On the final day of fighting at Gettysburg, the blood had mixed with the dirt, darkening the mud in the Pennsylvania fields. Bayonets were fixed, swords drawn, and the casualties were heavy. Formal Napoleonic tactics maneuvers culminated in brutal episodes of hand-to-hand combat. One Confederate soldier fought through the chaos by bludgeoning five men with the stock of his rifle and shooting another. The Federal flag that was his objective was, finally, just an arms-length away from him. As he reached for it, a fellow soldier cut in and picked it up. As was often the case during the Civil War, the lucky soldier who managed to secure the enemy’s colors was rewarded with leave by the commanding general. His comrade claimed victory, and also won a ticket home. The other soldier’s fate is not certain.
In late 1944, Charles Kaiser’s uncle, a U.S. Army lieutenant, stayed for a while at the Paris residence of two sisters, Christiane and Jacqueline Boulloche. So began a relationship that would eventually lead Kaiser to write his new book, The Cost of Courage. An American journalist, Mr. Kaiser has designed this book about the French resistance for an American audience. This account of the resistance provides unique insight into the history of one French family and a courageous struggle against Nazism.
There are those whose love for J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis is so fervent that no amount of detail about these writers is too much. These are the people who read and re-read not just Tolkien’s ring trilogy but also The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales; not just Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia but also his science fiction novels and letters and lectures and maybe even his 1936 scholarly work, The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition.
The bestseller, like its much more expensive cousin, the blockbuster movie, is a poorly understood phenomenon. Publishers have been trying and failing to consistently produce them ever since shortly after Gutenberg went all in on the Word of God. An editor may be certain he detects a bestsellerish je ne sais quoi in an author to whom he extends a six-figure advance, but confirmation of his hunch is available only after the fact.
An pro-Tehran advocacy group long accused of concealing illicit ties to the Iranian regime is lobbying Congress in support of a demand by Iran that America repeal a United Nations arms embargo limiting the Islamic Republic’s ability to stockpile arms, including ballistic missiles, which could be used to carry nuclear payloads, according to a copy of an email sent by the group to various lawmakers.