has traveled the world from Lebanon to suburban Virginia investigating and documenting more than two thousand of these past life memory cases. Now, his essentially unknown work is being brought to the mainstream by Tom Shroder, the first journalist to have the privilege of accompanying Dr. Stevenson in his fieldwork. Shroder follows Stevenson into the lives of children and families touched by this phenomenon, changing from skeptic to believer as he comes face-to-face with concrete evidence he cannot discount in this spellbinding and true story.
The Burma Road: The Epic Story of the China-Burma-India Theater in World War II (P.S.) by Donovan Webster
Publisher: Harper Perennial
As the Imperial Japanese Army swept across China and South Asia at World War II's outset, closing all of China's seaports, more than 200,000 Chinese laborers embarked on a seemingly impossible task: to cut a 700-mile overland route -- the Burma Road -- from the southwest Chinese city of Kunming to Lashio, Burma. But when Burma fell in 1942, the Burma Road was severed. As the first step of the Allied offensive toward Japan, American general Joseph Stilwell reopened it, while, at the same time, keeping China supplied by air-lift from India and simultaneously driving the Japanese out of Burma. From the breathtaking adventures of the American "Hump" pilots who flew hair-raising missions over the Himalayas to make food-drops in China to the true story of the mission that inspired the famous film The Bridge on the River Kwai, to the grueling jungle operations of Merrill's Marauders and the British Chindit Brigades, The Burma Road vividly re-creates the sprawling, sometimes hilarious, often harrowing, and still largely unknown stories of one of the greatest chapters of World War II.
'A thrilling blow-by-blow account' The Times In February 1944, a rag-tag collection of clerks, drivers, doctors, muleteers, and other base troops, stiffened by a few dogged Yorkshiremen and a handful of tank crews managed to hold out against some of the finest infantry in the Japanese Army, and then defeat them in what was one of the most astonishing battles of the Second World War. What became know as The Defence of the Admin Box, fought amongst the paddy fields and jungle of Northern Arakan over a fifteen-day period, turned the battle for Burma. Not only was it the first decisive victory for British troops against the Japanese, more significantly, it demonstrated how the Japanese could be defeated. The lessons learned in this tiny and otherwise insignificant corner of the Far East, set up the campaign in Burma that would follow, as General Slim's Fourteenth Army finally turned defeat into victory. Burma '44 is a tale of incredible drama. As gripping as the story of Rorke's drift, as momentous as the battle for the Ardennes, the Admin Box was a triumph of human grit and heroism and remains one of the most significant yet undervalued conflicts of World War Two.
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