Anyone Read A Good NON-Fiction Book Lately?

May 20, 2006
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#1
This thread is for the (titled) topic of any good NON-Fiction books. Due to the eclectic tastes and interests here on The 'Hide, there is a huge potential for knowledge expansion for so many others. Share it, here!

The Rice Paddy Navy by Linda Kush - U.S. Sailors Undercover In China, Espionage and sabotage behind japanese lines in China during World War II.
One Hundred Victories b y Linda Robinson - Special Ops and the future of American Warfare.

Currently Reading:
13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff - The inside account of what really happened in Benghazi

On Deck:
Murder At Camp Delta by Joseph Hickman - A Staff Sergeant's pursuit of the truth about Guantanamo Bay

Whaddayagot't'add?
 
#4
In the middle of reading "Blood Red Snow". It's by a MG42 gunner who wrote notes/journals about his time fighting the Russians around Stalingrad. First time I've read a WW2 book from the German perspective... kinda surprised I actually found sad for them but in the end they just want to survive.
 
Likes: AndreC
Feb 14, 2017
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"Hard Choices" by Hilary Clinton. Kind of preachy and repetitive, and I keep hearing this horrible whiny voice in my head as I'm reading it, but FUNNY AS HELL! I wouldn't have bought it, but I found a couple of boxes of brand new copies in the Dumpster behind the local Barnes & Noble.
 

rg1911

Gunny Sergeant
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#6
History of the Second World War, B.H. Liddell Hart. Superb treatise by a Brit about Allied and Axis actions during WWII. Does a thorough job of roasting politicians (including Churchill) and generals convinced that WWI tactics were applicable to WWII. Liddell Hart advocated mechanized warfare in the 1920s; unfortunately, the only person who paid attention was Guderian. I would rate this as a "must read" for anyone even remotely interested in WWII.

Combat Actions in Korea, Capt Russell Gugeler. Small unit actions written by a combat veteran (WWII Pacific). Also includes a chapter by Martin Blumenson, another combat vet, who is noted for writing The Patton Papers, among numerous other books.

Okinawa: The Last Battle, Roy Appleman, James M. Burns, Russell Gugeler, Stevens. Written from personal observation at the front. (For instance, Gugeler picked up the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.) Also includes section written by Edmund G. Love, later known for Subways Are for Sleeping. I think Stevens was the colonel overseeing the book; unlike the others, I don't believe he wrote anything (at least post-war).

The Halder War Diary 1939-1942, Gen. Franz Halder (Chief of the German General Staff, 1938-1942). Fascinating chronicle kept by the man who planned the invasions of Poland and France. Fired by Hitler for disagreeing about Hitler's bad decisions during the Russian campaign. Gen. Halder and his wife later were imprisoned in Dachau until freed by American troops.

Cheers,
Richard
 
May 20, 2006
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#8
So as I stated earlier, I just finished reading 13 Hours. Has anyone else read it? If that book don't rip you apart, then you ain't human. It isn't a 'finger-pointing diatribe', it is a very detailed tome of the happenings, from each person's perspective. In the best way possible, considering.

They make it a point to give the information and details as clearly and accurately as possible. For YOU, the reader, to formulate your own opinions. For me, it was the "timing duration" that got me. It was so 'minimal and downplayed'..... and yet one of the most poignant points of the whole debacle.

I'd almost go as far as to say "there are certain people whom we should be hanging from our own bridges....." but it wouldn't be civilized of me to say such, would it? Especially on Easter Sunday.

So I won't......
 
Apr 19, 2017
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81 days below zero

Actual account of a test pilot who survived 81 days in the Alaskan bush after a plane crash.

Great story and easy quick read.


Sent from NSA wire tapped device.
 
Likes: Rover31

Scarface26

knuckle dragger
Feb 14, 2017
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#11
The Warrior's Reading list:

The following books fit the criteria of being "really good." There are other books that are historically accurate, but that do not read like a novel. These are books I couldn't put down until I'd finished them.

WWII - Front Soldaten, Forgotten Soldier, Blond Knight of Germany, and Stuka Pilot. Biggest takeaway from these books is physical toughness. In Stuka Pilot, Rudel basically runs a naked barefoot marathon in Russia in winter. Blond knight of Germany: Erich Hartmann shoots down 350 ish aircraft, surrenders to the Americans, and is handed over to the Russians where he spends the next 11 years in a Russian gulag. Increidbly, his wife, Ursula, waits for him the whole time. How many of us have come back from a 60 day trip (contractors) in the sandbox to find a significant other who has moved on? the other two are chronicles of the Wehrmacht's version of the 0311 or 11B. All books recommended to me by USMA history professors and combat veterans. Don't forget "Strong Men Armed," by Robert Leckie - a must read about an 0311 in WWII.

Korea - Cloder than Hell - about the Chosin Reservoir.

Vietnam - Five Years to Freedom - Nick Rowe.

Indian Wars - Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee, Empire of the Summer Moon, A Sorrow in our Hearts - story of Tecumseh. Each of these is great. Talks again about physical toughness - old timer Indians were masters at going without food or water in order to cover what would still be record distances on horseback or even on foot. Think Nebraska to Mexico and back every year. Also, don't miss "Crow Killer, the saga of Liver eating Johnson." This is the historical story of the REAL Jeremiah Johnson, not the sensitive vegan played by Robert Redford. Short, you could read it in a night.

If I've posted something that most here have already read, please forgive my ignorance. Otherwise enjoy.

God bless Ameirca
 
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#13
Half way through "Gallipoli Sniper." Chronicles the life and expolits of Billy Sing circa WW1. Known as the "Anzac Angel of Death" and "Assassin of Gallipoli. Considered to be the most successful sniper and most feared man in Gallipoli.
 
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Apr 17, 2010
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#14
Indian Wars - Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee, Empire of the Summer Moon, A Sorrow in our Hearts - story of Tecumseh. Each of these is great. Talks again about physical toughness - old timer Indians were masters at going without food or water in order to cover what would still be record distances on horseback or even on foot. Think Nebraska to Mexico and back every year. Also, don't miss "Crow Killer, the saga of Liver eating Johnson." This is the historical story of the REAL Jeremiah Johnson, not the sensitive vegan played by Robert Redford. Short, you could read it in a night.


Johnson is an interesting character. I read "Crow Killer" a number of years ago and wish I still had my copy. The internet has made research so much easier. Back in the day around '72 when the film came out, I had a friend whose family had lived in Red Lodge, Montana forever. His uncle had lived in one of Johnson's cabins when Johnson was sheriff (constable?) of Red Lodge. It can be almost impossible to separate legend from fact
 

sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
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#16
Currently reading Prisoners of the Red Desert... a book by the captain of the HMS Tara, an auxiliary cruiser that was torpedoed in WW1 off the coast of Libya. The crew was taken by the Senussi and held as POW's until rescued by British forces. One of the un-heard-of stories of WW1 that I find fascinating. There is a lot of information and parallels that are interesting and relevant to today's mess in the sandbox.

Cheers,

Sirhr
 
May 20, 2006
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#17
Finished "Murder At Camp Delta" by Joseph Hickman.
"A Staff Sergeant's pursuit of the Truth about Guantanamo Bay"

Mother-In-Law gave me the book for Christmas, and I was able to read it. "Interesting" would be one word to use. Throw some "suspicious" in there, with a little bit of "disgust" to boot, and you've got a quorum.

 

Mr. Zick

Small Arms Artillery
Feb 20, 2017
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#18
If your a strange one like me I would suggest "Digging up mother" by Doug Stanhope. A filthy stand up comics life story including the assisted suicide of his oddball mother. Be warned there's some Maggie's material in it. If your outside the U.S. I believe it was released as "The long version of a suicide post-it note".
 
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Ive been waiting til next week for former Navy Seal Brandon Webbs new book, The Killing School. Its about how he revemped the Seals sniper program and how that has affected their combat capabilities.
 
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#20
Phantom Warrior: The Heroic True Story Of Private John McKinney's One-Man Stand Against the Japanese in Word War II by Forrest Bryant Johnson
Great book about a young private who grew up in a sharecropper's family in Georgia who ended up winning the Congressional Medal of Honor

Fearless by Eric Blehm
Amazing story of Adam Brown a SEAL in DEVGRU. It's not just about him being a SEAL, but more about the man he was and what an amazing man he became and his trials and tribulations and how God and his wife turned everything around- There are parts when you read it, you want to put it down and hug your family.

American Gun by Chris Kyle
He tells the story of our country through what he believes are the 10 most influential firearms in American history.,

Meat Eater: Adventures From The Life Of An American Hunter by Steve Rinella
Fun read by the host of Meat Eater- just makes you want to hunt and then eat something

On deck is Carry On: Stan Zuray's Journey from Boston Greaser to Alaskan Homesteader
Can't wait for this one, its the Boston guy from Yukon Men on Discovery- I swear he can fix/make anything

These are a few of my favorite non fiction books as of late
 
Likes: Rover31
Dec 13, 2011
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#21
Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger. Absolutely awesome. First hand account of a German soldier in WW1. German humor is extremely strange and dry. But regardless, its easy to respect the valor in combat displayed by a young teenager in what musta seemed like the end of the world. Might even go so far as to say he was a real bloodthirsty son of a gun.
As a companion to the above, A Rifleman Went to War by Mcbride. From the American/Canadian side. Mcbride was a helluva man, that Id be happy to be considered 1/10 the man he was. Nuff said.
 

sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
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#25
Buddy of mine sent me Rogue Heroes, a superbly-researched book about the early days of the SAS. A lot of what Virginia Cowels wrote in "The Phantom Major" but with citations and a lot more back story.

David Stirling was a bit of a git, apparently.

Superb read by the same guy who wrote Doublecross -- Ben McIntyre. He is a superb researcher and storyteller. He finally got through The Procurer! And got to do an authorized bio on the SAS and its wartime exploits. Some will understand who "The Procurer" is.

Cheers,

Sirhr
 
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#27
A Code to Keep by Ernest C Brace
Story of a contactor pilot in Vietnam who was shot down and held as a POW for years. Two years in cages in the jungle. Later in the Hanoi Hilton. Near starvation, torture, and deprivation.
 

sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
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#30
Reading Ron White's (not that one) book American Ulysses about Grant.


Brilliant biography about a man who has been written about... a lot.

The best part of it is that, for a change, the publisher did not skimp on maps. The book is FULL of maps. Superb, fantastic, easy-to-read maps. Every time you think 'man, wouldn't it be great if they had a Map of Vicksburg. . a map of Wilderness... a map of Antietam.... wow, right there is a map!

Utterly brilliant book. Highly recommend.

Cheers,

Sirhr

P.S. Yes, With The Old Breed is a classic. If you like that, also read "Helmet for my Pillow." Also William Manchester's "Goodbye, Darkness" was written in the 1970's and documented his return to the battlefields of the Pacific war. After serving as a sergeant in the Marines and seeing combat on Okinaia, Manchester became one of the greatest authors of the 20th Century. His return to the battlefield(s) of his youth, 30 years later, is eerie and brilliant. Many of the battlefields still bore fresh scars. So did Manchester. Though he did not fight at many of the locations he documents, he uses his own experiences to tell the stories of others. He got a lot of crap for his book being 'fiction' and some of it is. But what 'is' fiction was written by a person who lived the reality and bore the scars. Can't recommend that book highly enough. And the lefty professors who tried to ruin his memory can kiss my ass. Whining at Berkeley was not fighting on Okinawa... Manchester was there. American Spectator 'journalists' were not.
 
Likes: jrassy

Maggot

Philo-Sophia Fidelis et veritas
Jul 27, 2007
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#31
'A History of Russia'. Nicholas V, Riasanovsky. Russia has an amazingly diverse history which contributes to its interesting culture and current situation. Absolute horror from abut 1850 on. They probably have it better today than they have in centuries.

 

pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
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#33
'A History of Russia'. Nicholas V, Riasanovsky. Russia has an amazingly diverse history which contributes to its interesting culture and current situation. Absolute horror from abut 1850 on. They probably have it better today than they have in centuries.
There was little to be happy about prior to 1850 either.

History is everything to understanding Russia.

They ended slavery 1865 just like us. They went all in on the Great Society. Look what it got them.


lets be relevant to the OP

Shots Fired in Anger

https://www.amazon.com/Shots-Fired-Anger-Riflemans-Guadalcanal/dp/093599842X
 
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earthquake

Gunny Sergeant
Jul 30, 2009
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#36
Recently finished:

Miracle at Belleau Wood: The birth of the modern US Marine Corps.

Hillbilly Elegy: A memoir of a family and culture in crisis

In the middle of-

Thank You for your Service

Miracle at BW is a great read. I had no idea how brutal WWI trench warfare was or how bad that fight in France was for the 5th and 6th Regiments, of which I later served with. The massive amount of pride I feel now for being part of the 6th Marines after learning what they did before me is incredibly humbling.

Hillbilly is about Appalachian America and the crisis facing them today, viewed through the eyes of someone who escaped, became a Marine and eventually graduated Yale Law school.

Thank You is a heartbreaking read about an Army unit and Soldiers facing PTSD, life after the war and their struggles. I'm not done with it, but it is very interesting to me. I did not serve in Iraq or A-Stan and am curious to learn more about the war's effects on so many troops. I wish I could help.
 
May 20, 2006
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#37
I'd recently finished "Level Zero Heroes", which primarily makes me question "leadership" and how it gets accepted.
-Those who've read the book will understand what I'm getting at.

And today I finished "The Last Escaper" by Peter Tunstall.
-Wow, yet another one, worth the read. Written by a British bomber pilot during WWII, whom was captured and imprisoned near the beginning of the war. And what he/they went through in nazi captivity. Amongst other camps, he was also at Colditz. I'm giving nothing away, but will add that there's a lot more to it than meets the eye.
 

Ornery

Full Member
Aug 13, 2010
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#39
The Liberation Triology by Rick Atkinson, US in WW 2: All well researched and well written.
An army at Dawn : Operation Torch/N. Africa
The Day of Battle: Italy
Soldiers at Last Light: Europe

Also: Sniper Ace, Bruno Sutkus: a German sniper in WW 2. The WW 2 part was good, but he was banished to Siberia and survived in Russia for many years.
 

Ornery

Full Member
Aug 13, 2010
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#40
Also started (sometimes read several books concurrently, must be ADHD here),

Roping Lions in the Grand Canyon by Zane Grey. It's about Buffalo Jones who roped a lot of animals, all over including Africa.

For such an old book, it is interesting and well written.
 
May 20, 2006
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#41
Finished "George Washington's Secret Six" by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger.

Excellent book, and the one that the TV series "Turn" was based upon. And as-per-usual, the book was definitely better.

Now I'm reading "A Man Called INTREPID" by William Stevenson. I don't need to tell ya'll what it's about.
 

Rerun7

Furious George
Feb 18, 2017
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#42
I really enjoyed 93 Confirmed Kills which chronicles Carlos Hathcock’s time in Vietnam, there is a companion book for it too that goes into additional details of the stories.

Love Survivor is another one that really put things into perspective for me on what those guys went through.
 
Likes: jrassy
Nov 4, 2007
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#44
"Lawrence in Arabia" (not the movie). Lawrence had a much greater role in the Arab revolt against the Ottomans than the movie shows. With no military training or experience, his operations, with initial reluctance by the British intelligence, with the Arab rebels were probably a model for the Green Berets and other special forces operating with native rebels in later wars/conflicts. Other secondary characters are a Yale scion who becomes a spy for Standard Oil, a Jewish agricultural expert who sets up his spy ring in Palestine, and a German spy master who convinces the sister of one of the future founders of Israel to become a spy for the Germans! Lawrence also has some argumentive meetings with Sykes and Picot about their secret agreement to carve up the Middle East between Britain and France. Interestingly Yale found that the Arabs wanted the US to be the arbiter in monitoring the Arab nation building and not the Europeans. One of the better books that I listened to (audio book) keeping down my blood pressure during commuting in traffic. This book could become a great tv series.
 
Feb 14, 2017
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#45
I just finished:

Fearless:The Adam Brown story- about a devgru operator and the events from the beginning to the end of his life as a seal team 6 memeber. Incredible read and very hard to put down.

The Operator: Robert O’neil- The story of Robert O’neil and his time in seal team 6 and the supposed person to shoot osama bin laden. Very good read, especially the narrated version on audible narrated by the author.

Seal Team Six-Memoirs of an elite seal team 6 sniper- Howard Wasden- an older book about the story of a seal team 6 operator that was in the battle of Mogadishu in Somalia (black hawk down). He is arrogant but it’s a very good read and really gives a better view into that battle from the ground.
 

Frankly

Sergeant of the Hide
Jan 27, 2018
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#46
"Hard Choices" by Hilary Clinton. Kind of preachy and repetitive, and I keep hearing this horrible whiny voice in my head as I'm reading it, but FUNNY AS HELL! I wouldn't have bought it, but I found a couple of boxes of brand new copies in the Dumpster behind the local Barnes & Noble.
But it’s fiction!
 
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Frankly

Sergeant of the Hide
Jan 27, 2018
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#47
The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Shales. The Depression and New Deal explained from a conservative point of view. Very good.

Also liked Walter Isaacson’s biography of Leonardo da Vinci.