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Book Cover Image. Title: The Hunt for Red October, Author: Tom Clancy

The Hunt for Red October

Tom Clancy

This book revolutionized the military-espionage genre and coined the new moniker "Techno-thriller." Until Clancy, most books of this vein followed the Ian Flemming model: sexually charged alpha males combating two dimensional villains with fantastic, futuristic technology. Red October changed all that. The story was rooted in reality. The technology, the geo-politics, the strategy, the tactics, the history, all of it was based on Tom Clancy's tireless research. Even the hero, Jack Ryan, could not have been more different than the archetype super-spook of James Bond. Here was a simple, married analyst (with a very powerful fear of flying) that found himself thrust into the role of reluctant hero. Red October managed to do something many high school teachers and college professors have been attempting to do since the dawn of time. It fused entertainment and education. Shop Now

Book Cover Image. Title: The First Man in Rome, Author: Colleen McCullough

The First Man in Rome

Colleen McCullough

Most modern day portrayals of ancient Rome seem to vacillate between pageantry and pornography. They tend to focus on the operatic glory of Rome without ever delving into where that glory came from. Like Clancy with his submarines, Colleen McCullough draws her strength from fact-based homework. These are not the blood-thirsty, orgy-addled caricatures of Hollywood. These are genuine Romans, who balance their human vices with sobriety, courage, intelligence, and who possess/display practical, meticulous ambition that would drive them to one day conquer the western world. McCullough, like her Romans, believes that no detail should be ignored, and paints such a vivid picture of the ancient world, that they might, someday, be used as survival guides for future time travelers. Shop Now

Book Cover Image. Title: Red Army, Author: Ralph Peters

Red Army

Ralph Peters

"Ivan" was the boogeyman of the Cold War. He was godless enemy that skulked behind the iron curtain, the faceless horde waiting to storm the gates of freedom. From the 1950s to the 1980s, countless authors worked tirelessly to dehumanize the communist monolith known as "Ivan" while only one of them dared to do the opposite. "Red Army" tells the story of the Soviet invasion of Western Europe, a story told entirely from the Soviet point of view. Ralph Peters, a former US Army intelligence officer, dared to put a human face on the red menace, stocking his story with very real, vulnerable, psychologically complex, and deeply sympathetic souls. From an artillery officer who wanted nothing more to be a farmer, to a young draftee who loved American blues, to the supreme commander in the field who ends the story blinking away tears as he searches the charred battlefield for the remains of his only son, Peters crafts nothing short of the Cold War's All Quiet On the Western Front. Shop Now

Book Cover Image. Title: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas:  A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, Author: Hunter S. Thompson

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Hunter S. ThompsonRalph Steadman

My generation, the 'cynical' Generation X, got our title from growing up in the philosophical wreckage of the generation that came before us. Through his drug fueled rampage through America's pleasure capital, Hunter Thompson chronicles the cataclysmic collapse of America's counterculture. He mercilessly describes the excess, the materialism, and the utter betrayal of all the high ideals that made flower children "tune in, turn on, and drop out." Each adventure (or rather, misadventure) is a brutal reminder of what happens when the generation that once crowed "don't trust anyone over thirty" began to turn 30 themselves. The theme of this cultural implosion is perfectly summed up by Thompson in his passage: "We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave.… So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark -- that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back." Shop Now

Book Cover Image. Title: Good War:  An Oral History of World War II, Author: Studs Terkel

Good War

Studs Terkel

This book was the primary inspiration for my book, World War Z. It is a collection of interviews with those who lived through the Second World War. Voices come from all over the planet, and from all walks of life. Studs Terkel literally traveled the globe, interviewing soldiers, politicians, POWs, and just ordinary civilians caught in the crossfire. Individually, these stories give us a personal, intimate picture of the conflict. Taken together, they illustrate how truly massive that conflict was. If someone knew nothing about the Second World War, this book would be the perfect introduction. If someone thought they knew everything about it, this book could teach them a thing or two. Shop Now