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Tail of the Storm
Flying Missions in the First Gulf War
Alan Cockrell
University of Alabama Press, 1995

Cockrell writes lyrically about flying and about the emotional and intellectual satisfaction enjoyed by those who fly

Within days of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, the far reaching arm of American airpower sprang into action. The skyscapes of the North Atlantic, Europe, and the Mediterranean became laced with the contrails of great jets flowing day and night toward the Persian Gulf. From the skies, manpower and material poured onto the bleak sands under the ominous clouds of the gathering storm, and in only a few weeks the size of the effort eclipsed that of the Berlin Airlift.

The thousands of crewmembers flying the jets, as well as those servicing and managing them, became the backbone of history’s largest air logistical operation. Many of these men and women were Air Force reservists, and the author participated as a pilot of a C-141B Starlifter with the Mississippi Air National Guard.

Cockrell writes lyrically about flying and about the emotional and intellectual satisfaction enjoyed by those who fly. His focus is on the people recalled to active duty, who flew thousands of hours, coping with fatigue, cracked wings, missile attacks, and, in some cases, deteriorating businesses and families at home. Tail of the Storm gives expression to their love of flight, as well as their dedication to the endangered values of duty, honor, country. This story is good reading—not only for those who share the author’s enthusiasm for flying but also for those who read for pleasure and have a curiosity about a pilot’s world.
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Tattered Kimonos in Japan
Remaking Lives from Memories of World War II
Robert Rand
University of Alabama Press, 2024
Examines Japan’s war generation—Japanese men and women who survived World War Two and rebuilt their lives, into the 21st century, from memories of that conflict
 
Since John Hersey’s Hiroshima—the classic account, published in 1946, of the aftermath of the atomic bombing of that city—very few books have examined the meaning and impact of World War II through the eyes of Japanese men and women who survived that conflict. Tattered Kimonos in Japan does just that: It is an intimate journey into contemporary Japan from the perspective of the generation of Japanese soldiers and civilians who survived World War II, by a writer whose American father and Japanese father-in-law fought on opposite sides of the conflict.

The author, a former NPR senior editor, is Jewish, and he approaches the subject with the sensibilities of having grown up in a community of Holocaust survivors. Mindful of the power of victimhood, memory, and shared suffering, he travels across Japan, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki, meeting a compelling group of men and women whose lives, even now, are defined by the trauma of war, and by lingering questions of responsibility and repentance for Japan’s wartime aggression.

The image of a tattered kimono from Hiroshima is the thread that drives the narrative arc of this emotional story about a writer’s encounter with history, inside the Japan of his father’s generation, on the other side of his father’s war. This is a book about history with elements of family memoir. It offers a fresh and truly unique perspective for readers interested in World War II, Japan, or Judaica; readers seeking cross-cultural journeys; and readers intrigued by Japanese culture, particularly the kimono.
 
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A Tempered Wind
An Autobiography
Karen Gershon
Northwestern University Press, 2010

Poet Karen Gershon opens A Tempered Wind, the sequel to volume 1 of her autobiography A Lesser Child, in 1943. It begins tragically with the death of Karen’s sister Anne in England, where they had escaped from Nazi Germany with their third sister Lise via the Kindertransport mission. A Tempered Wind proceeds to chart the difficult period from 1939 to 1943 as Karen adapts to a new culture and undertakes the complicated passage from adolescence to adulthood in the British Isles.

Now orphans—their parents were murdered by the Nazis—the sisters are separated, and Karen is left haunted by feelings of abandonment by her sister as well as her parents who sent her away from them. Such feelings, along with her struggle with her imperiled Jewish identity, make their way into Karen’s writing, which includes stories, essays, and poems. In writing, she starts to find a home in language. Charting the creative growth of an astonishing Jewish author, A Tempered Wind concludes with Karen making her own urgent way as a writer with a mission to tell the world her archetypal German Jewish story.

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The Terezín Album of Mariánka Zadikow
Annotated by Debórah Dwork
University of Chicago Press, 2008
“With simple means, without any ‘title,’ this book should in distant times always be in your memory.”
 
An imprisoned bookbinder wrote these words in a small blank book that he had secretly crafted from pilfered materials at the Terezín (Theresienstadt) concentration camp in September 1944. He presented the album to a fellow prisoner, twenty-one-year-old Marianka Zadików. Over the next several months, as the Nazis pressed forward with mass deportations from Terezín to Auschwitz, Marianka began to collect inscriptions and sketches from her fellow inmates.

Marianka Zadików’salbum, presented here in a facsimile edition, is a poignant document from the last months of the Holocaust. The words and images inscribed here—by children and grandparents, factory workers and farmhands, professionals and intellectuals, musicians and artists—reflect both joy and trepidation. They include passages of remembered verse, lovingly executed drawings, and hurried farewells on the eve of transport to Auschwitz. The great German-Jewish scholar Rabbi Leo Baeck, one of the elders of the camp, offers Marianka an inscription about Jewish self-discovery, and participants in Terezín’s now-famous musical performances fill several pages with musical annotation.

Facing-page translations render the book’s multitude of languages into English, while historical and biographical notes give details, where known, of the fates of those whose words are recorded here. An introduction by acclaimed Holocaust scholar Debórah Dwork tells the story of the Terezín camp and how Marianka and her family fared while imprisoned there.

The array of voices and the glimpses into individual lives afforded us by The Terezín Album make it an arresting reminder of the sustaining power of care, community, and hope amid darkness.
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Testimony
Found Poems from the Special Court for Sierra Leone
Shanee Stepakoff
Bucknell University Press, 2021
IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ gold winner, poetry category

Sierra Leone’s devastating civil war barely caught the attention of Western media, but it raged on for over a decade, bringing misery to millions of people in West Africa from 1991 to 2002. The atrocities committed in this war and the accounts of its survivors were duly recorded by international organizations, but they run the risk of being consigned to dusty historical archives. 
 
Derived from public testimonies at a UN-backed war crimes tribunal in Freetown, this remarkable poetry collection aims to breathe new life into the records of Sierra Leone’s civil war, delicately extracting heartbreaking human stories from the morass of legal jargon. By rendering selected trial transcripts in poetic form, Shanee Stepakoff finds a novel way to communicate not only the suffering of Sierra Leone’s people, but also their courage, dignity, and resilience. Her use of innovative literary techniques helps to ensure that the voices of survivors are not forgotten, but rather heard across the world. 
 
This volume also includes an introduction that explores how the genre of “found poetry” can serve as a uniquely powerful means through which writers may bear witness to atrocity. This book’s unforgettable excavation and shaping of survivor testimonies opens new possibilities for speaking about the unspeakable.
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Texian Exodus
The Runaway Scrape and Its Enduring Legacy
Stephen L. Hardin
University of Texas Press, 2024

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They Were Just People
Stories of Rescue in Poland During the Holocaust
Bill Tammeus & Rabbi Jacques Cukierkorn
University of Missouri Press, 2009
Hitler’s attempt to murder all of Europe’s Jews almost succeeded. One reason it fell short of its nefarious goal was the work of brave non-Jews who sheltered their fellow citizens. In most countries under German control, those who rescued Jews risked imprisonment and death. In Poland, home to more Jews than any other country at the start of World War II and location of six German-built death camps, the punishment was immediate execution.
            This book tells the stories of Polish Holocaust survivors and their rescuers. The authors traveled extensively in the United States and Poland to interview some of the few remaining participants before their generation is gone. Tammeus and Cukierkorn unfold many stories that have never before been made public: gripping narratives of Jews who survived against all odds and courageous non-Jews who risked their own lives to provide shelter.
            These are harrowing accounts of survival and bravery. Maria Devinki lived for more than two years under the floors of barns. Felix Zandman sought refuge from Anna Puchalska for a night, but she pledged to hide him for the whole war if necessary—and eventually hid several Jews for seventeen months in a pit dug beneath her house. And when teenage brothers Zygie and Sol Allweiss hid behind hay bales in the Dudzik family’s barn one day when the Germans came, they were alarmed to learn the soldiers weren’t there searching for Jews, but to seize hay. But Zofia Dudzik successfully distracted them, and she and her husband insisted the boys stay despite the danger to their own family.
            Through some twenty stories like these, Tammeus and Cukierkorn show that even in an atmosphere of unimaginable malevolence, individuals can decide to act in civilized ways. Some rescuers had antisemitic feelings but acted because they knew and liked individual Jews. In many cases, the rescuers were simply helping friends or business associates. The accounts include the perspectives of men and women, city and rural residents, clergy and laypersons—even children who witnessed their parents’ efforts.
            These stories show that assistance from non-Jews was crucial, but also that Jews needed ingenuity, sometimes money, and most often what some survivors called simple good luck. Sixty years later, they invite each of us to ask what we might do today if we were at risk—or were asked to risk our lives to save others.
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"This Day We Marched Again"
A Union Soldier's Account of War in Arkansas and the Trans-Mississippi
Mark K. Christ
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2014
A testament to the valor and determination of a common soldier On September 17, 1861, twenty-two-year-old Jacob Haas enlisted in the Sheboygan Tigers, a company of German immigrants that became Company A of the Ninth Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. Over the next three years, Haas and his comrades marched thousands of miles and saw service in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and the Indian Territory, including pitched battles at Newtonia, Missouri, and Jenkins’ Ferry, Arkansas. Haas describes the war from the perspective of a private soldier and an immigrant as he marches through scorching summers and brutally cold winters to fight in some of the most savage combat in the west. His diary shows us an extraordinary story of the valor and determination of a volunteer soldier. Though his health was ruined by war, Haas voiced no regrets for the price he paid to fight for his adopted country.
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This Wicked Rebellion
Wisconsin Civil War Soldiers Write Home
John Zimm
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2012

Over one hundred and fifty years after it began, the Civil War still fascinates us—the vast armies marching to war, iconic leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee, the drama of a nation divided. But the Civil War was also about individuals, the hundreds of thousands of ordinary men and boys who fought and died on either side and the families and friends left at home.

This Wicked Rebellion: Wisconsin Civil War Soldiers Write Home tells this other side of the story. Drawing from over 11,000 letters in the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Civil War collection, it gives a unique and intimate glimpse of the men and women who took part in the War for the Union. Follow Wisconsin soldiers as they sign up or get drafted, endure drill and picket duty, and get their first experiences of battle. Join them as they fight desperation and fear, encounter the brutality of slavery, and struggle with the reasons for war.

From impressions of army life and the South to the hardships of disease and battle, these letters tell the story of the war through the eyes and pens of those who fought in it. This Wicked Rebellion brings to life the heroism and heartache, mayhem and misery of the Civil War, and the powerful role Wisconsin played in it.

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A Thrilling Narrative
The Memoir of a Southern Unionist
Dennis E. Haynes
University of Arkansas Press, 2006
This Civil War memoir of Capt. Dennis E. Haynes is both unique and rare. Not only did few southern unionists write of their experiences after the war, Haynes’s is the only publication by a Louisiana unionist. Furthermore, it is the only account by a member of the First Louisiana Battalion Cavalry Scouts, a unit that existed for less than three months and saw its only real action during the Red River Campaign of 1864. Haynes’s memoir is a historic collection of his wartime experiences as a unionist in the Confederate South. Among his writings, Haynes describes how he opposed the secession of Texas and thus became a hunted man. He also tells of his harrowing odyssey to reach Union troops in Louisiana. Every step of the way, Haynes provides details, sometimes graphic, of the harassment and cruelty he and many others like him suffered at the hands of his Confederate neighbors.
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To Battle for God and the Right
The Civil War Letterbooks of Emerson Opdycke
Emerson Opdycke, Ed. by Glenn V. Longacre and John E. Haas.
University of Illinois Press, 2002
Emerson Opdycke, a lieutenant with the 41st Ohio Infantry and later a commander of the 125th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, won fame at the Battle of Franklin when his brigade saved the Union Army from defeat. He also played pivotal roles in some of the major battles of the western theater, including Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and Missionary Ridge.
 
Opdycke's wartime letters to his wife, Lucy, offer the immediacy of the action as it unfolded and provide a glimpse into the day-to-day life of a soldier. Viewing the conflict with the South as a battle between the rights of states and loyalty to the Union, his letters reveal his dislike of slavery, devotion to the Union, disdain for military ineptitude, and opinions of combat strategies and high-ranking officers. A thorough introduction by editors Glenn V. Longacre and John E. Haas and a foreword by Peter Cozzens provide additional historical context and biographical information.
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To Tell At Last
Survival under False Identity, 1941-45
Blanca Rosenberg
University of Illinois Press, 1993
      "Searing. . . . With
        an even hand and understated prose, Ms. Rosenberg, now a New York City
        psychotherapist, bravely depicts Nazi carnage in chilling detail."
        -- Susan Shapiro, New York Times Book Review
      "[A] harrowing account
        of intrigue and danger with all the elements of a war movie adventure."
        -- Miriam Rinn, The Forward
      This memoir of how a Jewish
        woman survived Nazi Germany by passing as an Aryan was selected as the
        best book on Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Literature by the Israeli
        committee of the Egit Grants.
 
 
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Trap with a Green Fence
Survival in Treblinka
Richard Glazar
Northwestern University Press, 1995
Trap with a Green Fence is Richard Glazar's memoir of deportation, escape, and survival. In economical prose, Glazar weaves a description of Treblinka and its operations into his evocation of himself and his fellow prisoners as denizens of an underworld. Glazar gives us compelling images of these horrors in a tone that remains thoughtful but sober, affecting but simple.
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Tried Men and True, or Union Life in Dixie
Thomas J. Cypert, edited and with an introduction by Margaret M. Storey
University of Alabama Press, 2011
Tried Men and True, or Union Life in Dixie highlights in emotional detail the local tensions between Unionists and Confederates in the Civil War South and offers a rare first-person account of the guerrilla war that devastated Western Tennessee.

Thomas Jefferson Cypert (1827-1918) was a staunch Union man of Wayne County, Tennessee. In 1863, he helped organize the Second Tennessee Mounted Infantry, a regiment of loyalist Southerners enlisted to combat Confederate cavalry in West Tennessee and Northern Alabama. Tried Men and True is Cypert’s memoir of his time as Captain of Company A, including his capture by Confederate cavalry and subsequent daring escape, in which he was aided by local Union sympathizers and slaves.
 
After the Civil War, Cypert served two terms in the Tennessee State Senate, one of them during the heated first years of Reconstruction, when Tennessee disenfranchised former rebels and attempted to establish Unionist Republican rule in the state. Cypert clearly wrote his memoir to defend Unionism, condemn secession and rebellion, and support loyalists’ claims for post-war power through an account of their wartime sacrifices. Never before published, the manuscript has been preserved in nearly perfect condition by Cypert’s descendants over the generations. This book is a remarkable and engagingly written account of resistance to the Confederacy by a group of southwestern Tennessee loyalists.

 


 
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