MHQ Reviews: Noteworthy Books, Winter 2015 | HistoryNet MENU

MHQ Reviews: Noteworthy Books, Winter 2015

11/10/2014 • MHQ Reviews, Reviews

Nation to Nation Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations, edited by Suzan Shown Harjo (Smithsonian Books, $40). The scholars and activists who contributed to this volume consider the long and often ignoble history of treaty-making between the United States government and Native peoples through several lenses—cultural, legal, environmental, and political. While much of the book deals with decades of treaty-imposed injustices—from allotment to Indian removal policies—it ends with recent progress in human rights and social services for American Indians.

War Poetry, edited by Jon Stallworthy (Oxford University Press, $18.95). From the Bible to the great Greek poets to Chaucer to Allen Ginsberg and James Dickey, this small but comprehensive volume captures the millennia-old lamentation on the horrors, heroism, and loss provoked by war. Stallworthy, disturbed by “the widespread ignorance of Second World War poetry,” has rectified that with a strong sampling from that “damned inhuman” war.

Neptune The Allied Invasion of Europe and the D-Day Landings, by Craig L. Symonds (Oxford University Press, $29.95). At the meeting of U.S. and British chiefs of staff in Quebec in 1943, the massive amphibious assault on occupied France was finally set for the following year and given a name: Neptune. Symonds delves into what transpired in the political, industrial, diplomatic, and military realms to make D-Day a reality. In following this “long backstory,” Symonds covers the private communications and maneuverings among Churchill, Marshall, Roose-velt, Eisenhower, and others. Several chapters discuss landing craft design, implementation, and training—not surprising since Symonds is a professor at the U.S. Naval Academy.

The Unsubstantial Air American Fliers in the First World War, by Samuel Hynes (Farrar, Straus and Giroux $29.99). From diaries, memoirs, and letters home, Samuel Hynes—a Marine pilot in World War II, memoirist, critic, and emeritus professor of literature at Princeton—has written a wise, vivid, and blunt account of young pilots flying, killing and (sometimes) surviving aerial combat on the Western Front, which the pilots themselves called “the game.”

The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War, by Mark E. Stille (Osprey Publishing, $40). An encyclopedic study of the ships, men, aircraft, strategy, and doctrine of the powerful navy that confronted the U.S. in World War II, this relentlessly factual volume is amply illustrated with period photos, maps, charts, diagrams, detailed color cutaway drawings, and original art.

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