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BOOK REVIEW: ‘Rogue Heroes’

They were the pirates of the desert, the mavericks of war who took terrifying risks to infiltrate behind enemy lines — and World War II might not have been won without them.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Fates and Traitors: A Novel of John Wilkes Booth’

“Fates and Traitors,” Jennifer Chiaverini’s new historical novel, starts on a high note: “A sound in the darkness outside the barn — a furtive whisper, the careless snap of a dry twig underfoot — woke him from a fitful doze … There … quick footfalls, and, more distantly, the jingle of spurs.”

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Girl: My Childhood and the Second World War’

Reading this searing account of a hydra-headedly horrible childhood endured by Polish-born Israeli children’s writer Alona Frankel reminds one just how complex that loaded term “Holocaust survivor” is. Mrs. Frankel’s devastatingly frank autobiography has been compared to “The Diary of Anne Frank” and to the writings of Primo Levi, but, of course, they both were inmates of Auschwitz, a fate avoided by the eponymous “Girl.”

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Imperfect Union’

The ghastliness of Gettysburg, the culminating battle of the Civil War, has been reduced to the ultimate horror of a 19-year-old soldier dying in a “puddle of his own blood” in this stark and wrenching war book.

Aviation combat in World War I

Early in the history of military aviation, the Dutch aircraft designer and pilot Anthony Fokker famously remarked, “Every man who went aloft was marked for death, sooner or later, once his wheels had left the ground.”

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BOOK REVIEW: 'Company Confessions: Secrets, Memoirs and the CIA'

Say the words "Publications Review Board" within earshot of a retired CIA officer, and his reaction is likely to the same as if you goosed him with an electric cow prod: a harsh frown, and perhaps an explosive epithet. The PRB is the in-house office that has go/no-go authority over permission to publish anything the officer writes for public distribution, be it a letter to the editor or a memoir.

BOOK REVIEW: 'Making the Unipolar Moment'

The classic symptom of bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is chronic mood swings. A bipolar personality bounces helplessly back and forth between what economist Alan Greenspan once called "irrational exuberance" and mindless, hopeless despair.

BOOK REVIEW: 'Avid Reader: A Life'

Reading this vibrant memoir by New York publishing legend and The New Yorker magazine editor Robert Gottlieb left me with two main conclusions: one surprising, the other anything but.

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Pigeon Tunnel'

John le Carre has led an enviable life roaming the secret world of spies and becoming famous by writing about it all.

BOOK REVIEW: 'Choosing War: Presidential Decisions in the Maine, Lusitania, and Panay Incidents'

While we all "Remember the Maine," which touched off the Spanish-American War, and many of us recall that the sinking of the British passenger liner Lusitania was one of the proximate causes of us entering World War I, few if any of us know much about the Japanese bombing of the U.S. Navy gunboat Panay in 1937, which could have nudged us into war with Japan four years early, but didn't.

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe'

What a difference 17 years make. Sitting in the cocktail lounge of Paris' elegant Prince de Galles hotel in June of 1999 -- as the franc was being phased out and the euro was being phased in -- all the talk was about how the rapidly-expanding European Union, now armed with a common currency, was about to leave us backward, reactionary Yanks eating dust.

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Trespasser'

Members of the Murder Squad in the Dublin police department are as tough as you would expect and in at least one case, tougher than need be. Antoinette Conway is the only woman in the Murder Squad and she is not popular. In fact she is thoroughly disliked and seems to relish it.

BOOK REVIEW: 'Hiler Ascent: 1889-1939'

Even at decades removed, historians remain fascinated with the why -- and how -- of Adolf Hitler's rise to evil power, and the role of the German people in his horrendous assault on mankind. Many splendid works already exist, beginning with Alan Bullock's 1952 masterpiece, and more recently, a two-volume work by Ian Kershaw in 1998 and 2000 (all of which I have read).

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Real Peter Pan: J.M. Barrie and the Boy Who Inspired Him'

J.M. Barrie was already a successful playwright when he fell in love with the Llewelyn Davies family -- mother, father, children -- and from this pivotal event, the most significant of his long life, would come the work for which he remains best known, "Peter Pan, Or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up."