In 2007–08, Dr. Ray Wiss, a former infantry officer, served with the Canadian Forces at forward operating bases in Khandahar's Panjwayi valley, the area experiencing the most intense combat in Afghanistan. He spent more time in the combat area than any other Canadian physician, and his successful first book, FOB Doc, was the diary of his time “outside the wire” during that tour of duty. Captain Wiss' experience in Afghanistan convinced him that this conflict was a rare example of a moral war. When asked to return for an even longer tour of duty in the combat zone, he readily agreed. Once again, he kept a diary, writing with passion about the efforts, sacrifices and achievements of those Canadians who served with such distinction. Illustrated with over 100 colour photographs, A Line in the Sand tells us about virtually every kind of soldier fighting in Afghanistan: the bomb technician, the engineer, the combat medic, the “grunt” as well as about the Afghans, from whom we are seemingly so different yet with whom we share so much. It is an impassioned insider’s view of the war in Afghanistan and a convincing testament to why it matters.
In late February and early March of 1836, the Mexican Army under the command of General Antonio López de Santa Anna besieged a small force of Anglo and Tejano rebels at a mission known as the Alamo. The defenders of the Alamo were in an impossible situation. They knew very little of the events taking place outside the mission walls. They did not have much of an understanding of Santa Anna or of his government in Mexico City. They sent out contradictory messages, they received contradictory communications, they moved blindly and planned in the dark. And in the dark early morning of March 6, they died. In that brief, confusing, and deadly encounter, one of America's most potent symbols was born. The story of the last stand at the Alamo grew from a Texas rallying cry, to a national slogan, to a phenomenon of popular culture and presidential politics. Yet it has been a hotly contested symbol from the first. Questions remain about what really happened: Did William Travis really draw a line in the sand? Did Davy Crockett die fighting, surrounded by the bodies of two dozen of the enemy? And what of the participants' motives and purposes? Were the Texans justified in their rebellion? Were they sincere patriots making a last stand for freedom and liberty, or were they a ragtag collection of greedy men-on-the-make, washed-up politicians, and backwoods bullies, Americans bent on extending American slavery into a foreign land? The full story of the Alamo -- from the weeks and months that led up to the fateful encounter to the movies and speeches that continue to remember it today -- is a quintessential story of America's past and a fascinating window into our collective memory. In A Line in the Sand, acclaimed historians Randy Roberts and James Olson use a wealth of archival sources, including the diary of José Enrique de la Peña, along with important and little-used Mexican documents, to retell the story of the Alamo for a new generation of Americans. They explain what happened from the perspective of all parties, not just Anglo and Mexican soldiers, but also Tejano allies and bystanders. They delve anew into the mysteries of Crockett's final hours and Travis's famous rhetoric. Finally, they show how preservationists, television and movie producers, historians, and politicians have become the Alamo's major interpreters. Walt Disney, John Wayne, and scores of journalists and cultural critics have used the Alamo to contest the very meaning of America, and thereby helped us all to "remember the Alamo."
The Alamo Diary of Lucinda Lawrence, Gonzales, Texas, 1835
Author: Sherry Garland
Category: Juvenile Fiction
In the journal she receives for her twelfth birthday in 1835, Lucinda Lawrence describes the hardships her family and other residents of the "Texas colonies" endure when they decide to face the Mexicans in a fight for their freedom.
Britain, France and the struggle that shaped the Middle East
Author: James Barr
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
In 1916, in the middle of the First World War, two men secretly agreed to divide the Middle East between them. Sir Mark Sykes was a visionary politician; François Georges-Picot a diplomat with a grudge. The deal they struck, which was designed to relieve tensions that threatened to engulf the Entente Cordiale, drew a line in the sand from the Mediterranean to the Persian frontier. Territory north of that stark line would go to France; land south of it, to Britain. The creation of Britain's 'mandates' of Palestine, Transjordan and Iraq, and France's in Lebanon and Syria, made the two powers uneasy neighbours for the following thirty years. Through a stellar cast of politicians, diplomats, spies and soldiers, including T. E. Lawrence, Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle, A Line in the Sand vividly tells the story of the short but crucial era when Britain and France ruled the Middle East. It explains exactly how the old antagonism between these two powers inflamed the more familiar modern rivalry between the Arabs and the Jews, and ultimately led to war between the British and French in 1941 and between the Arabs and Jews in 1948. In 1946, after many years of intrigue and espionage, Britain succeeded in ousting France from Lebanon and Syria, and hoped that, having done so, it would be able to cling on to Palestine. Using newly declassified papers from the British and French archives, James Barr brings this clandestine struggle back to life, and reveals, for the first time, the stunning way in which the French finally got their revenge.
From the author of Harry's Game - A Sunday Times '100 best crime novels and thrillers since 1945' pick In a village on the Suffolk coast, Frank Perry waits for his past to arrive. A decade before he spied for the Government on the Iranian chemical and biological weapon installations. His information damaged their killing capacity for years. Now, Iran will have its revenge and has despatched their most deadly assassin to fulfil the task. Codenamed the Anvil, he will move with stealth towards his chosen objective unless Perry's protectors can reach him first. As he draws nearer, the ring of steel around Perry grows tighter. But against a faceless adversary, and with the job fatally compromised by the stifling political bureaucracy surrounding it, there seems little chance that the past will not have its day once more...
The Kane Legacy: faith, love, courage, and strength. In nineteenth-century Texas, they’re going to need it. In 1835, Alan Kane and his family come to the Circle C Ranch in Texas, little dreaming what the future holds in both blessing and danger. Beautiful Julia Miller, daughter of a Louisiana plantation owner, has captured Alan’s heart, but he hardly dares to hope for her hand. Then Colonel William Travis calls for the men of Texas to rally against Mexico’s General Santa Anna. Full of honor and courage, brothers Alan and Adam join up with Jim Bowie to do their part. The plan centers on holding a Franciscan mission known as the Alamo and soon includes Davy Crockett and his Tennessee Mounted Volunteers. As battle looms, what is God’s purpose for the Kane men? Can they share their eternal hope with men ready to die for Texas? Will brotherly bonds overcome a jealous secret in the face of death? And just what will endure of the Kane legacy? From the Trade Paperback edition.
As a preface to a consideration of stagecoaching in the mid-1800s Southwest and West, Ancient Footsteps examines what the Tribal Representatives, Anthropologists, and Archaeologists of today understand about the origins of ancient trails over which many later transportation and communication developed. Considering their ancient appearance, stability through time, adaptability, and later, European appropriation, it sets the stage for commercial and technological change to follow. Using an approach tailored to preservation of these ancient artifacts of mankind, discussion focuses on trail characteristics in prehistoric, historic, and modern times with a final focus on the possible future of these irreplaceable linear artifacts.
Nina Chet was raised in an environment of domestic abuse and vowed never to let it happen to her. She put herself through nursing school and seem to have her life on track: except for one thing, she had no one to share it with. Then a chance meeting at the hospital changed all that when she met Brian Mitchell. Tall, dark, and handsome, she met the man of her dream. But when secrets and lies began to surface, Nina finds herself in a vicious cycle of domestic abuse. Will she have the strength to walk away from the man she loves?