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Search tags: James-Carl-Nelson
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review 2019-07-15 04:30
A VERST TOO FAR
The Polar Bear Expedition: The Heroes of America’s Forgotten Invasion of Russia, 1918-1919 - James Carl Nelson

As someone who grew up in the Midwest U.S., I first gained some awareness of the 'Polar Bear Expedition' of 1918-19 --- in which a U.S. Army regiment was sent to Northern Russia in the summer of 1918 ostensibly to guard stores of Allied military equipment at the port of Archangel, but was later used in battle against the Bolsheviks as part of a larger Allied (i.e. British) scheme to overthrow the Bolshevik government in Moscow and bring Russia back into World War I as a way to force Germany to recommit military forces there --- from a story I read in the late 1970s in a local paper about an elderly gentleman in Detroit whom mention was made of as having served in Northern Russia with the U.S. Army in 1919. I never forgot that newspaper story. And so, when I became aware of this book, I was determined to read it.    And I'm glad I did, because I learned so much.    For instance, who knew that, in addition to the U.S. and Britain, French, Canadian, and some Chinese military forces were involved in military actions against Bolshevik forces in Northern Russia in 1918-1919?

I highly recommend "THE POLAR BEAR EXPEDITION: The Heroes of America's Forgotten Invasion of Russia, 1918-1919" for anyone interested in learning about a long overlooked chapter of U.S. history that can provide valuable lessons for policymakers, academics, U.S. civilian and military leaders, and the general public as to the need (as stated by the White House) to deploy military forces in any part of the world identified as vital to U.S. security interests.
 

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review 2016-09-18 04:55
Podcast #21 is up!
I Will Hold: The Story of USMC Legend Clifton B. Cates From Belleau Wood to Victory in the Great War - James Carl Nelson

My twenty-first podcast -- an interview with James Carl Nelson about his book on the early life and First World War service of Clifton B. Cates -- is up on the New Books Network website. Enjoy!

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text 2016-09-10 15:24
Reading progress update: I've read 135 out of 352 pages.
I Will Hold: The Story of USMC Legend Clifton B. Cates From Belleau Wood to Victory in the Great War - James Carl Nelson

Last month I received an e-mail from the New Books Network site editor asking if I want to respond to a publisher's offer to review James Carl Nelson's new book on Clifton Cates. Now I had never heard of Cates or Nelson, but I figured that since this was a publisher's offer it would be in the best interest of the site to have good relations with them so I said yes.

 

Once I received it we scheduled the interview and it's coming up next week, so I decided to start reading the book. It's not bad, but Nelson strains a little too hard in his narrative to be novelistic and it can come across as a little too melodramatic. His prose isn't exactly purple, but it definitely has a tinge of violet to it. In that respect it's proving to be an interesting change of pace from some of the more academic texts that I've read recently, but it's not something that I would have cracked but for the interview.

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review 2013-03-11 00:00
Five Lieutenants: The Heartbreaking Story of Five Harvard Men Who Led America to Victory in World War I
Five Lieutenants: The Heartbreaking Story of Five Harvard Men Who Led America to Victory in World War I - James Carl Nelson Admittedly, my dislike of this book could be a simple case of historical transference. Any implication, inference, or suggestion that because of their education and life potential the sacrifice of five Harvard graduates were somehow more honorable or significant than others who served is offensive. Pall Mall, Tennessee rests just on the horizon of where I work and live, and is the birth place of Alvin C. York, a Medal of Honor recipient and arguably the most storied American soldier of World War I. Though a smart, devote, and earnest man, Sgt. York was virtually uneducated even by the standards of his day. Yet what he accomplished with his life during the war, and most especially after the war, is inspirational on any level. His glory on the battle field was exceeded by his humility and concern for others, especially the children of his rural Tennessee valley, throughout the remainder of his life. I feel better now.
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review 2010-11-11 00:00
The Remains of Company D: A Story of the Great War - James Carl Nelson I finished this book 10 minutes ago and found it to be not only an account of the author's odyssey to learn more about his grandfather's service in the First World War with Company D of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division, but also a poignant and thoughtful portrait (through excerpts from letters) of several members of Company D who distinguished themselves in combat from Cantigny to the Argonne.

This book also offers a sobering insight on America's role in a long ago war whose relevance is lost on most Americans today.
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