War and Cold War

War and Cold War, 2nd edition of a historical novel written by Jack R. Williams.

The story: A Theory of War/Introduction, introduces Charlie Chiavao, a young man who becomes a pilot and intelligence officer in 1941 with entry by the U.S. into WW II, He becomes the chronicler of the activities mostly of three members of a military family, their friends and acquaintances during his widely dispersed activities of WW II and the subsequent activities of the Cold War and beyond. Besides himself, the action centers on his wife, Charlotte and Jackson Lee, her five-year-younger brother. The story is presented in four parts, loosely covering a plethora of subjects – One, Charlie’s wide ranging activities during WW II; Two, Jackson’s entry into service and varied activities; Three, various activities of both Charlie and Jackson; Four, Jackson’s poor decision in a Chinese flight mission that ends badly leading to disastrous results.

Discussion: The author has assembled a tremendous number of facts that cover a multitude of areas, many if not all should appeal to any inquiring mind. They include the effect earlier Japanese/Russian/Chinese relations had upon WW II, recall of numerous important land and sea engagements of that war, the important generals, admirals and civilians participating and similar exposition of the post-war period, the Cold War and its participants and features such as the Berlin Air-lift, wall construction and others. There are lengthy ruminations, discourse and statistics on the Rape of Nanking, Stalin’s huge excesses in elimination of opponents in order to further the Soviet Union and more. Even included are lengthy discourse on the engineering principles of the characteristics of flight of large birds such as the Albatross, Pelicans, Storks and Condors. Much of the material set forth is well-known by earlier generations but makes interesting recall AND it does provide a mass of intriguing information for the uninformed. The one depressing feature of the author’s entire presentation is the constant repetition of material with often the same verbalization. Also inclusion of irrelevant items such as the long description of a very poorly planned and handled trip to Block Island where Jackson’s participation ‘saved the trip’ but even his participation seems surprising since he purportedly possessed such excellent sailing acumen. The author’s comments with respect to difficulty to understand the mass suicides participated in by Japanese also are of interest. These actions are quite acceptable if my understanding of the centuries old tradition of seppuku or hari-kari ingrained in the Japanese people of both sexes is correct. Women as well as men, at least at a certain level of society, have their own short swords for the purpose, usually passed down from one generation to another.

Conclusion: A plethora of engrossing information for all readers but in great need of editing, a most surprising need for a 2nd edition.

3* 5* Engrossing mass of information for all; 2* extensive editing needed.

That Woman

That Woman ISBN: 9780992120276, a historical tale copyright and written by Wayne Clark.

The basics of this tale are the vicious practice of Indentured Service, a slave-like practice in early colonization of America along with the intricacies and perils of commercial trading in the 18th century – complicated by all of the international intrigue and wars and the greed of the governments as well as many of the traders. Gabriel Da Silva, a Jewish trader based in France after he has lost heavily when a ship carrying his un-insured cargo is seized by the British, goes to Bordeaux accompanied by his 17-year-old daughter Sarah and her 19-year-old brother Jacob. Here, in an attempt to salvage his business he is detained longer than expected while negotiating with a ship’s master. The two youngsters are kidnapped, smuggled aboard a ship heading to America with others to be sold there as Indentured Servants. While aboard, the ship’s Captain Flemming discovers that Sarah is well versed in commercial affairs and speaks several languages, from years of helping her father and that Jacob has many similar talents but also is particularly adept in the basics of design and copying. The Captain provides them a few extra amenities for which they must forge documents that give him 100+ acres of land in PA belonging to William Penn, the first controller of the region. Sarah secretly retains the original. They arrive in New York where Sarah is indentured to wealthy and greedy trader Zachariah Croman while Jacob’s contract is purchased by Henry Fitler, Esq. Engraver and they do not see each other for 2 years. Croman rapes Sarah and upon a third attempt, she uses a knife she has received from a black longshoreman she has befriended while in waterfront negotiations, to force Croman to sign papers of freedom and supply her with a house and stocked warehouse. Sarah is doing well but then a fire is started by minions of Croman that destroys her warehouse and home. From this point the story escalates to involve numerous other interesting characters and becomes a tale of mystery, intrigue, romance and well designed and executed retribution.

The author has provided a historical novel written in the old time-honored style that seemingly is not as frequently offered to today’s readers of other than The Historical Novel Society’s publications. It is well plotted, well written, well-paced and enjoyable reading for anyone enjoying Historical Novels.

5* Enjoyable, well written Historical Novel