Chapter 22 - The War To End All Wars
During the Vietnam War there was a poster created that had a gun with a daisy sticking out. There was a caption which read, "What if they gave a war and nobody came?" While the sentiment is great, the reality is that as long as humans have roamed the earth there have been wars. So, this Memorial Day is a great time to honor those brave men and women who have fought and died to keep our country safe from invaders and to protect others.
Here are some nonfiction books both which will give you insight into various wars America has been involved in. As George Bernard Shaw said, "We learn from history that we learn nothing from history."
Killing England by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard - This is a wonderful book about the American Revolution. The history is accurate and it reads like a novel. O'Reilly always puts interesting and usually unknown facts in his Killing books.
Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans by Brian Kilmeade - Andrew Jackson gets a bad rap nowadays but his strategy against the British in New Orleans was brilliant. This is an important read for any student of history.
Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson - If you've always wanted to know about political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the end
of the Civil War, McPherson's book is the one for you. While being comprehensive in scope, it is fast paced and easy to digest.
The First World War by John Keegan - World War I created the modern world. It was a war of empires ruled by royalty and overtaken by social and political upheaval. John Keegan's book is a great primer of this war, the events leading up to it, the battles, and the mistakes made at the end.
Eyewitness to World War II: Unforgettable Stories From History's Greatest Conflict by Stephen Hyslop - I have mentioned this before as it is my favorite World War II book. Not only does the book present stories of the men and women who fought this war but the accompanying narrative is a thorough look at the events of the time. This would be a great present for your favorite history buff.
The Korean War by Max Hastings - The 1950's saw so much change in the post-World War II years. Much of it was prompted by the growing rise of Communism. The Korean War was an outgrowth of this movement and The Korean War a part of that. Hastings' book chronicles the first war that America did not win.
We Were Soldiers Once and Young by Lt. General Harold T. Moore - In November 1965, some 450 men of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Col. Hal Moore, were dropped by helicopter into a small clearing in the Ia Drang Valley. They were immediately surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers. This is their story.
The Gulf War Chronicles : A Military History of the First War with Iraq by Richard Lowry - Now seemingly a blip on the radar of history, the First Gulf War was about liberating Kuwait, an independent country, from the invasion staged by Saddam Hussein. This is a factual military history of Operation Desert Storm-and the only readable and thorough chronicle of the entire war.
Without making too much of a political statement about this - I always hope we live and learn from war. Sadly it seems human beings are truly incapable of living in peace. Maybe the next generations of humans will have it figured out. In the meantime on this Memorial Day, 2022 - I sincerely thank all who have served and especially all who have died for the freedoms we enjoy!