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In his first work of nonfiction, bestselling novelist James Webb tells the epic story of the Scots-Irish, a people whose lives and worldview were dictated by resistance, conflict, and struggle, and who, in turn, profoundly influenced the social, political, and cultural landscape of America from its beginnings through the present day. More than 27 million Americans today can trace their lineage to the Scots, whose bloodline was stained by centuries of continuous warfare along the border between England and Scotland, and later in the bitter settlements of England's Ulster Plantation in Northern Ireland. Between 250,000 and 400,000 Scots-Irish migrated to America in the eighteenth century, traveling in groups of families and bringing with them not only long experience as rebels and outcasts but also unparalleled skills as frontiersmen and guerrilla fighters. Their cultural identity reflected acute individualism, dislike of aristocracy and a military tradition, and, over time, the Scots-Irish defined the attitudes and values of the military, of working class America, and even of the peculiarly populist form of American democracy itself. Born Fighting is the first book to chronicle the full journey of this remarkable cultural group, and the profound, but unrecognized, role it has played in the shaping of America. Written with the storytelling verve that has earned his works such acclaim as "captivating . . . unforgettable" (the Wall Street Journal on Lost Soliders), Scots-Irishman James Webb, Vietnam combat veteran and former Naval Secretary, traces the history of his people, beginning nearly two thousand years ago at Hadrian's Wall, when the nation of Scotland was formed north of the Wall through armed conflict in contrast to England's formation to the south through commerce and trade. Webb recounts the Scots' odyssey--their clashes with the English in Scotland and then in Ulster, their retreat from one war-ravaged land to another. Through engrossing chronicles of the challenges the Scots-Irish faced, Webb vividly portrays how they developed the qualities that helped settle the American frontier and define the American character. Born Fighting shows that the Scots-Irish were 40 percent of the Revolutionary War army; they included the pioneers Daniel Boone, Lewis and Clark, Davy Crockett, and Sam Houston; they were the writers Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain; and they have given America numerous great military leaders, including Stonewall Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, Audie Murphy, and George S. Patton, as well as most of the soldiers of the Confederacy (only 5 percent of whom owned slaves, and who fought against what they viewed as an invading army). It illustrates how the Scots-Irish redefined American politics, creating the populist movement and giving the country a dozen presidents, including Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. And it explores how the Scots-Irish culture of isolation, hard luck, stubbornness, and mistrust of the nation's elite formed and still dominates blue-collar America, the military services, the Bible Belt, and country music. Both a distinguished work of cultural history and a human drama that speaks straight to the heart of contemporary America, Born Fighting reintroduces America to its most powerful, patriotic, and individualistic cultural group--one too often ignored or taken for granted.
Captain Jay Marsh had never questioned where his ultimate loyalty lay. He had witnessed the bloody horror left behind by the retreating Japanese army during World War II's final days. And he had abandoned his beautiful Filipina fiancée to see his duty through.But not even Marsh could guess the terrible personal price he would have to pay for his loyalty. He would follow General Douglas MacArthur to Tokyo itself. There he would become the brilliant, egocentric general's confidant, translator, surrogate son--and spy.Marsh would play a dangerous game of deliberate deceit and brutal injustice in the shadow world of postwar Japan's royal palaces and geisha houses, and recognize that the defeated emperor and his wily aides were exploiting MacArthur's ruthless ambition to become the American Caesar. The Emperor's General is a dramatic human story of the loss of innocence and the seduction of power, about the conflict between honor, duty, and love, all set against an extraordinary historical backdrop.From the Paperback edition.
They each had their reasons for being a soldier. They each had their illusions. Goodrich came from Harvard. Snake got the tattoo -- Death Before Dishonor -- before he got the uniform. And Hodges was haunted by the ghosts of family heroes. They were three young men from different worlds plunged into a white-hot, murderous realm of jungle warfare as it was fought by one Marine platoon in the An Hoa Basin, 1969. They had no way of knowing what awaited them. Nothing could have prepared them for the madness to come. And in the heat and horror of battle they took on new identities, took on each other, and were each reborn in fields of fire. . . . Fields of Fireis James Webb's classic, searing novel of the Vietnam War, a novel of poetic power, razor-sharp observation, and agonizing human truths seen through the prism of nonstop combat. Weaving together a cast of vivid characters,Fields of Firecaptures the journey of unformed men through a man-made hell -- until each man finds his fate. From the Paperback edition.
Brandon Condley survived five years of combat in Vietnam as a marine only to lose the woman he loved to an enemy assassin. Now he is back, and working to recover the remains of unknown American soldiers. On a routine mission, Condley finds a body that doesn't match its dog tags - a body that propels him into a vortex of violence and intrigue where past and present become one. As the mystery of the dead man unravels, a link is revealed to two notorious assassins, 'Salt and Pepper', who led a deadly Viet Cong ambush against Condley's own men. Galvanized by a fresh trail to these long-lost deserters, Condley has finally found a purpose: under the auspices of his government job, he is going to hunt down the traitors. On his own, he is going to kill them. Condley's hunt cannot be kept secret from his former enemies, or his friends. And in the shadows that linger from Vietnam's long season of darkness and terror, he has no way of knowing which side is more dangerous.
Describes how to guard against misdiagnosing gifted children and adults, and how to treat gifted persons with and without dual diagnoses.
A fascinating portrayal of a gung-ho first classman's campaign to shepherd an unprepared plebe through the Academy's complex and unforgiving ethos.
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