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THE BIG BREAK

THE GREATEST AMERICAN WWII POW ESCAPE STORY NEVER TOLD

An exciting account from a passionate author who has done the necessary research.

A detailed look at the escape attempts by intrepid British and American POWs from Nazi camps near the end of World War II.

Military historian Dando-Collins (Rise of an Empire: How One Man United Greece to Defeat Xerxes's Persians, 2014, etc.) concentrates on the escape attempts at Schubin, Poland (Oflag 64), due south of Danzig, and, later, at Sagan, Silesia. At first, the Schubin camp housed many Royal Air Force pilots shot down in combat—along with a couple of North Americans who had joined the Canadian air force—and the first amazing escape attempt, in the spring of 1943, involved an incredibly well-organized endeavor by the men’s “X Organization” to dig a tunnel under the latrines, leading eventually to an irrigation ditch in a potato patch outside the camp’s electric wire perimeter. Indeed, 46 prisoners made a successful getaway, although most were apprehended a few days later, many turned in by Polish locals. Subsequently, the POWs were moved by truck to Stalag Luft 3 at Sagan, while newly arrived U.S. Air Force officer POWs at Oflag 64 attempted a brazen escape by going under the wire without detection. After so many escape attempts, the Germans cracked down, threatening to shoot on sight, and the escape organizations had to simmer down. By the beginning of 1945, the war was going badly for the Germans, and to evade the approaching Russians, the German military would begin the huge and ungainly task of moving by foot (many using makeshift sleds) more than 300,000 Allied POWs from the east to the west, deep into Germany. As Dando-Collins enthusiastically recounts, it was “game on” for the prisoners, who took advantage of every opportunity to hide and elude the Germans.

An exciting account from a passionate author who has done the necessary research.

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-08756-0

Page Count: 272

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

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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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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


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  • 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

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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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