Staff Pick

The ground was laid for an epic battle when, in late 1950, the U.S. First Marine Division moved deep into the snowy mountains of North Korea, assured (wrongly) by American commanders that Chinese forces would not cross the Manchurian border and enter the fight. Ending up surrounded, heavily outnumbered, and caught in grueling conditions, the Marines against all odds fought their way out of the frozen wilds in which they were initially trapped. Although this legendary story has been told before, Hampton Sides chronicles it with fresh research, vivid detail, and broad perspective in On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean War’s Greatest Battle (Doubleday, $30). Sides provides not only a gripping, frontline view of the fighting, highlighting the courage and resourcefulness of the Marines; he also assesses the misjudgments and intelligence failures of American leaders in Tokyo and Washington.

On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean War's Greatest Battle Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385541152
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - October 2nd, 2018

Staff Pick

After more than a decade-and-a-half of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the number of Americans who have served in one or both conflicts has exceeded 2.7 million. Nearly 7,000 of them have died, and tens of thousands more were wounded. In The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq (Simon & Schuster, $28), C.J. Chivers tells the story of these ongoing, ill-fated, grossly mismanaged, and terribly costly wars not from the vantage of generals, admirals and civilian policymakers, but from the perspectives of those who have done the bulk of the fighting—the grunts, as they call themselves, in the lower and middle ranks. Chivers focuses on six individuals whose military tours occurred at different times and in different places. As a former Marine himself who has spent nearly twenty years reporting for the New York Times, Chivers is particularly well-qualified to present this intense, compelling, and unsettling account of Americans at war.

The Fighters Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451676648
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 14th, 2018

Staff Pick

Derek Black grew up schooled in racist ideology and was heir-apparent to the white nationalist movement. But after entering college, he ended up reexamining his extremist beliefs and eventually repudiated them, denounced white nationalism, and publicly divorced himself from the movement. It was quite a shock when all this happened several years ago, and Eli Saslow, a Pulitzer Prize-winning feature writer with the Washington Post, recounts this remarkable transformation in intimate, riveting detail in Rising Out of Hatred (Doubleday, $26.95). While the book focuses on the journey of a single former white nationalist, parts of the story reflect America’s larger ongoing struggles with racism. As Saslow suggests, Black’s personal evolution could provide lessons for the nation’s own way ahead. Indeed, one of the main takeaways of the book is the potential for dialogue and moral reasoning to overcome hateful dogmas.

Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385542869
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Doubleday - September 18th, 2018