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We recommend the following wonderful books.Books that make the connection with the past by describing the people, places, and events so vividly, you can feel yourself there.Tournament of Shadows by Karl E. Meyer & Shareen Blair Brysac (Counterpoint Books), is a well-described account of the struggle between the British and the Russians to be the first to gain influence in Central Asia namely Afghanistan an effort carried out mainly by incredibly courageous loners operating on their own and at their own expense, sometimes with the quiet approval of their respective governments. Most disappeared in the forbidding mountains, and the fates of many are still unknown. Indeed a fantastic story.Stalingrad by Antony Beevor (Penguin Books) is probably the best description of the suffering of both the Russian and German soldiers during this battle of World War II. The Russians shot each other for “not being brave enough,” while the Germans literally froze to death standing up at their guard posts. With the help of the severe winter, the Soviets stopped the German advance and encircled the entire German army, which simply ceased to exist.The Face of Battle by John Keegan (Penguin Books). Keegan has to be one of the best writers alive on the subject of war and its implications. He personifies its horrors from the perspective of the individual as well in this book as in any he has written. He really puts you there. As a combat veteran myself, I have never read better.Who Was the Man Behind the Iron Mask? by Hugh Ross Williamson (Penguin Books) is a fascinating book for anyone intrigued by some of history’s mysteries. A great read, this book provides a fresh look at some of history’s most famous and infamous cases, along with their implications: The poisoning of King James I, the murder of the little princes in the Tower, the real parentage of Queen Elizabeth I, and of course, the identity of the man who’s case provides the title of the book. It helps to be familiar with the historical context of these cases but is not required to follow his lively investigations. It may even motivate you to read more about them.

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