Category: Military History

  • Not ‘Hitler’s Pope’

    Chances are, you’ve heard more than once the criticism that the Pope was silent while Hitler was perpetrating the Holocaust. Paul O’Connor reviews a fascinating book that tells the story of what was going on behind the scenes. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor CHURCH OF SPIES: THE POPE’S SECRET WAR AGAINST HITLER. By Mark Riebling. […]

  • History with a lesson

    Paul O’Connor reviews a history that can tell many Americans much they don’t know about the Eastern Front in World War II, including an important lesson about how to wage a war. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor THE DEVIL’S ALLIANCE: HITLER’S PACT WITH STALIN, 1939-1941. By Roger Moorhouse. Tantor Audio (through, $22.04. Read by […]

  • Lincoln, military genius

    Paul O’Connor somehow missed this excellent Civil War history when it was published a few years ago, and he’s glad he found it now as an audio book. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor TRIED BY WAR: ABRAHAM LINCOLN AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF. By James M. McPherson. Penguin Audio. 8 CDs. Read by George Guidall. $31.50. […]

  • A plan gone awry

    Not a new book, this one has held up well over time. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor A BRIDGE TOO FAR. By Cornelius Ryan. Blackstone Audio. 18 hours, 11 minutes. Read by Clyde Chafer. $22.02 through Also available in paperback from Simon & Schuster. 672 pages. $19.99. In September 1944, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower […]

  • Extraordinary courage

    Paul O’Connor has been reading and thinking about spies this summer, and he’s developed high standards. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor AVENUE OF SPIES: 
A TRUE STORY OF TERROR, ESPIONAGE, AND ONE AMERICAN FAMILY’S HEROIC RESISTANCE IN NAZI-OCCUPIED PARIS. By Alex Kershaw. Random House Audio. Read by Mark Deakins. Seven hours. $35. Also available in […]

  • A spy tale, stranger than fiction

    Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor THE BILLION DOLLAR SPY: A TRUE STORY OF COLD WAR ESPIONAGE AND BETRAYAL. By David E. Hoffman. Penguin Random House Audio. Read by Dan Woren. 11 hours and 54 minutes. $20. Also in hardcover from Doubleday. 262 pages. $28.95 Adolf Tolkachev despised his government, and for 35 years the American […]

  • Heroes and myths

    Paul O’Connor, who’s putting his summer break from teaching aspiring journalists to good use, reviews a book about the Doolittle Raiders, who struck back against the Japanese just months after Pearl Harbor. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor TARGET TOKYO: JIMMY DOOLITTLE AND THE RAID THAT AVENGED PEARL HARBOR. By James M. Scott. Read by L.J. […]

  • A different view of Bunker Hill

    About  a year ago, Paul O’Connor acquired an audio version of a history of Bunker Hill and the origins of the American Revolution, and then promptly forgot it. Recently he found the book, began to listen – and found there was a lot to learn about that history. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor BUNKER HILL: […]

  • A harrowing story of Vietnam

    Forty years after the fall of Saigon, Paul O’Connor finds that a new book about a heroic mission in the Vietnam War makes for engrossing, if disturbing, reading. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor LEGEND: A HARROWING STORY FROM THE VIETNAM WAR OF ONE GREEN BERET’S HEROIC MISSION TO RESCUE A SPECIAL FORCES TEAM CAUGHT BEHIND […]

  • Generals and their battles

    When Paul O’Connor went traveling during his recent break from professorial duties in Chapel Hill, he took some serious reading matter along for company. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor WASHINGTON’S REVOLUTION. By Robert Middlekauff. Knopf Doubleday. 384 pages, hardcover. $30. THE LAST BATTLE. By Cornelius Ryan. Simon & Schuster. 576 pages. $18.99, paperback. Available also […]