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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - University Press
At the turn of the 20th century, it was a frontier town, surrounded by desert, in the middle of nowhere. In the early 1930s, it was a place where construction workers building Boulder Dam came to have a good time.
Anyone who has delved into the works of the great English Romantic poet John Keats knows that his intense letters packed with his philosophical and aesthetic credo come a close second in importance to his marvelous poems.
It might be said that the seeds of Jack Nelson's legendary career as an investigative reporter were planted at the age of 15 when he was mercilessly bullied by a burly Biloxi, Miss. detective who accused him of a theft he hadn't committed.
The German capital, center of Nazi power, represented the big prize at the end of World War II. The victorious Allies -- the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain and France -- occupied and divided the city into four zones. The arrangement was meant to guarantee access to all.
Since the Eisenhower administration, every president with the exception of Jimmy Carter has made varying use of an outside advisory panel that authors Kenneth Michael Absher, Michael C. Desch and Roman Popadiuk term "one of the smallest, most secretive, least well-known, but potentially influential parts of the U.S. intelligence community."
The French people sloughed off years of national shame in one glorious summer month in 1944 when, with only minimal assistance from Allied armies, they evicted German troops from Paris. Albert Camus, writing in the clandestine newspaper Combat, spoke of Paris returning to its historic role of purging tyranny with the "blood of free men."
Almost every candidate who is behind in the polls invokes President Harry S. Truman's come-from-behind victory over New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey in 1948 to boost the spirits of their supporters.
Even the most sanguine American cannot say that the first decade of the 21st century was one of overall positive developments for the country. The decade's lasting successes -- meager accomplishments such as technological improvements and affordable prescription drugs for seniors -- were bookended by terrorist attacks and a financial crisis, with two wars and growing political discordance in between.
Tom Mankiewicz (1942-2010) had a long and varied career as a scriptwriter and director in film — the James Bond movies and "Superman" I & II — and television — "Hart to Hart." And there are stories aplenty here about his professional life and the many famous names he came into contact with. Long before he got his first lowly job as a glorified gofer, though, his family name and its attendant connections made him a true insider.
As America approaches the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, which brought down the Nixon presidency, no historical discussion of the scandal will be complete without including the extensive research done by author Max Holland.
In "Rush to Judgment," the most prescient evaluation of the presidency of George W. Bush comes from Gil Troy, a history professor at McGill University in Canada. Mr. Troy told the author, "One of the biggest challenges in assessing Bush's presidency is the fact that his greatest achievement may have been a negative one - preventing a repeat of 9/11."
Some publishers promise readers through exaggerated book titles more than the authors intend. This can lead to cases of buyer's remorse. Happily, it is not the case with "Victors in Blue," which, despite its faintly misleading subtitle, is still a valuable addition to anyone's Civil War library and a treat to read.
Uncountable books have detailed Soviet resistance to German invaders in World War II, concentrating chiefly on the tenacity of the Red army foot soldier and the development of a highly professional armored corps. But relatively little is said about the Soviet air force (or VVS for its Russian-language name, Voenno-nozdushnyye Sily).
The U.S. Army entered World War II with distinct assets and liabilities. On the debit side, it was small in terms of personnel. Much of its equipment was inferior to the Germans' in both quality and quantity. And its senior officers had no combat experience to compare with that of the enemy.
Accounts of World War II - including some published under auspices of the U.S. Army - have tended to portray officers of the Wehrmacht (the German army) as "professionally competent, technically proficient, and above all, clean."