Sunday, November 20, 2005

Probate Lawyer Loses Control at Book Fair. Carol and I made our annual visit to the Miami International Book Fair yesterday. We heard William Kristol and Robert Kagan of the Weekly Standard. They are touting a book that is a collection of articles from that magazine published during the last ten years, which were the magazine's first ten years. I managed to resist buying that book.

But I completely broke down at the next author's session. This one had three authors, the common thread among them being that they wrote about military/naval subjects. Robert N. Macomber talked about his novel The Dishonorable Few. This is the latest in a series of novels he has written with a 19th Century US Navy officer, Peter Wake, as its hero. Macomber introduces Peter Wake first in At the Edge of Honor, where Wake is a Master of a small sloop stationed in Key West during the Civil War. Because it was the first in the series, I bought that book and read it this weekend. Its a worthy additon to the genre that includes Hornblower and Aubrey. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

David E. Fisher spoke about his latest book, A Summer Bright and Terrible: Winston Churchill, Lord Dowding, Radar, and the Impossible Triumph of the Battle of Britain. Fisher is a prolific writer and a professor at the University of Miami. He has a PhD in nuclear physics, but "is currently a professor of cosmochemistry and environmental sciences", according to the book jacket. I bought the book. I hope its as good as Fisher's talk.

The third author is a former officer in the Special Forces, Lt. Col. Will Irwin [ret], who wrote The Jedburghs: The Secret History of the Allied Special Forces, France 1944. This tells about groups of 3-man special forces units that were parachuted into France just ahead of D-Day to link with the Resistance and disrupt supply lines, blow up bridges, etc., in connection with the invasion. Irwin said he first became acquainted with this effort while at Ft. Bragg in his Special Forces unit. He helped coordinate a reunion of the veterans of these units and got to know many of them. At about the same time, the Defense Department and CIA declassified a lot of the materials on this project and he began reading those materials. When he retired, he found the time to write this history. I found the author and the subject so interesting that I bought this book too.

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