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Once an Eagle

Myrer, with foreword by Carlo D’Este (Harper Perennial Modern by Anton Classics, 2013).

Few novels have been as enthusiastically embraced by generations of U.S. military readers as this one. Myrer’s compelling story traces the intertwined Army careers of hero Sam Damon, the very embodiment of selfless service, and Damon’s archenemy, the ruthless careerist Courtney Massengale, following the protagonists from World War I into the post-World War II years.

First published in 1968, Once an Eagle particularly gained widespread popularity with members of the U.S. armed forces during the troubled post-Vietnam War era, a time when military service was underfunded, underappreciated and greatly undervalued by the American public. The book has been required reading in military schools since its original publication and has been on the military services’ professional development reading list for decades.

Kudos to Harper for republishing this classic novel, which now includes a superbly written and insightful foreword by renowned historian Carlo D’Este, a member of ACG’s advisory board.


For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States From 1607 to 2012

 by Allan R. Millett, Peter Maslowski and William B. Feis (Free Press, 2012).

The original For the Common Defense, published in 1984, quickly became THE single-volume military history of the United States. In this latest edition, the text has been extensively revised and expanded. It now includes new chapters that cover America’s defense policies and military history since the book’s original publication almost three decades ago.

For the Common Defense is detailed and meticulously researched, yet the superbly written narrative makes it easily accessible to anyone interested in military history. It is a “must-have” addition to all personal libraries.


Homeland: The Complete First Season

 (Showtime, 2011; DVD release, 2012).

 The first 12 episodes of Homeland, Showtime’s Emmy Award-winning political thriller series, are now available as a four-disc set or as a three-disc Blu-ray set (shown).

Homeland’s riveting plot follows the actions of CIA operative Carrie Mathison (Clare Danes), who suspects that U.S. Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), recently freed from al-Qaeda captivity, has been “turned” by the terrorists and is now a threat to America’s national security. Strong performances, surprising plot twists, and the story’s relevance to recent events (such as the 2009 Fort Hood shootings) propelled the first season to six Emmys (tied for most awards for a program), including a near sweep of the Drama Series category: Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor (Lewis), Outstanding Lead Actress (Danes), and Outstanding Writing.

Extras on the DVDs include deleted scenes, “Under Surveillance: The Making of Homeland,” and “The Visit: A Prologue to Season Two.”


Originally published in the March 2013 issue of Armchair General.