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VALIANT WOMEN

THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE AMERICAN SERVICEWOMEN WHO HELPED WIN WORLD WAR II

An invaluable addition to our knowledge of the Allied victory.

The extraordinary achievements of women serving during World War II.

Andrews, a military analyst at the CIA, has interviewed many of the last remaining survivors of the war effort, and she also incorporates many other first-person accounts written over the years. Her work encompasses all of the official U.S. programs created during the war years to incorporate women in the military. These included the Women’s Army Corps, the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, the Marine Corps Women’s Reserves, the Navy’s Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, and the Coast Guard Women’s Reserve. Though her focus remains on the impressive achievements of the women on the battlefield, she also amply delineates the contribution to the “unstoppable” manufacturing effort across the country by noncombatant forces. “By one account,” she writes, “women composed nearly forty percent of the workers in war industries by 1944 and, at their peak, made up thirty-five percent of the overall labor force, a ten percent increase from before the war.” Ultimately, noncombatant forces “were a critical, though often unseen and underappreciated, element of battlefield operations.” Andrews begins with the Army and Navy nurses stationed in the Philippines and at Pearl Harbor, the first women in uniform to participate in the war effort. The author creates a host of illuminating biographical portraits, including that of Oveta Culp Hobby, the enormously influential head of WAC who helped convince Congress to authorize the program, with the support of Eleanor Roosevelt and Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Marshall. Andrews also explores the media’s efforts to undermine women servicemembers with questions about uniforms, the inclusion of Black women, and trumped-up accusations of lesbianism and indecency. The author shows how the Navy and Marines very reluctantly fell in line and how the sterling contributions of thousands of women eventually convinced most skeptics. It’s a welcome celebration of military heroes who deserve more recognition.

An invaluable addition to our knowledge of the Allied victory.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2023

ISBN: 9780063088337

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Mariner Books

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2023

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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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GENGHIS KHAN AND THE MAKING OF THE MODERN WORLD

A horde-pleaser, well-written and full of surprises.

“The Mongols swept across the globe as conquerors,” writes the appreciative pop anthropologist-historian Weatherford (The History of Money, 1997, etc.), “but also as civilization’s unrivaled cultural carriers.”

No business-secrets fluffery here, though Weatherford does credit Genghis Khan and company for seeking “not merely to conquer the world but to impose a global order based on free trade, a single international law, and a universal alphabet with which to write all the languages of the world.” Not that the world was necessarily appreciative: the Mongols were renowned for, well, intemperance in war and peace, even if Weatherford does go rather lightly on the atrocities-and-butchery front. Instead, he accentuates the positive changes the Mongols, led by a visionary Genghis Khan, brought to the vast territories they conquered, if ever so briefly: the use of carpets, noodles, tea, playing cards, lemons, carrots, fabrics, and even a few words, including the cheer hurray. (Oh, yes, and flame throwers, too.) Why, then, has history remembered Genghis and his comrades so ungenerously? Whereas Geoffrey Chaucer considered him “so excellent a lord in all things,” Genghis is a byword for all that is savage and terrible; the word “Mongol” figures, thanks to the pseudoscientific racism of the 19th century, as the root of “mongoloid,” a condition attributed to genetic throwbacks to seed sown by Mongol invaders during their decades of ravaging Europe. (Bad science, that, but Dr. Down’s son himself argued that imbeciles “derived from an earlier form of the Mongol stock and should be considered more ‘pre-human, rather than human.’ ”) Weatherford’s lively analysis restores the Mongols’ reputation, and it takes some wonderful learned detours—into, for instance, the history of the so-called Secret History of the Mongols, which the Nazis raced to translate in the hope that it would help them conquer Russia, as only the Mongols had succeeded in doing.

A horde-pleaser, well-written and full of surprises.

Pub Date: March 2, 2004

ISBN: 0-609-61062-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2003

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