A fascinating chronicle of the longtime role of trickery in warfare.

DOUBLE CROSS

DECEPTION TECHNIQUES IN WAR

In this companion to Top Secret (2006) and The Dark Game (2010), his books on secret codes and spying, respectively, Janeczko examines how subterfuge has been used in warfare for thousands of years.

In an engaging, informative narrative, Janeczko chronicles how such deceptive techniques as concealment, camouflage, planted false information, double bluff, ruse, and more have been used to great success in battles and campaigns in the Civil War, world wars I and II, and the Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf wars. Carefully defining these terms of military art and beginning with the biblical account of Gideon, Janeczko explains how “demonstration” (false military preparations) and “feint” (distraction) were used to defeat the Midianites. A feigned retreat led to William the Conqueror’s victory in the Battle of Hastings. Confederate Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson’s masterful use of deceptive strategies made him one of the most successful Civil War commanders. The invasion of Normandy is the quintessential example of deception in extent and overwhelming success. Janeczko explains that, although principles of deception in warfare have changed little over time, the technology behind fooling the enemy has evolved dramatically. He also examines evolving attitudes about the use and effectiveness of duplicitous strategies. The narrative ends abruptly, with discussion of Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf’s use of deception techniques in Operation Desert Storm.

A fascinating chronicle of the longtime role of trickery in warfare. (maps, photos, source notes, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6042-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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Ultimately adds little to conversations about race.

UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS WITH A BLACK BOY

A popular YouTube series on race, “Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man,” turns how-to manual and history lesson for young readers.

Acho is a former NFL player and second-generation Nigerian American who cites his upbringing in predominantly White spaces as well as his tenure on largely Black football teams as qualifications for facilitating the titular conversations about anti-Black racism. The broad range of subjects covered here includes implicit bias, cultural appropriation, and systemic racism. Each chapter features brief overviews of American history, personal anecdotes of Acho’s struggles with his own anti-Black biases, and sections titled “Let’s Get Uncomfortable.” The book’s centering of Whiteness and White readers seems to show up, to the detriment of its subject matter, both in Acho’s accounts of his upbringing and his thought processes regarding race. The overall tone unfortunately conveys a sense of expecting little from a younger generation who may have a greater awareness than he did at the same age and who, therefore, may already be uncomfortable with racial injustice itself. The attempt at an avuncular tone disappointingly reads as condescending, revealing that, despite his online success with adults, the author is ill-equipped to be writing for middle-grade readers. Chapters dedicated to explaining to White readers why they shouldn’t use the N-word and how valuable White allyship is may make readers of color (and many White readers) bristle with indignation and discomfort despite Acho’s positive intentions.

Ultimately adds little to conversations about race. (glossary, FAQ, recommended reading, references) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-80106-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2021

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Despite its not insignificant flaws, this book provides insights into the lives of important women, many of whom have...

SHE DID IT!

21 WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WAY WE THINK

Caldecott Medalist McCully delves into the lives of extraordinary American women.

Beginning with the subject of her earlier biography Ida M. Tarbell (2014), McCully uses a chronological (by birth year) structure to organize her diverse array of subjects, each of whom is allotted approximately 10 pages. Lovely design enhances the text with a full-color portrait of each woman and small additional illustrations in the author/illustrator’s traditional style, plenty of white space, and spare use of dynamic colors. This survey provides greater depth than most, but even so, some topics go troublingly uncontextualized to the point of reinforcing stereotype: “In slavery, Black women had been punished for trying to improve their appearance. Now that they were free, many cared a great deal about grooming”; “President Roosevelt ordered all Japanese Americans on the West Coast to report to internment camps to keep them from providing aid to the enemy Japanese forces.” Of the 21 surveyed, one Japanese-American woman (Patsy Mink) is highlighted, as are one Latinx woman (Dolores Huerta), one Mohegan woman (Gladys Tantaquidgeon), three black women (Madam C.J. Walker, Ella Baker, and Shirley Chisholm), four out queer white women (Billie Jean King, Barbara Gittings, Jane Addams, and Isadora Duncan; the latter two’s sexualities are not discussed), two Jewish women (Gertrude Berg and Vera Rubin), and three women with known disabilities (Addams, Dorothea Lange, and Temple Grandin).

Despite its not insignificant flaws, this book provides insights into the lives of important women, many of whom have otherwise yet to be featured in nonfiction for young readers. (sources) (Collective biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-368-01991-0

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018

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