Book Review: The Patient Assassin by Anita Anand

About: The Patient Assassin: A True Tale of Massacre, Revenge, and India’s Quest for Independence by Anita Anand is the true story of Udham Singh, a Sikh orphan, setting out on a decades long scheme to murder an English diplomat. Ms. Anand is a British radio and TV personality, author and journalist. My rating for The Patient Assassin – 5 Buy The Patient Assassin from Amazon.com* More Books by Anita Anand* Thoughts: I knew nothing about Sir Michael O’Dwyer, the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab, Udam Singh, or the Jallianwala Bagh massacre (Amritsar massacre) before I started this book.  After I read The Patient Assassin: A True Tale of Massacre, Revenge, and India’s Quest for Independence by Anita Anand I at least have some firm grasp of the events and history. The book tells of the events that led to the 13 April, 1191 massacre in the Punjab province of India, the aftermath that transpired for days, weeks, and years afterwards. The book follows a timeline which juxtaposes between Udham Singh, the assassin, and Sir Michael O’Dwyer, the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab. Sir Michael was the one that ordered Brigadier General Reginald Dyer to Amritsar who was responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar….

Book Review: Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner and David Fisher

About: Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner and David Fisher is a memoir of the famous actor and his up and down relationship with his co-star Leonard Nimoy. Mr. Shatner needs no introduction, he is a successful actor and author. Mr. Fisher is the author and co-author of more than twenty New York Times bestsellers. 288 pages Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books Language: English ISBN-10: 1250083311 My rating for Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man – 4 Buy Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man from Amazon.com* More Books by William Shatner* More Books by David Fisher* Books by Leonard Nimoy* Thoughts: I remember when I discovered Star Trek, I was about 10 and fascinated with all things “space”. The show, even though was simply “new to me” was fascinating, fresh, and original even though I certainly didn’t get all the social commentary. Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner and David Fisher is a touching homage, Mr. Shatner obviously cared deeply for Mr. Nimoy and it comes through. This is by no means a biography of either actor, and if you go in with the preconceived notion, then you are bound to be…

Book Review: Invisible Heroes of World War II by Jerry Borrowman

About: Invisible Heroes of World War II: True Stories That Should Never Be Forgotten by Jerry Borrowman is a book with mini-biographies about several heroes of the war, which are rarely talked about. Mr. Borrowman is an award winning author and speaker. 208 pages Publisher: Shadow Mountain Language: English ISBN-10: 1629724173 My rating for Invisible Heroes of World War II – 4 Buy Invisible Heroes of World War II from Amazon.com* More Books by Jerry Borrowman* Thoughts: The general consensus around the people who fought in World War II is that they were The Greatest Generation, as coined by Tom Brokaw in his book by the same name.  Invisible Heroes of World War II: True Stories That Should Never Be Forgotten by Jerry Borrowman is a poignant tribute to some of those folks who were brave as they were determined. This is not a long book, it tells of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Not all of the people the author talks about achieved much fame or were in the public eye, but they do deserve to have their story told. The book touches on Pat Patton, a POW at Bataan, Nancy Wake of the French Resistance, Navajo Code Talkers, journalist Dickey Chapelle, African Americans at…

Book Review: The British are Coming by Rick Atkinson

About: The British are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775 – 1777 by Rick Atkinson is a history book, first of a trilogy, which describes the first 21 months of the American Revolutionary War. Mr. Atkinson is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and historian. 800 pages Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. Language: English ISBN-10: 1627790438 My rating for The British are Coming – 5 Buy The British are Coming from Amazon.com* More Books by Rick Atkinson* Thoughts: We always learn about the heroics of the American Revolutionary War, but many seem to forget that it was still war, brutal and violent with small acts of heroism as well as nation building events. In his book, The British are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775 – 1777, historian Rick Atkinson doesn’t forget that, quite the opposite, his narrative thrives on those subjects. The books description of battle and tactics, especially those in Boston (Lexington, Concord), are vivid, exciting and informative. The author puts in a lot of detail which he either simply made up, or discovered by conjuncture. For example, how did he know that the soldiers wet shoes squelched? You either assume, or try and find out what the…

Book Review: Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

When most of us hear the name Leonardo da Vinci, we think of his paintings the Mona Lisa or the Last Supper. Others might think of The Vitruvian Man or his designs of early tanks and helicopter. Just like any other human beings, Leonardo da Vinci is more than a painter, engineer or weapon smith, and in this biography Walter Isaacson tries to figure out this complex genius.

Book Review: The Undercover Nazi Hunter by Wolfe Frank

About: The Undercover Nazi Hunter: Exposing Subterfuge and Unmasking Evil in Post-War Germany by Wolfe Frank (edited by Paul Hooley) is a non-fiction book composed of articles the author wrote while he researched post-war Germany’s attitude through street level  investigations. Mr. Frank, a German born British citizen, was the Chief Interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials. 288 pages Publisher: Frontline Books Language: English ISBN-10: 1526738732 My rating for The Undercover Nazi Hunter – 5 Buy The Undercover Nazi Hunter from Amazon.com* More Books by Wolfe Frank* Thoughts: This is a fascinating book, and even though the majority of it was already published in the New York Herald Tribune during the later 1940s-early 1950s. Wolfe Frank managed to escape Germany before being put in a concentration camp as an “enemy of the state”, being half-Jewish didn’t help either. The author managed to get to England and become a citizen. The author was jailed in England for a few months to make sure he’s not a spy (I would imagine) but then joined the British Army as an interpreter, rising to the level of Captain and Chief Interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials delivering the death sentences to top ranked Nazis, earning him the nickname “The Voice of Doom”. After…

Book Review: D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II by Sarah Rose

About: D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II by Sarah Rose is several short historical accounts of women spies, tied into a single narrative. Ms. Rose is an author and journalist whose work appeared in such publications as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and The Saturday Evening Post, among others. 400 pages Publisher: Crown Language: English ISBN-10: 045149508X My rating for D-Day Girls – 3 Buy D-Day Girls from Amazon.com* More Books by Sarah Rose* Thoughts: This book sounded very interesting to me as I enjoy the many narratives and stories World War II has produced. D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II by Sarah Rose tells of these stories, focusing on women who spied for the Allies. The book follows three women as they were recruited as spies and sent behind enemy lines, and unheard of act back then. They had to be tough, smart, have a good head on their shoulders, and thing quick on their feet. To be fair, I knew most of what is written in this book from other books I’ve read. This is the first book though, that I’ve…

Book Review: Gray Day by Eric O’Neill

About: Gray Day: My Undercover Mission to Expose America’s First Cyber Spy by Eric O’Neill is a non-fiction book following the author’s investigation into the FBI’s most damaging spy. Mr. O’Neill is a cybersecurity expert and a former FBI agent. 304 pages Publisher: Crown Language: English ISBN-10: 0525573526 My rating for Gray Day – 5 Buy Gray Day from Amazon.com* More Books by Eric O’Neill* Thoughts: I have read many books about cybersecurity, and many books which spy Robert Hanssen (code name: Gray Day) is mentioned, but I never realized the two subject had anything to do with one another, until now. Gray Day: My Undercover Mission to Expose America’s First Cyber Spy by Eric O’Neill is a thrilling memoir about the author’s FBI assignment to “work” for Hanssen while secretly investigating whether he is a Soviet spy or not. The author starts by introducing the reader to his world of shadows. As an FBI “ghost” he was an expert at surveillance while blending into the background, gathering information without notice. Real spy work some might say. As a young agent, Mr. O’Neill was tasked at joining the new cybersecurity division that Mr. Hanssen was put in charge of. Unbeknownst…

Book Review: The Agitator by Peter Duffy

About: The Agitator: William Bailey and the First American Uprising against Nazism by Peter Duffy is a short biography of William Bailey, an American who stood his ground against Hitler’s Germany at a time when the US was solidly neutral. Mr. Duffy is a historian and journalist. 288 pages Publisher: PublicAffairs (March 19, 2019) Language: English ISBN-10: 1541762312 My rating for The Agitator – 4 Buy The Agitator from Amazon.com* More books by Peter Duffy* Thoughts: The main event that The Agitator: William Bailey and the First American Uprising against Nazism by Peter Duffy centers around is a protest against the Third Reich which took place in July of 1935. A group of Communist Party members, led by Bill Bailey, crashed a reception on the SS Bremen, a huge German luxury liner, tore down the swastika flag and threw it into the New York Harbor. Mr. Duffy places the events of that day, and the life of Mr. Bailey, in context of the times and his socio-economic status. Bill Bailey came from “a destitute Irish family”, he spent time in juvenile jail, grew up in a slum, and as a result developed a political ideology and a strong conscious. The book juxtaposes between…

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