Looking to broaden your history horizons? Schiffer Publishing has bundled together 10 phenomenal books that dive deep into the nuances of the past—and they could be yours! In December, one lucky winner will receive a history collection that spans several topics.
For World War I books, we’ve included Play Ball! by Alexander F. Barnes, Peter L. Belmonte, and Samuel O. Barnes, Amid the Ruins by Alan D. Gaff and Donald H. Gaff, Forgotten Soldiers of World War I by Alexander F. Barnes and Peter L Belmonte, and Images from “Over There” by Stephen C. McGeorge. World War II books in this bundle include American Hangman by Col. French L. MacLean, The Doolittle Raiders by George A. Nolta, and Tigers I and II by David Doyle. Insight into the Cold War is covered in The Secret History of KGB Spy Cameras by H. Keith Melton and Lt. Col. Vladimir Alekseenko. Bringing in the exciting scientific world of space exploration, we have The History of the American Space Shuttle by Dennis R. Jenkins and Disasters in Space by Hermann Woydt and Motorbuch.
From American soil to lands overseas, these books illuminate their respective topics with a keen eye for detail. This is a must-have collection for any history buff!
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About the Books
Baseball is the most American game. No other sporting contest so closely reflects the American psyche and culture. Its uniqueness comes from the fact that part of the game is clearly defined and unchanged since play first began, while another part of the game fluctuates and changes constantly. And if baseball is the truest American game, the Doughboys of the Great War were its most loyal proponents. By 1918, there were over four million of them: two million in France fighting in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and another two million in stateside training camps awaiting their turn to cross the Atlantic to the Western Front. Playing wherever they could find enough room to throw a ball, they brought the game with them into the front lines and then into the occupation of Germany. Sharing their military service, in combat and on the baseball diamond, were a number of famous professional ballplayers, managers, lawyers, politicians, and even an umpire.
John C. Woods, the US Army's hangman during World War II, is known for his role executing ten senior Nazis in 1946. For the first time, learn about Woods's early life in Kansas and his dishonorable discharge before World War II. Discover how volunteering as a military executioner would lead Woods to his career as a hangman. Award-winning author Colonel French MacClean separates fact from fiction of the enigmatic executioner, whose botched executions and mysterious death by electrocution have left him shrouded in mystery and infamy.
Amid the Ruins
Despite Damon Runyon’s iconic status as a fiction writer and reporter, one particular chapter of his extraordinary career has been completely overlooked. During World War I he was an accredited war correspondent—writing a series of dispatches from Europe, he followed the American Doughboys through France, into Germany, and back home. This period marked a monumental transition not only in America’s view of itself and its role in the world, but of Runyon’s own style and how we could come to portray America.
Along with his collected dispatches, this volume also includes his wartime poetry. Biographical and literary introductions and exhaustive notes provide additional information about the people, places, and events that made up his writing. A vital bridge from his earlier regional writing to his later Broadway works, these stories of civilians thrust into military uniforms provide a rare behind-the-scenes look at World War I and the formation of Runyonesque style itself.
The History of the American Space Shuttle
The flight campaign for the American space shuttle began on April 12, 1981, with the launch of STS-1 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and ended on July 21, 2011, with wheels stop of STS-135. During the 30 years and 135 missions in between, the program experienced triumphs and tragedies, amazed the world with its orbital exploits, and was frequently the subject of admiration, condemnation, pride, and despair. This book provides a detailed overview of the history of winged spacecraft and the development of the vehicle we call the "space shuttle," and provides a technical description of the orbiter, main engines, external tank, and solid rocket boosters. Two pages are dedicated to each of the 135 missions flown by the American space shuttle, including technical data, crew names, and photos of each mission. The Challenger and Columbia accidents are discussed, along with a discussion of what NASA did to fix the flaws and continue flying. The book concludes by covering the retirement of the vehicle and the delivery of the four remaining orbiters to their final display sites.
The Secret History of KGB Spy Cameras
This lavishly photographed and authoritative book presents the secret history of Soviet subminiature spy cameras during the Cold War. It is a history that could only have been written by the veteran KGB technical intelligence officers who created and used the cameras in secret operations. With 400 photographs, the book reveals the history, development, and operational use of more than ninety secret cameras used by two of the world’s most formidable intelligence services—the KGB (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti [Committee for State Security]) and GRU (Glavnoye Razvedyvatel'noye Upravleniye [Foreign Military Intelligence Agency of the Soviet Army])—for secretly copying documents, and for surveillance and compromise. Every major camera system used by the KGB, and several used by the GRU are included. A bonus at the end of the book is an exhaustive glossary on KGB and GRU photographic systems and optical devices. This book is a must-have for camera collectors, military enthusiasts, historians, and counterintelligence officers.
The Doolittle Raiders
Eighty brave men made a near-suicidal first attack on Japan about four months after Pearl Harbor. President Franklin Roosevelt wanted a quick response to the Japanese ambush on Hawaii to demonstrate to the Japanese that they were not invulnerable to attack, and to give a much-needed boost to American morale. Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle was selected to plan and lead the Raid from the USS Hornet. Much has been written about the daring raid and the frightening escape through China, but little has been written about these brave men's lives before and after the Raid. This collection of biographical sketches tells us much about who these men were. Much of the biographical material was obtained from a private collection of Raider information and memorabilia that Ellen Lawson collected over a fifty-year period. Ellen was the widow of Maj. Ted Lawson—a Raider and author of Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.
Disasters in Space
The journey into space is a dangerous one, and although some aspects of space travel seem to be routine it still takes humanity to the limits of what is technically possible. It is an environment that forgives no mistake, and where carelessness usually has fatal consequences. This book records more than a dozen American and Soviet space disasters from 1967 to the present day. Presented are tragic and near tragic missions such as NASA’s Gemini 6A and 8, Apollo 1 and 13, the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters, as well as the Soviets’ Soyuz 1, 11, and 18-1, and more. The concise and detailed history is presented along with rare photographs, transcripts of mission conversations, as well as detailed timelines.
Tigers I and II
Germany's Tiger tank, whether in the form of the Tiger I or later Tiger II (King Tiger), was the most feared tank of WWII. Despite production totaling fewer than 2,000 units, its heavy armor, its power, and perhaps the even more powerful Nazi propaganda machine ensured that the Tiger remains well known over seven decades after last being on the battlefield. Through more than 175 photos, this volume chronicles the design, development, and deployment of this famed German tank. Full-color photographs of rare surviving examples from around the globe augment carefully selected war-era photos in bringing this tank back to life. Comprehensive tables reveal the details of performance and technical specifications of each variant. A concise, easy-to-read text and detailed photographic captions expose the secrets of this iconic tank. Part of the Legends of Warfare series.
Forgotten Soldiers of World War I
The United States is a nation of immigrants, and the US Army during World War I certainly reflected this. Irish, Italian, Polish, Ukrainian, Cuban, German, Armenian, Greek, Russian, and Turkish immigrants, among others, all had come to America in search of work, citizenship, or both. As a result, they too became part of the US military during the war. For some, military service was a ready-made path to citizenship while others were much less enthusiastic about taking up arms. Nonetheless, in May 1917 the draft became the law of the land and all men between the ages of 18 to 45 were subject to it. The story of the "aliens" in the AEF is compelling and points to a further definition of what citizenship implies. To date, the story of the 800,000 foreign born men and women who served in the US Armed Forces has remained largely untold. The detailed research in this book will serve historians for years to come as the definitive reference on this topic.
"Forgotten Soldiers" was just selected as the top book (Gold Award) in the 2018 INDIES for the Non-fiction Military History and War category.
Images From "Over There"
This is a detailed study of some 150 unpublished and never-before-seen images of soldiers of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) and the Army of Occupation taken in France and Germany during and after World War I. As opposed to the stateside training-camp photos and formal portraits taken on return to the USA, this is an in-depth look at what the AEF looked like as they were actively engaged in the business of making the world safe for democracy. These images cover every rank and grade of soldier in the AEF from General Pershing to fresh-faced privates, and every occupational specialty from infantryman to cook. Details of uniforms and equipment, locations, times, and places have been painstakingly researched for each image.
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Note: The sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington, DC who are 18 years of age and older by December 2, 2019.