Next book

BURMA '44

THE BATTLE THAT TURNED WORLD WAR II IN THE EAST

A lesser-known campaign receives well-deserved attention.

The author of Sicily ’44, Normandy ’44, and other acclaimed works of military history returns with a look at a significant yet overlooked World War II battle.

As always, Holland is adept at setting the background for his analysis of the battle. In 1941, a few days after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Japanese forces sank the cream of the British Asian fleet, quickly overran the British colonies of Hong Kong, Malaya, and Singapore, and chased British forces out of Burma into India. Preoccupied with Germany, Britain gave its huge Indian army low priority in men and supplies. Recruits were trained in desert fighting and sent to North Africa until its conquest in 1943, when India received more attention. There followed a massive influx of supplies, training (morale was terrible), and better commanders (India was a dumping ground for failed officers from the European theater). Just as the British were completing preparation for their offensive in February 1944, the Japanese launched their own, broke through, and surrounded a number of units and their headquarters deep in the jungle. There followed 15 days of brutal fighting which, unlike previous encounters with the Japanese, succeeded. This Battle of the Admin Box is considered the turning point in the India-Burma campaign. Holland, a meticulous researcher, excels in describing the lead-up to the battle and the quality of the leadership—Briton William Slim was certainly the most competent Allied general facing Japan—and he includes many lively anecdotes on individual fighting men. WWII buffs will enjoy a detailed account of the climactic battle without making much sense of it, since the fighting took the form of a series of bloody, small-unit actions in a confined area. The author’s extensive maps don’t fully explain the minutiae, but he does ably capture the abundance of heroism and the satisfying outcome.

A lesser-known campaign receives well-deserved attention.

Pub Date: June 11, 2024

ISBN: 9780802160584

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Grove

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2024

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 31


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Next book

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.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 31


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

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

Next book

A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

Close Quickview