Books by Tom Wells

Released: Nov. 1, 2008

"Heavy going at times, but nonetheless an eye-opening indictment of a myopic criminal-justice system."
The arrest, trial and conviction of four sailors accused in the 1997 rape and murder of another sailor's teenage wife. Read full book review >
A HOUSE IN THE MAIL by Rosemary Wells
Released: March 1, 2001

Andreasen (Tattered Sails, 2001, etc.) has chosen to frame this tale about a pre-Depression Kentucky family getting a new mail-order house as a scrapbook, with 11-year-old Emily's narrative running alongside arrays of drawings, advertisements, diagrams, antique-looking photos, small keepsakes, and other memorabilia, all rendered with photorealistic precision. Having spent most of her life sharing the attic with little brother Homer, Emily is understandably thrilled to sit down at the table with her parents and pick out a house from a catalogue—a house with not only a room just for her, but such modern conveniences as indoor plumbing, an electric refrigerator, and a gas range. Half the town turns out when the house arrives in prefabricated parts, and, for Emily at least, the excitement never flags through the months of hard work it takes to put it all together. Her account is more a broad outline than a tally of nitty-gritty details, but like Jane Yolen's Raising Yoder's Barn (1998), it will leave young readers seeing the walls and buildings around them with new eyes. For a sense of period, you could hardly do better than these evocative illustrations. (Picture book. 7-9)Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1994

Immense, painstakingly researched, painfully engrossing account of how the battle on America's home front ended its longest and least popular war. Wells (formerly Univ. of San Francisco, Mills College) makes clear at the outset where he stands on the historical issue of the Vietnam War and the antiwar movement; he has ``made no effort to conceal'' his opposition to U.S. intervention in Vietnam. Moreover, he argues that the antiwar movement was no marginal phenomenon. Because American warmongers took it seriously (particularly Richard Nixon after Lyndon Johnson was driven from office), it had a pervasive effect on the war effort itself, among other things compelling President Nixon to ``phase out'' the draft and ``Vietnamize'' the war. In addition, Nixon's lack of understanding of the antiwar movement led him to try to suppress opposition so ruthlessly (often employing provocateurs and other dirty tricks) that he overreached and eventually toppled from office. Wells discusses the internecine conflicts among antiwar activists and the leftist polarization of many in the movement as the war dragged on and as many, formerly moderate opponents of the war came to the conclusion that revolution was necessary to end it. While the movement's diversity was its strength as it expanded from a radical fringe into a mainstream political force, internal strife among religious groups, Trotskyites, and others that shared little more than opposition to American war aims split the movement apart. Although the coalition splintered and seemed ultimately to founder, Wells concludes that the antiwar movement's long-term contributions to American democracy, as well as to ending the war itself, were substantial. A balanced, absorbing, tragic narrative of the massive groundswell of popular revulsion that eventually thwarted the directors of America's war in Southeast Asia. (47 b&w photographs- -not seen) Read full book review >