“Bad Moon Rising,” Vietnam, Pt. 2

After the French left a divided Vietnam in 1955, the United States government agreed to take over the training of South Vietnam's troops.  The first military advisers found an ill equipped,  poorly trained army with an officer corps that was generally inept.  Advisers were embedded at every level of the ARVN and officers were sent to … Continue reading “Bad Moon Rising,” Vietnam, Pt. 2

Truman vs. MacArthur

On June 25, 1950, the North Korean army streamed across the 38th parallel attacking the poorly equipped Republic of Korea (ROK) soldiers, driving them southward.  With the backing of the United Nations Security Council, President Harry S. Truman ordered General Douglas MacArthur to send  members of the 8th United States army, then on occupation duty … Continue reading Truman vs. MacArthur

HST and the Cold War in the Far East

If Harry Truman had had his way he would have continued being a senator from Missouri instead of presiding over the Senate as Vice President of the United States.  One rainy afternoon on April 12 1945, while Truman was gathered with Democratic bigwigs in the Speaker of the House's office for a drink and some … Continue reading HST and the Cold War in the Far East

Neutrality: an Explosive Step Closer to War

  When I started this series detailing how the United States became involved in the Great War (afterwards World War I), I envisioned two parts, but when I realized how complicated the story was, I realized it  was going to take three.    Last month's episode involved the sinking of the Lusitania.  The current blog … Continue reading Neutrality: an Explosive Step Closer to War

In Praise of eBooks

One of the things about doing a bit of a retrospective of where you’ve been in the last year is that you occasionally realize things that sort of slid by you when you were actually experiencing them. While compiling my list of top 10 recommendations of books I read in 2016 , I did a count … Continue reading In Praise of eBooks

The Lusitania: United States One Step Closer to War

April is the 100th anniversary of the United States declaring war on Germany and its allies the Great Powers.   The Wilson administration's decision to go to war was not taken lightly or in haste. In fact, it was almost two years after the sinking of the Lusitania that  The president  appeared before a joint session of … Continue reading The Lusitania: United States One Step Closer to War

Rollicking Reads from 2016

It is the time of year for retrospectives.  And rather than recap celebrity deaths (Prince, Bowie, Mariah Carey’s career), I thought I’d pick a handful of materials I’ve checked out from the library that gave me hours of enjoyment this past year of 2016. They were not all published in 2016, but 2016 was the … Continue reading Rollicking Reads from 2016

Why Read Moby Dick?

I don't recall if I ever attempted to read Moby Dick in the past.  I have faint memories of seeing Gregory Peck on the movie screen as the one legged Captain Ahab driven to madness in his striving to get revenge from the great white whale.  At that time, over sixty years ago, we had Classic … Continue reading Why Read Moby Dick?

Letters to and from the front, II

Recently I was prowling the book donations at the thrift store where I volunteer  and I came across a copy of  War Letters:  Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars, edited by Andrew Carroll.  The Legacy Project, which is the source from which these letters came, was founded in 1998 as a gathering place for veterans and their … Continue reading Letters to and from the front, II

Letters from (and to) the Front, Part I

Recently I was prowling the book donations at the thrift store where I volunteer  and I came across a copy of  War Letters:  Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars, edited by Andrew Carroll.  The Legacy Project, which is the source from which these letters came, was founded in 1998 as a gathering place for veterans and their … Continue reading Letters from (and to) the Front, Part I