Category: Military

  • Depressing, yet compelling

    Paul O’Connor reviews a book he meant to read long ago, one that still offers important lessons. Like Paul, I find that I will listen to the audio version of difficult books I cannot make myself read in print. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor A BRIGHT SHINING LIE: JOHN PAUL VANN AND AMERICA IN VIETNAM. […]

  • Through a screen, darkly

    From time to time, my younger son, a Navy officer, contributes a review. This one is particularly timely, not to mention thought-provoking. Reviewed by Lt. Samuel Brinson LIKEWAR: The Weaponization of Social Media. By P. W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 416 pages. $28 Over the last few years, the internet and […]

  • Benedict Arnold: The rest of the story

    Paul O’Connor, student of history, takes a look at a new book about one of the most reviled characters in America’s past. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor VALIANT AMBITION: GEORGE WASHINGTON, BENEDICT ARNOLD AND THE FATE OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. By Nathaniel Philbrick. Read by Scott Brick. Penguin Audio. 13 hours, 30 minutes. $45. Also available […]

  • A new look at a forgotten war

    Before he was a journalist or a public school teacher or administrator, and before he was my husband, Lloyd Brinson was a young U.S. Marine officer who served in Vietnam. He finds much that’s worthwhile in a new book by a writer who was a young soldier in a different war. Reviewed by Lloyd Brinson […]

  • Fighting tyranny, fighting the elements

    Tom Dillon, who’s been known to ski more than a little himself, finds much to like in a new book about a little-known saga of World War II. Reviewed by Tom Dillon THE WINTER FORTRESS: THE EPIC MISSION TO SABOTAGE HITLER’S ATOMIC BOMB. By Neal Bascomb. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 378 pages. $28 hardback. The history […]

  • The inside story

    Much has been written about the morality, efficacy and safety of drones. But what about the pilots of those unmanned killer planes? Paul O’Connor reviews a first-hand account about what it’s like to be the person who flies deadly drones for the Air Force. Reviewed by Paul T. O’ Connor HUNTER KILLER: INSIDE AMERICA’S UNMANNED […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • A liberal arts education, plus survival skills

    Paul O’Connor finds that frequent digressions make this book all the more rewarding. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor NATURAL BORN HEROES: HOW A DARING BAND OF MISFITS MASTERED THE LOST SECRETS OF STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE. By Christopher McDougall. Random House Audio. 16 hours. $45. Read by Nicholas Guy Smith. Also available in hardcover from Knopf. […]