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SONS AND SOLDIERS

THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE JEWS WHO ESCAPED THE NAZIS AND RETURNED WITH THE U.S. ARMY TO FIGHT HITLER

A gripping addition to the literature of the period and an overdue tribute to these unique Americans.

The inspiring story of the “Ritchie Boys” and their unique contribution to the Allied victory in World War II.

The Ritchie Boys, named for Maryland’s Camp Ritchie, where they trained, were primarily Jewish refugees from Hitler’s Germany, chosen for their language skills and knowledge of German culture. In a highly readable, often thrilling narrative, prolific nonfiction author Henderson (Rescue at Los Baños: The Most Daring Prison Camp Raid of World War II, 2015) focuses on the members of this elite, 2,000-man unit who escaped from Europe and by one means or another made it to the United States. Enlisting for military service, they were given specially designed intelligence training at Camp Ritchie. After their training, they went back to Europe as intelligence specialists and interrogators and performed a vital function on the front lines for the 82nd Airborne and Patton’s 3rd Army, among many others. Trained specifically in the details of the Nazi military’s order of battle, the Ritchie Boys had the skills to provide Allied forces with detailed knowledge of what they would encounter as they moved forward in the advance across Europe. While Henderson acknowledges the contributions of all the Ritchie Boys his researcher could identify, his account focuses on about a dozen men. He tells the individual stories of how these youngsters’ families were split up, especially after Kristallnacht in 1938, and they came here to make a new start, some with just a few dollars in their pockets. Some of the standouts from this impressive group were Werner Angress, who, without proper parachute training, jumped into Normandy with the 82nd Airborne on D-Day; and Victor Brombert, who provided intelligence for the counterattack in the Battle of the Bulge. Others were among the first into some of the most notorious death camps in Germany, and many went on to make equally significant postwar contributions to their adopted country.

A gripping addition to the literature of the period and an overdue tribute to these unique Americans.

Pub Date: July 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-241909-5

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

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Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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