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If you're into WWII history, try "Wild Bill Donovan", the story of the WWI medal of honor winner who created and led the OSS (forerunner of CIA) in WWII.  By Douglas Waller.  I'd read one earlier biography of Donovan, but this one contains a lot of recently declassified material.  Donovan had nearly as many bureaucratic enemies to fight as he did Nazis and Japs.

But...if you are interested in who REALLY "created" Wild Bill Donovan and guided him in spycraft and other nefarious and clandestine arts, then you would have to read the books "The Quiet Canadian", "Room 3603" and "A Man Called intrepid". These largely factual accounts make Ian Fleming's work look like dime novels.

Bill Stevenson is a true Canadian hero...WW1 air combat ace (12 kills), inventor (wireless transmission of photos), billionaire, confidant and adviser to Churchill and FDR, named "Wild Bill" Donovan to FDR as the man he would prefer to head up the OSS...He operated Camp X in Whitby Ont. where all promising allied spies went to get polished up, including those agents of the new OSS (later CIA). From 1940 till the end of the war, he ran every "spy agency" on the allied side out of Room 3603 in the Rockefeller Center. I mean "every" agency...

There are streets, monuments, schools and other things and institutions named after him in Canada.

Not America-centric, but any one of the three books I cited is worthy of a read by serious readers who are interested in knowing how things developed the way they did.

I picked up Room 3603 (95 cent paperback, pub. 1970)a few days ago when Bill Stevenson's name was mentioned in another context. I am such a pack rat when it comes to books.

Ben, you messed up "Little Bill's" name.  It's Stephenson.  William Stevenson--odd coincidence on the names--was the author of "A Man Called Intrepid".  Although that's a good book, it glosses over the fact that BSC--the outfit Stephenson ran--was not above creating propaganda to try to prod the largely isolationist United States (although FDR himself didn't fit that description) into earlier and more active support of the Empire, in the days before Pearl Harbor.  For example, a map of post-Nazi conquest Latin America, supposedly drawn up by the Germans, then "stolen" and passed on to American intelligence, was a BSC fabrication.  That recently came out in "The Irregulars", about British author Roald Dahl, who did some work for Stephenson and BSC during the war.

Recommended current espionage novel:  "Bloodmoney" by David Ignatius.  He writes as authentically about the CIA as any author I know.  He may be the American Le Carre, without the latter's background as an intelligence officer.

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Ben, you messed up "Little Bill's" name.  It's Stephenson.  William Stevenson--odd coincidence on the names--was the author of "A Man Called Intrepid".  

Mea culpa! You are entirely right, Larry. Old age is a real killer of memory cells.

Am I now doomed to looking up everything in wikipedia? :(  :angry:  :down:

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Someone already mentioned "Unbroken" by Hillenbrand, I second that.

Just finishing up "D-Day" by Stephen Ambrose, it has been a great read.  Next chapter will be about the Canadians roll in D-Day, to be honest until a few yrs ago never knew the Canadians played much of a role in D-Day until Ben Hong gave me a history lesson over dinner.

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At Dieppe, the Canadians played a tragic role before D-Day.

Indeed.  If memory serves, the Canadians suffered badly at Slapton Sands as well, but that was hidden until 40+ years later.

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1776 by David McCullough is a terrific read.  It's a great telling of how close it all came to failure.

reading this now based on the recommendation here...love it so far

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I just finished "Lone Survivor". True story about a navy Seal and his buddies in Afghanistan.

If there is tougher, better trained fighting group in this world

I can not imagine how.

I always knew they were nuts, but...

Mike

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I'm in the process of reading Demonic by Ann Coulter and am enjoying it.  The next two books I get will be 30 years on the Big Lake by Joe Fellegy about guiding on Mille Lacs and Before I Forget, 50 Years of Musky Fishing by Len Hartman.
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Briarscratch

My man Craig D is a literary mofo.  He just sent me "Killing Rommel" by Steven Pressfield.   I read the first 20 pages while waiting for a flatbed from AAA earlier and I'm hooked.

Anything from Steven Pressfield is worth a look if you like really good historical warfare stuff.

Craig, I owe you again.

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Kansas Big Dog
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...moon+empire+of

Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

very good

Tabananica, my great great grandfather, was a war chief of the Comanche and rode with Quanah during that time period. He was at the Battle of Adobe Walls.

Interesting Wade, I've got this book on order, should be here this week sometime.

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Just finished a "A Rifleman Went To War" and just about finished "Quartered Safe Out Here".

The first about a sniper in the W.W. 1 and the 2nd about the last days of the campaign in Burma in W.W. 2. I will gladly send them on to anyone if they pm me their address. All I ask is that you send them on to someone else when you are done with them

Dan

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At Dieppe, the Canadians played a tragic role before D-Day.

Indeed.  If memory serves, the Canadians suffered badly at Slapton Sands as well, but that was hidden until 40+ years later.

Without looking it up in Wiki, wasn't Slapton Sands an American tragedy?

Dieppe was the epitome of negligence, arrogance, and and pure callousness by the so-called leaders of the allied cause: Eisenhower, Mountbatten on down. In one day 3800 of 6000 (5000 Canadians) men in the attacking force were killed, injured or captured , please compare these figures with those of DDay. I could go on for pages, suffice to say that some of us remember and I hope the memory will never fade.

Some will say that the Canadian sacrifice was justified because the raid taught some valuable lessons for DDay. I don't know.

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Briarscratch
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...moon+empire+of

Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

very good

Tabananica, my great great grandfather, was a war chief of the Comanche and rode with Quanah during that time period. He was at the Battle of Adobe Walls.

Interesting Wade, I've got this book on order, should be here this week sometime.

Yeah, that's a cool bit of personal history.  Might have to start calling you "Dances with XXVs"!

I have the book on hold at the library.

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http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...moon+empire+of

Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

very good

Tabananica, my great great grandfather, was a war chief of the Comanche and rode with Quanah during that time period. He was at the Battle of Adobe Walls.

Interesting Wade, I've got this book on order, should be here this week sometime.

Yeah, that's a cool bit of personal history.  Might have to start calling you "Dances with XXVs"!

I have the book on hold at the library.

Better watch it. He was noted for his prisoner taking and ransoming  :D .

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