6 Authors Of Non-Fiction Books About War And Military Service
Though we often fill our heads with fanciful fictional tales of heroics, it's important to remember the real people behind our military history. These authors have all taken the time to do research and hear accounts of those who were there, painting an accurate picture that can be preserved for future generations. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
6 Authors Examining True Stories of War and the Military
Get to Know David A. Taylor
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Nancy Sherman Discusses Afterwar
Reading about real-life war experiences can be uniquely riveting and moving. Whether it's a book covering a large chapter of a global conflict or one that homes in on a specific heroic moment or individual, there is often great insight and inspiration to be found in stories of battle. In no particular order, here are some authors who write noteworthy nonfiction about war and the military.
For #1 we get Nancy Sherman, an academic whose work focuses on military ethics, emotion, and moral philosophy and psychology, among other subjects. She was introduced to the psyche of a soldier through her father, a WWII vet who never talked about his service. When she became the first Distinguished Chair in Ethics at the US Naval Academy, she finally had an opportunity to better understand and share the burden her dad suffered.
Ever since her appointment, Sherman has worked to disentangle the moral complexities of combat. In her book "Stoic Warriors," which grew from her Academy experience, she delves into the ancient tradition of the Stoic philosophy and the role it plays in the military's character. She followed this with "The Untold War," an analysis of the moral weight of contemporary warfare, and "Afterwar," which explores the ethical and psychological aftermath of America's longest armed conflicts.
Ever since her appointment, Sherman has worked to disentangle the moral complexities of combat.
Showing up at #2 is Marcus A. Nannini. He is the author of the acclaimed "Left for Dead at Nijmegen," a biography of American WWII paratrooper Gene Metcalfe. Combining memories with documented research, it recounts Metcalfe's experiences from his military recruitment to his training, and finally to his capture by the Germans. The book illuminates the brutal conditions of life as a P.O.W., from starvation to forced labor.
Other works by Nannini include "Midnight Flight to Nuremberg," which tells the story of veteran Harry Watson, who was sent on a secret midnight mission in 1945 to catch the Nazi responsible for putting Hitler in power. There's also "Chameleons," a historical fiction novel that revolves around the events of Pearl Harbor. Nannini is the recipient of many honors, including a Literary Titan Book Award and a PenCraft Award for Best Nonfiction.
For #3 we come to Don Keith, writer of more than thirty fiction and non-fiction titles. Many of his works focus on WWII submarines and watercraft, and the heroic individuals on board. In "The Ship That Wouldn't Die," Keith recounts the Japanese attack on the USS Neosho. "Undersea Warrior" is a biography of USS Wahoo submariner Dudley "Mush" Morton, while "The Indestructible Man" narrates the life of Commodore Dixie Kiefer.
Many of his works focus on WWII submarines and watercraft, and the heroic individuals on board.
Keith has also written detailed accounts of ships such as the USS Archerfish, Batfish, and Billfish. His fiction work, meanwhile, includes a series of military thrillers co-authored by retired US Navy Commander George Wallace. Also focused on naval warfare, some of its novels include "Firing Point," "Dangerous Grounds," "Cuban Deep," and "Fast Attack." In 2018, the first of these was adapted into the movie "Hunter Killer."
Next up at #4 is Mark Zuehlke, generally considered to be Canada's foremost military historian. His "Canadian Battle" series is the most exhaustive recounting of the battles and campaigns fought by any nation during WWII to have been written by a single author. It covers a wide breadth of areas, including the country's invasion of Sicily, the taking of Juno Beach, and the liberation of the Netherlands.
Among Zuehlke's other works is his "Military Heritage" series. Books in this series include "The Gallant Cause," which chronicles the role Canadian volunteers played in the International Brigade, and "For Honour's Sake," about the War of 1812 and the brokering of the treaty that ended it. In recognition of his contributions to popularizing Canadian history, Zuehlke received the 2014 Governor General's History Award for Popular Media.
In recognition of his contributions to popularizing Canadian history, Zuehlke received the 2014 Governor General's History Award for Popular Media.
For #5 we have Sarah Sentilles, who investigates the functions of language, images, and practices in oppression, social transformation, and justice movements. She is the author of "Draw Your Weapons," which relays the true stories of two disparate men who created art as a response to violence. Combining memoir, reporting, theology, and visual culture, it challenges conventional thinking about how war is witnessed and resisted.
Additional books by Sentilles are "Taught by America," "A Church of Her Own," and her memoir "Breaking Up with God." The author has also had her writing appear in numerous publications, including The New Yorker, Oregon ArtsWatch, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Beyond her writing, she is the co-founder of the Alliance of Idaho, which works to protect the basic human rights of immigrants through education, outreach, and advocacy.
Finally, arriving at #6 is David A. Taylor. With writing specialties that include history, science, culture, and the environment, Taylor crafts character-driven narratives that reveal connections between individuals and their worlds. This is evident in his book "Cork Wars," which draws from interviews and declassified government records to tell of three families caught up in WWII cork trade intrigue.
With writing specialties that include history, science, culture, and the environment, Taylor crafts character-driven narratives that reveal connections between individuals and their worlds.
In addition, Taylor has authored illustrated volumes containing historical photographs, documents, ephemera, and more. These include "Tall Ship Odysseys," the story of Operation Sail, which was endorsed by John F. Kennedy as an antidote to the Cold War. There's also "The War of 1812 and the Rise of the US Navy," which boasts firsthand, sea-level accounts of the bloody conflict. Taylor's writing has appeared in such publications as Smithsonian, Literary Hub, and Undark.