The Most Dangerous Man in America -- The Making of Douglas MacArthur by Mark Perry, BasicBooks '14, $29.99, 380 pages, ASIN #0465013287. Index, a note on sources, grouping of b&w glossy images.
A brief excerpt from the author's Preface:
"From the day he was inaugurated as the thirty-second president of the United States until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Franklin Roosevelt set out to 'tame' Douglas MacArthur. In the course of those years, from the depths of the Great Depression until the eve of the twentieth century's second global conflict, Roosevelt and MacArthur forged a volatile bond that helped define the course of the American republic.
"While the Roosevelt-MacArthur relationship was seeded by mutual suspicion, the two men held a grudging respect for each other. Roosevelt thought MacArthur a brilliant general, while MacArthur acknowledged Roosevelt's considerable political skills. Theirs was less a voluntary partnership than an indispensable collaboration: In the midst of the Great Depression, Roosevelt shrewdly manipulated MacArthur's ambitions to help implement his economic program.
"No one understood this involuntary bond better than George Marshall. Sworn in as Roosevelt's army chief of staff on Sept. 1, 1939 (the day that Hitler's legions invaded Poland), Marshall seemed an unlikely mediator of the Roosevelt-MacArthur competition. As war loomed in Europe, he had angrily confronted Roosevelt over the nation's military budget....Yet it was Marshall who, as Japan's armies extended their triumphant grip over the Pacific in World War Two's early and darkest days, convinced Roosevelt to bring MacArthur out of the Philippines and give him command of American forces gathering in Australia."
Mark Perry, who lives in Arlington, VA, has written eight books, including Grant and Twain and Partners in Command.
All Our Names -- A Novel by Dinaw Mengestu, Knopf '14, $25.95, 256 pages, ASIN #038534998X. .
From the dust jacket:
"From acclaimed author Dinaw Mengestu, a recipient of the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 Award, The New Yorker's 20 Under 40 Award and a 2012 MacArthur Foundation genius grant, comes an unforgettable love story about a searing affair between an American woman and an African man in 1970s America and an unflinching novel about the fragmentation of lives that straddle countries and histories.
"All Our Names is the story of two young men who come of age during an African revolution, drawn from the safe confines of the university campus into the intensifying clamor of the streets outside. But as the line between idealism and violence becomes increasingly blurred, the friends are driven apart -- one into the deepest peril, as the movement gathers inexorable force, and the other into the safety of exile in the American Midwest.
"There, pretending to be an exchange student, he falls in love with a social worker and settles into small-town life. Yet this idyll is inescapably darkened by the secrets of his past: the acts he committed and the work he left unfinished. Most of all, he is haunted by the beloved friend he left behind, the charismatic leader who first guided him to revolution and then sacrificed everything to ensure his freedom."
Author Dinaw Mengestu, a graduate of Georgetown University and of Columbia University's M.F.A. program in fiction, lives in New York City and is the author of two novels.
A Polish Doctor in the Nazi Camps -- My Mother's Memories of Imprisonment, Immigration, and a Life Remade by Barbara Rylko-Bauer, Oklahoma UPress '14, $26.95, 416 pages, ASIN #0806144319.
In her gripping new family narrative, anthropologist Barbara Rylko-Bauer recounts the 15 months her mother, a practicing physician, endured in three Nazi concentration camps and a 42-day death march during World War II, working part of the time as a prisoner-doctor to Jewish slave laborers.
In a brief Q&A, the author discusses the writing of her new book:
Q. How is the book structured?
A. The book chronologically follows my mother's life. The first part focuses on Jadzia's childhood, her medical training, and the early years of her medical practice during the Nazi occupation of her home city of Lodz. The middle section presents her experiences as a prisoner of the vast Nazi camp system. The third part examines 'surviving survival,' the aftermath of such tragic violence -- detailing her work as a refugee doctor in Germany and later her struggles as an immigrant in the Uinted States.
Q. Who is the audience for this story?
A. I wanted this book to be accessible to a broad audience -- including people that my mother encountered in her daily life. The topics that are covered provide many issues that could be discussed by a book group or in a classroom. My mother's story includes the broader historical context and raises issues concerning Polish history, World War II and the Holocaust, Nazi slave labor, and the struggles of refugees and immigrants. I hope that my fellow anthropologists and other scholars of memoir and biography, history, Holocaust and Jewish studies, ethnic and immigrant studies, and women's studies will also find this story of interest.
Author Barbara Rylko-Bauer holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology, is current Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology at Michigan State University, and has published several books.