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



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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The car gets shortchanged, but comparing the divergent career paths of its (putative) two riders may give readers food for...



A custom-built, bulletproof limo links two historical figures who were pre-eminent in more or less different spheres.

Garland admits that a claim that FDR was driven to Congress to deliver his “Day of Infamy” speech in a car that once belonged to Capone rests on shaky evidence. He nonetheless uses the anecdote as a launchpad for twin portraits of contemporaries who occupy unique niches in this country’s history but had little in common. Both were smart, ambitious New Yorkers and were young when their fathers died, but they definitely “headed in opposite directions.” As he fills his biographical sketches with standard-issue facts and has disappointingly little to say about the car itself (which was commissioned by Capone in 1928 and still survives), this outing seems largely intended to be a vehicle for the dark, heavy illustrations. These are done in muted hues with densely scratched surfaces and angled so that the two men, the period backgrounds against which they are posed, and the car have monumental looks. It’s a reach to bill this, as the author does, a “story about America,” but it does at least offer a study in contrasts featuring two of America’s most renowned citizens. Most of the human figures are white in the art, but some group scenes include a few with darker skin.

The car gets shortchanged, but comparing the divergent career paths of its (putative) two riders may give readers food for thought. (timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-88448-620-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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From the Big Ideas That Changed the World series , Vol. 3

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762) narrates this entry in the Big Ideas That Changed the World series, presenting the story of the development of vaccines.

Lady Mary, an intelligent, lovely White Englishwoman, was infected with smallpox in 1715. The disease left her scarred and possibly contributed to the failure of her marriage, but not before she moved with her husband to the Ottoman Empire and learned there of what came to be called variolation. Inoculating people with an attenuated (hopefully) version of smallpox to cause a mild but immunity-producing spell of the disease was practiced by the Ottomans but remained rare in England until Lady Mary, using her own children, popularized the practice during an epidemic. This graphic novel is illustrated with engaging panels of artwork that broaden its appeal, effectively conveying aspects of the story that extend the enthralling narrative. Taking care to credit innovations in immunology outside of European borders, Brown moves through centuries of thoughtful scientific inquiry and experimentation to thoroughly explain the history of vaccines and their limitless value to the world but also delves into the discouraging story of the anti-vaccination movement. Concluding with information about the Covid-19 pandemic, the narrative easily makes the case that a vaccine for this disease fits quite naturally into eons of scientific progress. Thoroughly researched and fascinating, this effort concludes with outstanding backmatter for a rich, accurate examination of the critical role of vaccines.

Essential. (timeline, biographical notes, bibliography) (Graphic nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-5001-4

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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