I loved this book! The Berlin Airlift was a topic of which I had a very limited knowledge of prior to listening to this book. The author presents a very informative and interesting recap of the political environment that led to the Soviet blockade and of the various responses presented to President Truman by his administration. I am left with the clear picture of a US president who was committed to fighting for freedom vs communism in Europe, and who was unequivocal in his public and private support of that goal.
It also clearly shows how the apparently impossible was achieved by the combination of strong presidential and military leadership and a collection of citizen solders/airmen, career military officers and enlisted personnel. They undertook life threatening missions and pushed themselves to their physical and emotional limits solely to defend the freedom of Germans (many of the very same people who, only three years earlier, dragged their fellow pilots out of downed aircraft and killed them).
In the process, aviation procedures and tactics made gigantic leaps as the leaders of the airlift attempted to solve one logistical problem after another.
What a tribute to America's "Greatest Generation"!"
A true story I was unaware of. Very similar, although not as long, as "Unbroken", the story of Louis Zamperini. If you are interested in WWII or submarine warfare you will enjoy this book. Well written as well.
I was very disappointed in this book. It amounts to a few hours of random criticisms of virtually everyone that Laura runs into. I pity her friends, acquaintances and casual contacts as they all seem to have been savaged in this book.
Her recollection of a Tony Robbins "dream" she claims to have had sounds suspiciously like a clip from a "Family Guy" episode. I felt that Laura decided she could "whip out" a book by documenting her countless critical thoughts as she plowed through her busy daily life and that the words, by virtue of deriving from her brilliant observations, would be a best seller.
For someone who frequently rails against the "Elites" in our culture, her recounting of her daily interactions indicated to me that she seems to socialize with them on a regular basis (at least she did before this book was published).
As a fellow Christian I have heard Laura speak of her conversion to Catholicism later in life. I agree often with her observations of how religion and religious people are portrayed in the popular culture However, just as a reformed smoker can become annoying with his or her anti-smoking zealousness, I found her criticisms of other attendees at her own church ("the two times a year crowd") as offensive and unnecessary. One does not have to appear in a church pew to express one's faith in God or to believe in and try to live by its teachings. During my lifetime I have witnessed many regular church attendees who's primary function on Sunday seemed to be to gossip about someone's clothing choices or some other distinctly critical comments. Her criticisms of fellow parishioners during the "Sign of Peace" ceremony just blew me away for their poor taste. I listened to some parts of the book with my 20 year old daughter and I found myself turning it off at various points because it was so overly critical.
Laura is an amazing woman with a humble background (as was mine) but this book just reeks of arrogance. You owe your fans an apology
Apparently a topic of decades long interest for the author, he presents a detailed history of submarine tactics during the cold war in an interesting (if occasionally repetitive) chronological manner. His continuous re-examination of the available facts surrounding the loss of the Scorpion, spanning many years, gradually fills in the gaps in the official record to present a credible scenario of the last hours of the sub's existence. The last twist in the story was so unexpected (at least to me) and yet made so much sense in the context of the cold war and the condition of the Soviet navy, that it makes the author's case for me.
As time passes, and more naval records become declassified, it is interesting to imagine what further twists this story will take when the next layer of this onion is pealed away.
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