Worth a Look: Books on Toil in the Shadows

Worth A Look
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Sarah Ford’s two-fisted journey from a London council flat to the WRENS (Royal Navy) to her undercover action with the Special Air Service in Northern Ireland is an amazing odyssey, and her narrative keeps the pages turning. This is one tough broad, brought up on the mean streets of London, and her poignant struggle to escape the despair and poverty of the bottom rungs of British society and lead a productive life is truly inspiring.

What is really amazing about this coming-of-age story, however, is the unusual direction it sudenly takes, leading her away from the Royal Navy and into the shadowy world of the SAS, where she risks her life almost daily in the deadly rowhouses of Northern Ireland. This is an angle on “The Troubles” you don’t see much of. Highly recommended.

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One book that has stood the test of time is Jeffrey Race’s War Comes to Long An: Revolutionary Conflict in a Vietnamese Province, which was re-released this year with new forewords and an analytical conclusion by the author. First published in 1972, the book remains a seminal read for academics and policymakers concerned with these ever-evolving
inter-related subjects, as well as for those more specifically interested in the Vietnam War.

Outside the academy the book has long received strong recognition across the political spectrum. Not only is it a mainstay in the curriculum of all senior service schools for the US military and leading US universities that train future diplomats, but even the most scathing critic of modern US foreign policy, Noam Chomsky, once wrote that it was the “best account of the origins of the insurgency” in South Vietnam.  Full Review by Jason Johnson.

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Secrets of the Cold War’ focuses on a dark period of a silent war and offers a new perspective on the struggle between the superpowers of the world told in the words of those who were there. The author, formerly an expert in counterintelligence in US Army Europe, weaves together exciting true accounts of allies collecting enemy information in the East and fighting spies and terrorist in the West. Amassing Soviet military information by Allied agents in the East is at the forefront! Learn the bizarre method a British agent uses to obtain the muzzle size of a Russian tank as he risks his life jumping on a moving train in East Germany. A French officer drives into a Soviet tank column and escapes undiscovered by cunning methods. In West Germany, terrorist attacks and spies are rampant. Communists shoot a rocket propelled grenade into a General’s occupied limo and terrorists kidnap another General. From the espionage files, an American soldier is nearly recruited in a downtown bar to be a spy and a First Sergeant is lured by sex to be an unknowing participant in spying. Behind-the-lines images are historic and intriguing. See photographs of a French officer and a Soviet officer relaxing in the East German woods in a temporary unofficial peace; ‘James Bond’ type cars with their light tricks and their ability to leave their Stasi shadows ‘wheel spinning’ in the snow will amaze readers.  Read More….

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