national geographic

There's a Book for That: Memorial Day

On Monday, May 28th, we pay tribute to the American men and women who have died in service to our country. To honor the occasion, we are highlighting titles — fiction and nonfiction — with themes that honor the service and sacrifice of our nation’s military.

  "A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." – Joseph Campbell   Touching the Dragon by James Hatch and Christian D'AndreaTOUCHING THE DRAGON AND OTHER TECHNIQUES FOR SURVIVING LIFE'S WARS by James Hatch, Christian D'Andrea From former special ops Navy SEAL senior chief; master naval parachutist (four Bronze Stars with Valor, Navy and Marine Corps Medal recipient, etc.); fighter in 150 missions (Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Africa); expert military dog trainer and handler whose SEAL dogs were partners and medal winners—a fierce, moving tale of a return from hell, being badly wounded on a special ops mission that ended his two-decades-long military career, his searing recovery, and the struggle to live life off the speeding train of war.   Eyewitness to World War II by Stephen G. HyslopEYEWITNESS TO WORLD WAR II: UNFORGETTABLE STORIES FROM HISTORY'S GREATEST CONFLICT by Stephen G. Hyslop, Winston Groom (National Geographic) This elegant narrative edition of Neil Kagan’s best-selling Eyewitness to World War II offers incredible first-person stories and amazing moments of heroism, providing new context and perspective on history’s greatest conflict.   Bring Out the Dog by Will MackinBRING OUT THE DOG: STORIES by Will Mackin In the tradition of The Things They Carried and Redeployment, a debut short story collection from a U.S. Navy veteran who completed five combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan—a remarkable portrait of the absurdity and poetry that define life in the most clandestine circles of modern warfare.     The World Remade by G. J. MeyerTHE WORLD REMADE: AMERICA IN WORLD WAR I by G. J. Meyer A bracing, indispensable account of America’s epoch-defining involvement in the Great War, rich with fresh insights into the key issues, events, tumultuous politics, and towering historical figures that defined the era and led to the emergence of the United States as the dominant global power.     My Fellow Soldiers by Andrew CarrollMY FELLOW SOLDIERS; GENERAL JOHN PERSHING AND THE AMERICANS WHO HELPED WIN THE GREAT WAR by Andrew Carroll A vivid and moving account of the American experience in World War I, with General John Pershing featured prominently in the foreground, drawing on both little-known and newly uncovered letters and diaries. Woven throughout Pershing’s story are the experiences of a remarkable group of American men and women, both the famous and unheralded. The chorus of these voices makes the high stakes of this epic American saga piercingly real and demonstrates the war’s profound impact on the individuals who served.   The Long Road Home by Martha RaddatzTHE LONG ROAD HOME: A STORY OF WAR AND FAMILY by Martha Raddatz Tie-in to National Geographic Channel’s miniseries—ABC News’ Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz shares remarkable tales of heroism, hope, and heartbreak in her account of “Black Sunday”—a battle during one of the deadliest periods of the Iraq War.   The Vietnam War by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken BurnsTHE VIETNAM WAR: AN INTIMATE HISTORY by Geoffrey C. Ward, Ken Burns Companion to the acclaimed PBS series More than forty years after it ended, the Vietnam War continues to haunt our country. We still argue over why we were there, whether we could have won, and who was right and wrong in their response to the conflict. Now, continuing in the tradition of their critically acclaimed collaborations, the authors draw on dozens and dozens of interviews in America and Vietnam to give us the perspectives of people involved at all levels of the war   Shooting Ghosts by Thomas J. Brennan USMC (Ret.) and Finbarr O'ReillySHOOTING GHOSTS: A U.S. MARINE, A COMBAT PHOTOGRAPHER, AND THEIR JOURNEY BACK FROM WAR by Thomas J. Brennan USMC (Ret.), Finbarr O'Reilly A unique joint memoir by a U.S. Marine and a conflict photographer, whose unlikely friendship helped both heal their war-wounded bodies and souls. Their story, told in alternating first-person narratives, is about the things they saw and did, the ways they have been affected, and how they have navigated the psychological aftershocks of war and wrestled with reforming their own identities and moral centers.   War and Turpentine by Stefan HertmansWAR AND TURPENTINE: A NOVEL by Stefan Hertmans, David Mckay A critically acclaimed and internationally celebrated novel of war, art, and memory. The life of Urbain Martien—artist, soldier, survivor of World War I—lies contained in two notebooks he left behind when he died in 1981. In War and Turpentine, his grandson, a writer, retells his grandfather’s story, the notebooks providing a key to the locked chambers of Urbain’s memory.   The Frozen Hours by Jeff ShaaraTHE FROZEN HOURS: A NOVEL OF THE KOREAN WAR by Jeff Shaara A riveting novel about the Korean War and the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, written with Jeff Shaara’s signature “you-are-there” immediacy and intense, varying perspectives.     FOR YOUNGER READERS   Boots on the Ground by Elizabeth PartridgeBOOTS ON THE GROUND: AMERICA'S WAR IN VIETNAM by Elizabeth Partridge (for middle grades and up) The history of the Vietnam era is complex; the cultural impact extraordinary. But it’s the personal stories of eight people—six American soldiers, one American nurse, and one Vietnamese refugee—that form the heartbeat of Boots on the Ground. Alternating with these chapters are profiles of key American leaders and events, reminding us what was happening at home, including Kent State, Woodstock, and Watergate. This show-stopping book is Elizabeth Partridge at her finest.   The Not-So-Boring Letters of Private Nobody by Matthew LandisTHE NOT-SO-BORING LETTERS OF PRIVATE NOBODY by Matthew Landis A trio of seventh graders become one another’s first friends as they discover the secrets of a Civil War soldier in this middle grade novel for fans of Gordon Korman and Gary Schmidt. “Author [Matthew Landis], himself an eighth grade social studies teacher, has produced an American history educator’s dream novel.” —School Library Connection   For more on these and related titles visit the collection Memorial Day 2018
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