The Indomitable Florence Finch: The Untold Story of a War Widow Turned Resistance Fighter and Savior of American POWs

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The Indomitable Florence Finch: The Untold Story of a War Widow Turned Resistance Fighter and Savior of American POWs
Title The Indomitable Florence Finch: The Untold Story of a War Widow Turned Resistance Fighter and Savior of American POWs
Author
Publisher Hachette Books
Release DateJuly 21, 2020
Category Biographies & Memoirs
Total Pages 368 pages
ISBN 0316422274
Book Rating 4.8 out of 5 from 76 reviews
Language EN, ES, BE, DA ,DE , NL and FR
Book Review & Summary:

"An American hero-long forgotten-finally gets her due in this riveting narrative. You will absolutely love Florence Finch: her grit, her compassion, her fight. This isn't just history; she is a woman for our times." -Keith O'Brien, the New York Times bestselling author of Fly Girls The riveting story of an unsung World War II hero who saved countless American lives in the Philippines, told by an award-winning military historian. When Florence Finch died at the age of 101, few of her Ithaca, NY neighbors knew that this unassuming Filipina native was a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, whose courage and sacrifice were unsurpassed in the Pacific War against Japan. Long accustomed to keeping her secrets close in service of the Allies, she waited fifty years to reveal the story of those dramatic and harrowing days to her own children. Florence was an unlikely warrior. She relied on her own intelligence and fortitude to survive on her own from the age of seven, facing bigotry as a mixed-race mestiza with the dual heritage of her American serviceman father and Filipina mother. As the war drew ever closer to the Philippines, Florence fell in love with a dashing American naval intelligence agent, Charles "Bing" Smith. In the wake of Bing's sudden death in battle, Florence transformed from a mild-mannered young wife into a fervent resistance fighter. She conceived a bold plan to divert tons of precious fuel from the Japanese army, which was then sold on the black market to provide desperately needed medicine and food for hundreds of American POWs. In constant peril of arrest and execution, Florence fought to save others, even as the Japanese police closed in. With a wealth of original sources including taped interviews, personal journals, and unpublished memoirs, The Indomitable Florence Finch unfolds against the Bataan Death March, the fall of Corregidor, and the daily struggle to survive a brutal occupying force. Award-winning military historian and former Congressman Robert J. Mrazek brings to light this long-hidden American patriot. The Indomitable Florence Finch is the story of the transcendent bravery of a woman who belongs in America's pantheon of war heroes.

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The Indomitable Florence Finch by Robert J. Mrazek

Title The Indomitable Florence Finch
Author Robert J. Mrazek
Publisher Hachette Books
Release Date 2020-07-21
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9780316422246
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"An American hero-long forgotten-finally gets her due in this riveting narrative. You will absolutely love Florence Finch: her grit, her compassion, her fight. This isn't just history; she is a woman for our times." -Keith O'Brien, the New York Times bestselling author of Fly Girls The riveting story of an unsung World War II hero who saved countless American lives in the Philippines, told by an award-winning military historian. When Florence Finch died at the age of 101, few of her Ithaca, NY neighbors knew that this unassuming Filipina native was a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, whose courage and sacrifice were unsurpassed in the Pacific War against Japan. Long accustomed to keeping her secrets close in service of the Allies, she waited fifty years to reveal the story of those dramatic and harrowing days to her own children. Florence was an unlikely warrior. She relied on her own intelligence and fortitude to survive on her own from the age of seven, facing bigotry as a mixed-race mestiza with the dual heritage of her American serviceman father and Filipina mother. As the war drew ever closer to the Philippines, Florence fell in love with a dashing American naval intelligence agent, Charles "Bing" Smith. In the wake of Bing's sudden death in battle, Florence transformed from a mild-mannered young wife into a fervent resistance fighter. She conceived a bold plan to divert tons of precious fuel from the Japanese army, which was then sold on the black market to provide desperately needed medicine and food for hundreds of American POWs. In constant peril of arrest and execution, Florence fought to save others, even as the Japanese police closed in. With a wealth of original sources including taped interviews, personal journals, and unpublished memoirs, The Indomitable Florence Finch unfolds against the Bataan Death March, the fall of Corregidor, and the daily struggle to survive a brutal occupying force. Award-winning military historian and former Congressman Robert J. Mrazek brings to light this long-hidden American patriot. The Indomitable Florence Finch is the story of the transcendent bravery of a woman who belongs in America's pantheon of war heroes.

A Dawn Like Thunder by Robert J. Mrazek

Title A Dawn Like Thunder
Author Robert J. Mrazek
Publisher Little, Brown
Release Date 2008-12-08
Category History
Total Pages 560
ISBN 9780316040983
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

One of the great untold stories of World War II finally comes to light in this thrilling account of Torpedo Squadron Eight and their heroic efforts in helping an outmatched U.S. fleet win critical victories at Midway and Guadalcanal. Thirty-five American men -- many flying outmoded aircraft -- changed the course of the war, going on to become the war's most decorated naval air squadron, while suffering the heaviest losses in U.S. naval aviation history. Mrazek paints moving portraits of the men in the squadron, and exposes a shocking cover-up that cost many lives. Filled with thrilling scenes of battle, betrayal, and sacrifice, A Dawn Like Thunder is destined to become a classic in the literature of World War II.

1946 by Diana Gillmor

Title 1946
Author Diana Gillmor
Publisher Pageturner, Press and Media
Release Date 2020-05-28
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 346
ISBN 1649081847
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Only a few anecdotes about the author's grandparents remained after their deaths more than half a century ago. Research of nearly a decade led her to some startling information and the amazing story of the couple's lives. The author also discovered her grandfather's remarkable place in history and that neither Reg or Edwina were ordinary people. From an early age, Edwina had a decidedly European upbringing, highlighted by a convent education and life in several foreign cities. She and her sisters also enjoyed the upper-crust life of Mrs. Astor's New York Society and the "four hundred." By contrast, the early life of her husband, Reg, was characterized by being the son of a Civil War veteran turned preacher with eight children in a small mid-western town. Fortune smiled on Reg at the age of sixteen, however, when he became the youngest man to enter and graduate from the United States Naval Academy. His succeeding service in the US Navy brought him into contact with a prominent American inventor. A short time later, he joined the gentleman's newly formed company as the second of just three employees. In a few short years, his intelligence and drive propelled both him and the company into the world's undisputed leader in the invention and manufacture of navigation instruments, virtually ending the age of the compass. The company's weapons guidance systems were also an extreme advantage during wartime, and their aircraft instruments made flight possible and greatly facilitated the possible uses of airplanes, ships, submarines and eventually spacecraft. The products invented and developed by this company are still vital to the performance of all these vehicles. 1946 is a story about these two people. But it also chronicles the rapid transformation of a very small company into the ninth largest in America. Along the way, the early history of flight and advances in associated technology is tracked during the first half of the twentieth century. The continual development of the weaponry of war, through two world wars, and the ever increasing devastation these advances caused to humanity is also chronicled. The book also reveals the devastating and highly unusual events that eventually led to the untimely destruction of a family, one that seemed to have had it all. It is easy to imagine that the combination of the events portrayed in 1946 is the result of the writer's clever imagination; they are not. This book is a work of narrative nonfiction. It is also a tribute to two extraordinary people, recognition of their remarkable success and homage to their tragic suffering.

Battleship Commander by Paul Stillwell

Title Battleship Commander
Author Paul Stillwell
Publisher Naval Institute Press
Release Date 2021-10-15
Category History
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9781682475942
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This is the first-ever biography of Vice Admiral Willis A. Lee Jr., who served a key role during World War II in the Pacific. Recognizing the achievements and legacy of one of the war’s top combat admirals has been long overdue until now. Battleship Commander explores Lee’s life from boyhood in Kentucky through his eventual service as commander of the fast battleships from 1942 to 1945. Paul Stillwell draws on more than 150 first-person accounts from those who knew and served with Lee from boyhood until the time of his death. Said to be down to earth, modest, forgiving, friendly, and with a wry sense of humor, Lee eschewed the media and, to the extent possible, left administrative details to others. Stillwell relates the sequential building of a successful career, illustrating Admiral Lee’s focus on operational, tactical, and strategic concerns. During his service in the Navy Department from 1939 to 1942, Lee prepared the U.S. Navy for war at sea, and was involved in inspecting designs for battleships, cruisers, aircraft carriers, and destroyers. He sent observers to Britain to report on Royal Navy operations during the war against Germany and made plans to send an action team to mainland China to observe conditions for possible later Allied landings there. Putting his focus on the need to equip U.S. warships with radar and antiaircraft guns, Lee was one of the few flag officers of his generation who understood the tactical advantage of radar, especially during night battles. In 1942 Willis Lee became commander of the first division of fast battleships to operate in the Pacific.During that service, he commanded Task Force 64, which achieved a tide-turning victory in a night battle near Guadalcanal in November 1942. Lee missed two major opportunities for surface actions against the Japanese. In June 1944, in the Marianas campaign, he declined to engage because his ships were not trained adequately to operate together in surface battles. In October 1944, Admiral William Halsey’s bungled decisions denied Lee’s ships an opportunity for combat. Continuing his career of service near the end of the war, Lee, in the summer of 1945, directed anti-kamikaze research efforts in Casco Bay, Maine. While Lee’s wartime successes and failures make for compelling reading, what is here in this biography is a balanced look at the man and officer.

Leper Spy by Ben Montgomery

Title Leper Spy
Author Ben Montgomery
Publisher Chicago Review Press
Release Date 2016-10-01
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781613734339
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The GIs called her Joey. Hundreds owed their lives to the tiny Filipina who stashed explosives in spare tires, tracked Japanese troop movements, and smuggled maps of fortifications across enemy lines. As the Battle of Manila raged, Josefina Guerrero walked through gunfire to bandage wounds and close the eyes of the dead. Her valor earned her the Medal of Freedom, but what made her a good spy was also destroying her: leprosy, which so horrified the Japanese they refused to search her. After the war, army chaplains found her in a nightmarish leper colony and fought for the US government to do something it had never done: welcome a foreigner with leprosy. This brought her celebrity, which she used to publicly speak for other sufferers. However, the notoriety haunted her and she sought a way to disappear. Ben Montgomery now brings Guerrero's heroic accomplishments to light.

Memoirs Of A Kamikaze by Kazuo Odachi

Title Memoirs of a Kamikaze
Author Kazuo Odachi
Publisher Tuttle Publishing
Release Date 2020-09-15
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 224
ISBN 9781462921492
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

An incredible, untold story of survival and acceptance that sheds light on one of the darkest chapters in Japanese history. This book tells the story of Kazuo Odachi who—in 1943, when he was just 16 years-old—joined the Imperial Japanese Navy to become a pilot. A year later, he was unknowingly assigned to the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps—a group of airmen whose mission was to sacrifice their lives by crashing planes into enemy ships. Their callsign was "ten dead, zero alive." By picking up Memoirs of a Kamikaze, readers will experience the hardships of fighter pilot training—dipping and diving and watching as other trainees crash into nearby mountainsides. They'll witness the psychological trauma of coming to terms with death before each mission, and breathe a sigh of relief with Odachi when his last mission is cut short by Japan's eventual surrender. They'll feel the anger at a government and society that swept so much of the sacrifice under the rug in its desperation to rebuild. Odachi's innate "samurai spirit" carried him through childhood, WWII and his eventual life as a kendo instructor, police officer and detective. His attention to detail, unwavering self-discipline and impenetrably strong mind were often the difference between life and death. Odachi, who is now well into his nineties, kept his Kamikaze past a secret for most of his life. Seven decades later, he agreed to sit for nearly seventy hours of interviews with the authors of this book—who know Odachi personally. He felt it was his responsibility to finally reveal the truth about the Kamikaze pilots: that they were unsuspecting teenagers and young men asked to do the bidding of superior officers who were never held to account. This book offers a new perspective on these infamous suicide pilots. It is not a chronicle of war, nor is it a collection of research papers compiled by scholars. It is a transcript of Odachi's words.

Boyd by Robert Coram

Title Boyd
Author Robert Coram
Publisher Hachette+ORM
Release Date 2002-11-21
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9780759527775
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The acclaimed author of Brute recounts the life of the veteran U.S. Air Force pilot and innovative military strategist in this biography. John Boyd was arguably the greatest fighter pilot in American history. From the proving ground of the Korean War, he went on to win renown as the instructor who defeated—in less than forty seconds—every pilot who challenged him. But what made Boyd a man for the ages was what happened after he left the cockpit. A fighter on the ground as well as in the air, Boyd was relentless, brilliant, stubborn, and virtually always right. He managed to transform almost single-handedly the way military aircraft, particularly the F-15 and F-16, were designed. He then dedicated many lonely years to a radical theory of conflict that at the time was mostly ignored but now informs military activity around the globe and is acclaimed as the most influential thinking about conflict since Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Praise for Boyd “Boyd could not be more welcome. . . . It should be required reading for every American citizen.” —Washington Post Book World “This engrossing biography should definitely be on the bedside table of all our current military leadership.” —Andrew Cockburn, Los Angeles Times Book Review “A stunning biography . . . Coram traces how Boyd’s ideas percolated into key centers of civilian and military decision making and led to a swift and decisive victory in Operation Desert Storm, and how his maneuverist doctrine foretold the type of terrorist tactics used on September 11.” —Martin Edwin Andersen, Insight

To Kingdom Come by Robert J. Mrazek

Title To Kingdom Come
Author Robert J. Mrazek
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2011-03-01
Category History
Total Pages 400
ISBN 9781101475928
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The breathtaking, never-before-told, true story of a historic air force bombing mission in 1943 Germany. On September 6, 1943, three hundred and thirty-eight B-17 "Flying Fortresses" of the American Eighth Air Force took off from England, bound for Stuttgart, Germany, to bomb Nazi weapons factories. Dense clouds obscured the targets, and one commander's critical decision to circle three times over the city—and its deadly flak—would prove disastrous. Forty-five planes went down that day, and hundreds of men were lost or missing. Focusing on first-person accounts of six of the B-17 airmen, award-winning author Robert Mrazek vividly re-creates the fierce air battle—and reveals the astonishing valor of the airmen who survived being shot down, and the tragic fate of those who did not.

Freedom Betrayed by George H. Nash

Title Freedom Betrayed
Author George H. Nash
Publisher Hoover Press
Release Date 2013-09-01
Category Political Science
Total Pages 1080
ISBN 9780817912369
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Herbert Hoover's "magnum opus"—at last published nearly fifty years after its completion—offers a revisionist reexamination of World War II and its cold war aftermath and a sweeping indictment of the "lost statesmanship" of Franklin Roosevelt. Hoover offers his frank evaluation of Roosevelt's foreign policies before Pearl Harbor and policies during the war, as well as an examination of the war's consequences, including the expansion of the Soviet empire at war's end and the eruption of the cold war against the Communists.

Unholy Fire by Robert J. Mrazek

Title Unholy Fire
Author Robert J. Mrazek
Publisher Macmillan
Release Date 2004-08
Category Fiction
Total Pages 320
ISBN 0312306741
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Working in the Provost Marshall's office after receiving a wound, a Civil War soldier investigates the murder of a young woman who attended the birthday party of notorious playboy general Joseph Hooker.

American Caesar by William Manchester

Title American Caesar
Author William Manchester
Publisher Back Bay Books
Release Date 2008-05-12
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 816
ISBN 9780316032421
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The bestselling classic that indelibly captures the life and times of one of the most brilliant and controversial military figures of the twentieth century. "Electric...Tense with the feeling that this is the authentic MacArthur...Splendid reading." -- New York Times Inspiring, outrageous... A thundering paradox of a man. Douglas MacArthur, one of only five men in history to have achieved the rank of General of the United States Army. He served in World Wars I, II, and the Korean War, and is famous for stating that "in war, there is no substitute for victory." American Caesar examines the exemplary army career, the stunning successes (and lapses) on the battlefield, and the turbulent private life of the soldier-hero whose mystery and appeal created a uniquely American legend.

Denaturalized by Claire Zalc

Title Denaturalized
Author Claire Zalc
Publisher Harvard University Press
Release Date 2021-01-26
Category Law
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9780674249615
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year A CounterPunch Best Book of the Year A Lone Star Policy Institute Recommended Book “A critically important exploration of the political dynamics that have made us one of the most punitive societies in human history. A must-read by one of our most thoughtful scholars of crime and punishment.” —Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy “A cogent and provocative argument about how to achieve true institutional reform and fix our broken system.” —Emily Bazelon, author of Charged “If you care, as I do, about disrupting the perverse politics of criminal justice, there is no better place to start than Prisoners of Politics.” —James Forman, Jr., Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Locking Up Our Own The United States has the world’s highest rate of incarceration in the world. As awful as that truth is, its social consequences—recycling offenders through an overwhelmed criminal justice system, ever-mounting costs, and a growing class of permanently criminalized citizens—are even more devastating. With the authority of a prominent legal scholar and the practical insights gained through her work on criminal justice reform, Rachel Barkow reveals how dangerous it is to base criminal justice policy on the whims of the electorate and argues for a transformative shift toward data and expertise.

Service by Marcus Luttrell

Title Service
Author Marcus Luttrell
Publisher Little, Brown
Release Date 2012-05-08
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9780316217255
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Marcus Luttrell, author of the #1 bestseller Lone Survivor, share war stories about true American heroism from himself and other soldiers who bravely fought alongside him. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell returned from his star-crossed mission in Afghanistan with his bones shattered and his heart broken. So many had given their lives to save him -- and he would have readily done the same for them. As he recuperated, he wondered why he and others, from America's founding to today, had been willing to sacrifice everything-including themselves-for the sake of family, nation, and freedom. In Service, we follow Marcus Luttrell to Iraq, where he returns to the battlefield as a member of SEAL Team 5 to help take on the most dangerous city in the world: Ramadi, the capital of war-torn Al Anbar Province. There, in six months of high-intensity urban combat, he would be part of what has been called the greatest victory in the history of U.S. Special Operations forces. We also return to Afghanistan and Operation Redwing, where Luttrell offers powerful new details about his miraculous rescue. Throughout, he reflects on what it really means to take on a higher calling, about the men he's seen lose their lives for their country, and the legacy of those who came and bled before. A thrilling war story, Service is also a profoundly moving tribute to the warrior brotherhood, to the belief that nobody goes it alone, and no one will be left behind.

81 Days Below Zero by Brian Murphy

Title 81 Days Below Zero
Author Brian Murphy
Publisher Da Capo Press
Release Date 2015-06-02
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 264
ISBN 9780306823299
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"A riveting...saga of survival against formidable odds" (Washington Post) about one man who survived a World War II plane crash in Alaska's harsh Yukon territory Shortly before Christmas in 1943, five Army aviators left Alaska's Ladd Field on a routine flight to test their hastily retrofitted B-24 Liberator in harsh winter conditions. The mission ended in a crash that claimed all but one-Leon Crane, a city kid from Philadelphia with no wilderness experience. With little more than a parachute for cover and an old Boy Scout knife in his pocket, Crane now found himself alone in subzero temperatures. Crane knew, as did the Ladd Field crews who searched unsuccessfully for the crash site, that his chance of survival dropped swiftly with each passing day. But Crane did find a way to stay alive in the grip of the Yukon winter for nearly twelve weeks and, amazingly, walked out of the ordeal intact. 81 Days Below Zero recounts, for the first time, the full story of Crane's remarkable saga. In a drama of staggering resolve and moments of phenomenal luck, Crane learned to survive in the Yukon's unforgiving wilds. His is a tale of the capacity to endure extreme conditions, intense loneliness, and flashes of raw terror-and emerge stronger than before.

Goodbye Darkness by William Manchester

Title Goodbye Darkness
Author William Manchester
Publisher Little, Brown
Release Date 2008-12-14
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 416
ISBN 9780316054638
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This emotional and honest novel recounts a young man's experiences during World War II and digs deep into what he and his fellow soldiers lived through during those dark times. The nightmares began for William Manchester 23 years after WW II. In his dreams he lived with the recurring image of a battle-weary youth (himself), "angrily demanding to know what had happened to the three decades since he had laid down his arms." To find out, Manchester visited those places in the Pacific where as a young Marine he fought the Japanese, and in this book examines his experiences in the line with his fellow soldiers (his "brothers"). He gives us an honest and unabashedly emotional account of his part in the war in the Pacific. "The most moving memoir of combat on WW II that I have ever read. A testimony to the fortitude of man...a gripping, haunting, book." --William L. Shirer

Title The Life and Legend of Chris Kyle American Sniper Navy SEAL
Author Michael J. Mooney
Publisher Little, Brown
Release Date 2013-04-23
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 64
ISBN 9780316278232
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

New York Times bestseller The life story of Chris Kyle, the American Sniper Journalist Michael J. Mooney reveals the life story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the American Sniper, from his Texas childhood up through his death in February 2013. A brutal warrior but a gentle father and husband, Kyle led the life of an American hero and legend. His heroism and reputation in the military service earned him the nickname "the devil" among insurgents and the nickname The Legend among his SEAL brethren, but his impact extended beyond that after he came home, through his work with fellow veterans. Mooney also sheds light on the life of the suffering fellow veteran who killed Kyle and interviews those closest to the late SEAL. The Life and Legend of Chris Kyle is an honest portrayal of the life of a man whose memorial service brought thousands of people to Cowboys Stadium--the most celebrated war hero of our time. [86 pages]

It Never Goes Away by Anne Lauren Koch

Title It Never Goes Away
Author Anne Lauren Koch
Publisher Rutgers University Press
Release Date 2019-05-10
Category Social Science
Total Pages 254
ISBN 9780813598413
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

If you are transgendered, the feeling of wanting your body to match the sex you feel you are never goes away. For some, though, especially those who grew up before trans people were widely out and advocating for equality, these feelings were often compartmentalized and rarely acted upon. Now that gender reassignment has become much more commonplace, many of these people may feel increasing pressure to finally undergo the procedures they have always secretly wanted. Ken Koch was one of those people. Married twice, a veteran, and a world traveler, a health scare when he was sixty-three prompted him to acknowledge the feelings that had plagued him since he was a small child. By undergoing a host of procedures, he radically changed his appearance and became Anne Koch. In the process though, Anne lost everything that Ken had accomplished. She had to remake herself from the ground up. Hoping to help other people in her age bracket who may be considering transitioning, Anne describes the step by step procedures that she underwent, and shares the cost to her personal life, in order to show seniors that although it is never too late to become the person you always knew you were, it is better to go into that new life prepared for some serious challenges. Both a fascinating memoir of a well-educated man growing up trans yet repressed in the mid-twentieth century, and a guidebook to navigating the tricky waters of gender reassignment as a senior, It Never Goes Away shows how what we see in the television world of Transparent translates in real life.

Taking Paris by Martin Dugard

Title Taking Paris
Author Martin Dugard
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2021-09-07
Category History
Total Pages 400
ISBN 9780593183106
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • From Martin Dugard, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Killing series with Bill O’Reilly, comes the spellbinding story of the Allied liberation of Paris from the grip of the Nazis during World War II “Taking Paris does for Paris during World War II what The Splendid and the Vile did for London.”—James Patterson • “Heroes and villains abound. You’ll enjoy this fast-paced book immensely.”—Bill O’Reilly May 1940: The world is stunned as Hitler's forces invade France with a devastating blitzkrieg aimed at Paris. Within weeks, the French government has collapsed, and the City of Lights, revered for its carefree lifestyle, intellectual freedom, and love of liberty, has fallen under Nazi control—perhaps forever. As the Germans ruthlessly crush all opposition, a patriotic band of Parisians known as the Resistance secretly rise up to fight back. But these young men and woman cannot do it alone. Over 120,000 Parisians die under German occupation. Countless more are tortured in the city's Gestapo prisons and sent to death camps. The longer the Nazis hold the city, the greater the danger its citizens face. As the armies of America and Great Britain prepare to launch the greatest invasion in history, the spies of the Resistance risk all to ensure the Germans are defeated and Paris is once again free. The players holding the fate of Paris in their hands are some of the biggest historical figures of the era: Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, General George S. Patton, and the exiled French general Charles de Gaulle, headquartered in London's Connaught Hotel. From the fall of Paris in 1940 to the race for Paris in 1944, this riveting, page-turning drama unfolds through their decisions—for better and worse. Taking Paris is history told at a breathtaking pace, a sprawling yet intimate saga of heroism, desire, and personal sacrifice for all that is right.

Princess by Jane Dismore

Title Princess
Author Jane Dismore
Publisher Rowman & Littlefield
Release Date 2018-06-01
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781493034635
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In November 2017 the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. As a 13-year-old Princess, she fell in love with Prince Philip of Greece, an ambitious naval cadet, and they married when she was 21; when she suddenly became Queen at 25, their lives changed forever. Philip has been her great support, but fortunately she also had a solid foundation that helped prepare her for a life dedicated to duty. With previously unpublished material and unique memories from friends and relatives who have known her since childhood, this book looks afresh and in richer depth at her life as Princess, glittering yet isolating. Vivid detail and anecdotes reveal more about her, the era in which she grew up and the people who shaped her life. The archives of royal confidante Lady Desborough and Private Secretary Sir Alec Hardinge reveal unseen letters from the Princess and the royal family, giving intimate insights into their lives and minds. Here is her sadness at the death of her nanny, Alah; her joy in her children; her melancholy as a young wife when Philip returns to his ship; the sensitivities of her father. Here too is the Princess with the aristocratic Bowes Lyons, her mother’s family, who featured significantly in her life, yet rarely appear in books. The author sheds new light on anomalies surrounding the birth of her mother who, it has been asserted, was the daughter of the family’s cook. The strain of wartime on the royal family is highlighted in new material contrasting the stance of the Princess’s uncles, the Duke of Windsor and David Bowes Lyon. In contrast with her upbringing, Philip’s early life was turbulent, although their lives shared some interesting parallels. Lady Butter, a relation of Philip and friend of the Princess, recalls time spent with each of them; and unpublished documents show how intelligence agencies considered the socialist influence of the Mountbattens on Philip and thus on the royal court. More importantly, Princess traces how an “ordinary country girl” suddenly found herself in the line of succession to the crown at age ten when her Uncle, the Duke of Windsor, abdicated the throne to his brother Albert (“Bertie” to family and friends), the once and future King George VI. Breaking new ground for a future English monarch, she became the first female member of the royal family to serve on active duty during World War II, and broke tradition by sending her children away to school rather having them privately tutored. Indeed, by the time of her coronation in 1953, she had already achieved a “broad and solid background from which she could draw during the rapidly changing times of her long reign. Out of a little princess they made a Queen.”

The Tightening Dark by Sam Farran

Title The Tightening Dark
Author Sam Farran
Publisher Hachette Books
Release Date 2021-07-27
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9780306922725
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This riveting memoir follows a Lebanese-Muslim-American and thirty-year US Marine veteran who suffered a six-month ordeal at the hands of a brutal regime in Yemen—and remained loyal to his country through it all. As air strikes carpeted Yemen's capital, Sam Farran was one of only a few Americans in the war-ravaged country. He was there to conduct security assessments for a variety of international firms. Days after his arrival, he was brutally seized and taken hostage by Houthi rebels. Sam would spend the next six months suffering a horrific ordeal that would test his endurance, his loyalty and his very soul. Every day his captors asked him—as a fellow Muslim—to betray America and his Marine heritage in exchange for his freedom. Would he give in to the Houthis and return to his Middle Eastern roots? In the end--and despite daily threats to his life—Sam found the strength to resist, and came out of his ordeal with an increased sense of being, foremost, a US Marine. The Tightening Dark is an intimate, riveting and inspiring memoir of heroic strength, courage, survival and commitment to country. And a reminder that the best parts of the American dream are the dreamers—those who pledge to being American, regardless of where they are born.

The Girl And The Bombardier by Susan Tate Ankeny

Title The Girl and the Bombardier
Author Susan Tate Ankeny
Publisher Diversion Books
Release Date 2020-09-08
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 210
ISBN 9781635767148
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This enthralling WWII biography combines a downed B-17 bombardier’s unfinished memoir with letters from the French girl who saved his life. Susan Tate Ankeny’s father was a World War II veteran bombardier who had bailed from a burning B-17 over Nazi-occupied France in 1944. After he died, she found his unfinished memoir, stacks of envelopes, black-and-white photographs, mission reports, dog tags, and the fake identity cards he used in his escape. Ankeny spent more than a decade tracking down letter writers, their loved ones, and anyone who had played a role in her father's story, culminating in a trip to France where she retraced his path with the same people who had guided him more than sixty years ago. While piecing together her father’s wartime experience, Ankeny discovered a remarkable hero. Godelieve Van Laere was just a teenaged girl when she saved the fallen Lieutenant Dean Tate, risking her life and forging a friendship that would last into a new century. The result is a fascinating and dramatic World War II tale enhanced by personal interviews with participants. It traces the transformation of a small-town American boy into a bombardier, the thrill and chaos of aerial warfare, and the horror of bailing from a flaming aircraft over enemy territory. It distinguishes the actions of a little-known French resistance network for Allied airmen known as Shelburne. And it shines a light on the courage and cunning of a young woman who risked her life to save another.

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