war

  It’s 1942 and the Nazis are racing to be the first to build a weapon unlike any known before. They have the physicists, they have the uranium, and now all their plans depend on amassing a single ingredient: heavy water, which is produced in Norway’s Vemork, the lone plant in all the world that makes this rare substance. Under threat of death, Vemork’s engineers push production into overdrive.
 
For the Allies, the plant must be destroyed. But how would they reach the castle fortress set on a precipitous gorge in one of the coldest, most inhospitable places on Earth?
 
Based on a trove of top secret documents and never-before-seen diaries and letters of the saboteurs, The Winter Fortress is an arresting chronicle of a brilliant scientist, a band of spies on skies, perilous survival in the wild, sacrifice for one’s country, Gestapo manhunts, soul-crushing setbacks, and a last-minute operation that would end any chance Hitler could obtain the atomic bomb—and alter the course of the war.

Ron Kovic
Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

  Ron Kovic was really born on the 4th of July. Forty years ago the Vietnam vet — wounded in combat and in a wheelchair ever since — published his classic war memoir, later made into a film with Tom Cruise – Born on the Fourth of July. The new anniversary edition features a foreword by Bruce Springsteen.

In addition, Kovic - who continues his activism -  has written a new memoir entitled Hurricane Street, which chronicles the 1970s activism of the American Veterans Movement.

  Daniel Shapiro, Ph.D., is founder and director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program and a world-renowned expert on conflict resolution. From advising leaders of war-torn countries to working with senior executives and families in crisis, Dan has helped thousands of organizations and individuals solve the problems that divide us. Drawing on these experiences and his practice-based research, he has developed a wealth of practical approaches to amplify influence and leadership—in business, in government, and in life.

His new book is Negotiating the Nonnegotiable: How to Resolve Your Most Emotionally Charged Conflicts.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we're speaking with Edward Paulino, one of the New York Council for the Humanities’ Public Scholars and an assistant professor of history at John Jay College about the history of bearing witness to what is often unspeakable violence. In his recent book, Dividing Hispanola, he details the 20th century history of one of the world's bloodiest borders, that between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

  Best-selling historian Nathaniel Philbrick once again takes readers deep into the American Revolution, leading them into battles and illuminating the players on the field and behind the scenes. His latest - Valiant Ambition - is a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and the war that gave birth to a nation.

The focus is on loyalty and personal integrity, evoking a Shakespearean tragedy that unfolds in the key relationship of George Washington and Benedict Arnold. Philbrick gives readers a fresh view of America’s first president and offers a surprisingly sympathetic view of the man whose name is synonymous with the word traitor.

  Nancy Spielberg grew up surrounded by the film industry, where she worked on her brother Steven’s early films.

She join us this morning to talk about her new documentary, Above and Beyond, and about her Women's Philanthropy Connections event for the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York

  Joe Gannon is a writer and spoken word artist. He was a freelance journalist in Nicaragua during the Sandinista Revolution, writing for The Christian Science Monitor, The Toronto Globe and Mail, and The San Francisco Examiner

He spent three years in the army, graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and did his MFA at Pine Manor College. After a stint teaching high school in Abu Dhabi, he wrote his first novel, Night of the Jaguar. He new novel is The Last Dawn

  It was the deadliest terror campaign ever mounted against a nation in modern times: the al-Aqsa, or Second, Intifada. This is the untold story of how Israel fought back with an elite force of undercover operatives, drawn from the nation’s diverse backgrounds and ethnicities—and united in their ability to walk among the enemy as no one else dared.

  The year was 1922: World War I had just come to a close, the Ottoman Empire was in decline, and Asa Jennings, a YMCA worker from upstate New York, had just arrived in the quiet coastal city of Smyrna to teach sports to boys. Several hundred miles to the east in Turkey’s interior, tensions between Greeks and Turks had boiled over into deadly violence.

Turkish soldiers proceeded to burn the city and rape and kill countless Christian refugees. Unwilling to leave with the other American civilians and determined to get Armenians and Greeks out of the doomed city, Jennings worked tirelessly to feed and transport the thousands of people gathered at the city’s Quay. With the help of naval officer Halsey Powell, and a handful of others, Jennings commandeered a fleet of unoccupied Greek ships and was able to evacuate a quarter million innocent people.

  During World War II, trains delivered thousands of civilians from the United States and Latin America to Crystal City, Texas. The trains carried Japanese, German, and Italian immigrants and their American-born children. The only family internment camp during the war, Crystal City was the center of a government prisoner exchange program called “quiet passage.” Hundreds of prisoners in Crystal City were exchanged for other more ostensibly important Americans—diplomats, businessmen, soldiers, and missionaries—behind enemy lines in Japan and Germany.

Jan Jarboe Russell writes about Crystal City in her book, The Train to Crystal City: FDR's Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America's Only Family Internment Camp During World War II, now out in paperback.

New York Times bestselling author Mark Bowden has had a prolific career as one of America’s leading journalists and nonfiction writers.

His new collection, The Three Battles of Wanat and Other True Stories, features the best of his long-form pieces on war, as well as notable profiles, sports reporting, and essays on culture.

  The devastation of Pearl Harbor and the American victory at Midway were prelude to a greater challenge: rolling back the vast Japanese Pacific Empire, island by island.

Historian Ian Toll’s new book, The Conquering Tide, encompasses the heart of the Pacific War—the period between mid-1942 and mid-1944.

Women Against War is hosting news consultant, law professor and author Marjorie Cohn this weekend for presentations on Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal Moral and Political Issues.

Marjorie teaches at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, lectures globally on international human rights and US foreign policy and has done work on the complex issue of military drones. She has been a news consultant for CBS News and a legal analyst for Court TV, and has also provided legal and political commentary on BBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, and Pacifica Radio.

She has testified before Congress and at military trials. She is deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. She is a former president of the National Lawyers’ Guild and she joins us this morning.

  Long before his finest hour as Britain's wartime leader, Winston Churchill emerged on the world stage as a brazen foreign correspondent, covering wars of empire in Cuba, India, the Sudan, and South Africa.

In those far-flung corners of the world, reporting from the front lines between 1895 and 1900, Churchill mastered his celebrated command of language and formed strong opinions about war.

Based on his private letters and war reportage, Winston Churchill Reporting by Simon Read intertwines young Winston's daring exploits in combat, adventures in distant corners of the globe, and rise as a major literary talent.

  London in April, 1940, was a place of great fear and conflict. Everyone was on edge; civilization itself seemed imperiled. The Germans are marching. They have taken Poland, France, Holland, Belgium, and Czechoslovakia. They now menace Britain. Should Britain negotiate with Germany?

The members of the War Cabinet bicker, yell, lose their control, and are divided. Churchill, leading the faction to fight, and Lord Halifax, cautioning that prudence is the way to survive, attempt to usurp one another by any means possible. Their country is on the line. And, in historian John Kelly’s new book: Never Surrender: Winston Churchill and Britain's Decision to Fight Nazi Germany in the Fateful Summer of 1940, he brings us alongside these complex and imperfect men, determining the fate of the British Empire.

John Kelly specializes in narrative history. He is the author of several books including: The Graves Are Walking: The Great Famine and the Saga of the Irish People.

The War Reporter

Nov 5, 2015

  Martin Fletcher is a highly respected television news correspondent, also rapidly gaining an equally impressive reputation as a writer. He is the winner of  a National Jewish Book Award and the author of The List and Jacob's Oath.  He spent many years as the NBC news bureau chief in Tel Aviv and is now based in Israel, Mexico, and New York.  He is currently a special new correspondent for PBS. His new book is The War Reporter, it is published by Saint Martin's Press. 

  For years, theater director Bryan Doerries has led an innovative public health project that produces ancient tragedies for current and returned soldiers, addicts, tornado and hurricane survivors, and a wide range of other at-risk people in society.

Drawing on these extraordinary firsthand experiences, Doerries clearly and powerfully illustrates the redemptive and therapeutic potential of this classical, timeless art: how, for example, Ajax can help soldiers and their loved ones better understand and grapple with PTSD, or how Prometheus Bound provides new insights into the modern penal system. These plays are revivified not just in how Doerries applies them to communal problems of today, but in the way he translates them himself from the ancient Greek, deftly and expertly rendering enduring truths in contemporary and striking English.

It's known as the world's friendliest border. Five thousand miles of unfenced, un-walled international coexistence and a symbol of neighborly goodwill between two great nations: the United States and Canada. But just how friendly is it really? In War Plan Red, the secret "cold war" between the United States and Canada is revealed by Kevin Lippert.

From the "Pork and Beans War" between Maine and Newfoundland lumberjacks, to the "Pig War" of the San Juan Islands, culminating with excerpts from actual declassified invasion plans the Canadian and U.S. militaries drew up in the 1920s and 1930s – Lippert looks at the ever-evolving history of North American continental relations.

Kevin Lippert is the founder of the Princeton Architectural Press, which he has run for the past 34-years.

  Kermit Roosevelt, University of Pennsylvania Law Professor and Theodore Roosevelt’s Great Great Grandson, combines the momentum of a top-notch legal thriller with a thoughtful examination of one of the worst civil rights violations in US history in Allegiance: A Novel.

The Roosevelt Library and Museum will present an author talk and book signing with Kermit Roosevelt at 7 o'clock tonight in the Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home.

  In his book, Men of War: The American Soldier in Combat at Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima, Alexander Rose draws on an immense range of firsthand sources from the battlefield. He begins by re-creating the lost and alien world of eighteenth-century warfare at Bunker Hill, the bloodiest clash of the War of Independence, and reveals why the American militiamen were so lethally effective against the oncoming waves of British troops.

Then, focusing on Gettysburg, Rose describes a typical Civil War infantry action, vividly explaining what Union and Confederate soldiers experienced before, during, and after combat. Finally, he shows how in 1945 the Marine Corps hurled itself with the greatest possible violence at the island of Iwo Jima, where nearly a third of all Marines killed in World War II would die. As Rose demonstrates, the most important factor in any battle is the human one: At Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima, the American soldier, as much as any general, proved decisive.

  In his new book, Kissinger’s Shadow: The Long Reach of America’s Most Controversial Statesman, acclaimed historian Greg Grandin argues that to understand our never-ending wars abroad and political polarization at home--we have to understand Henry Kissinger.

Examining Kissinger's own writings, as well as a wealth of newly declassified documents, Grandin reveals how Richard Nixon's top foreign policy advisor, even as he was presiding over defeat in Vietnam and a disastrous, secret, and illegal war in Cambodia, was helping to revive a militarized version of American exceptionalism centered on an imperial presidency.

Going beyond accounts focusing either on Kissinger's crimes or accomplishments, Grandin offers a compelling new interpretation of the diplomat's continuing influence on how the United States views its role in the world. Greg Grandin is an author and professor of history at New York University.

  In 1944, hundreds of Allied soldiers were trapped in prisoner-of-war camps in occupied France, fighting brutal conditions and unsympathetic captors. The odds of their survival were long. The odds of escaping, even longer.

But one man had the courage to fight the odds. In Behind Nazi Lines: My Father’s Heroic Quest To Save 149 World War II Pow’s, Andrew Hodges tells the true story of his father’s brave mission behind enemy lines to negotiate the safety of prisoners.

Dr. Andrew Hodges Jr. is the firstborn son of World War II hero Andrew Gerow Hodges. He is a psychiatrist in private practice and has served as assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. Dr. Hodges has helped pioneer a breakthrough to the brilliant unconscious mind, which he explained in his groundbreaking book, The Deeper Intelligence.

  Erik Larson has made a career of bringing half-remembered history to vivid, vibrant life. He has done so in his best-sellers: The Devil in the White City, Thunderstruck, In the Garden of Beasts, and Isaac’s Storm.

Widely acclaimed as the master of page-turning non-fiction sagas, he now brings another past event alive – this time, the last crossing of the Lusitania.

  Each day brings more terrible headlines from the Middle East.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Sean Patrick Maloney tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that a new war is out of the question.

  The new opera The Long Walk is based on Brian Castner’s critically acclaimed book of the same name. The opera is a deeply personal exploration of a soldier’s return from Iraq where he served as an officer in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit and his battle with what he calls “the Crazy” as he tries to reintegrate into his family life upon returning from the war.

Opera Saratoga at the Spa Little Theatre is presenting the world premiere of The Long Walk in partnership with American Lyric Theater. Internationally renowned theater and opera director David Schweizer makes his Opera Saratoga debut.

Grammy Award winning baritone Daniel Belcher returns to Opera Saratoga to create the role of Brian, alongside mezzo-soprano Heather Johnson, who makes her company debut as his wife Jessie. The two performers join us for this interview.

  There are no easy answers in the Middle East.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Chris Gibson tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the Islamic State is not going away in Iraq. 

    In six weeks during April and May 1915, as World War I escalated, Germany forever altered the way war would be fought. On April 22, at Ypres, German canisters spewed poison gas at French and Canadian soldiers in their trenches; on May 7, the German submarine U-20, without warning, torpedoed the passenger liner Lusitania, killing 1,198 civilians; and on May 31, a German Zeppelin began the first aerial bombardment of London and its inhabitants. Each of these actions violated rules of war carefully agreed at the Hague Conventions of 1898 and 1907. Though Germany's attempts to quickly win the war failed, the psychological damage caused by these attacks far outweighed the casualties. The era of weapons of mass destruction had dawned.

  

  In The Great War of Our Time: The CIA's Fight Against Terrorism--From al Qa'ida to ISIS, recently retired Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Michael Morrell uses his talents to offer an unblinking and insightful assessment of CIA's counterterrorism successes and failures of the past twenty years.

  

  Today in our Ideas Matter segment, we check in with the Vermont Humanities Council to talk about their program Standing Together: Veterans Book Groups. We are joined by Michael Heaney, a retired American History Professor, lawyer, and a wounded combat veteran of the Vietnam War. In 1965 and 1966, he served in Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division as an infantry platoon leader. Much of his post-war life has been devoted to working with combat veterans, and to writing, teaching, and leading discussions about war- and veteran-related matters. For 15 years, he led wilderness expedition courses for combat veterans, in a program jointly sponsored by Outward Bound and the Veterans Administration.

  When Emma Sky volunteered to help rebuild Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, she had little idea what she was getting in to. Her assignment was only supposed to last three months. She went on to serve there longer than any other senior military or diplomatic figure, giving her an unrivaled perspective of the entire conflict.

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