PositiveThe Wall Street Journal... well-researched ... starts off slowly, maybe wandering a bit too far afield with its many diversions into early-20th-century European-motorsport history. Which is too bad, if it means turning away readers who aren’t already racing enthusiasts from this otherwise excellent account. Once the author gets in gear, however, he moves with the aplomb of an F1 driver who starts in the middle of the pack and works his way up, car by car, to take the lead ... exciting, fast-moving prose.
RaveThe Wall Street JournalOn its face, the book is an incredibly engaging and well-written account of one man’s quest to cross the world’s harshest and most barren continent unassisted. That means no motorized sled, no food drops; just Mr. O’Brady, slogging 900 miles on skis with a 375-pound sled in tow, dragging everything he needs to survive for nearly two months across a vast, frozen expanse that doesn’t change much from day to day except for the degree to which he has to contend with wind and snow ... Thankfully, the book is much more than that. In addition to chronicling the physical challenges of staying alive in such inhospitable terrain, Mr. O’Brady weaves in biographical details that make you care as much about the man as the mission. But where the author excels is in detailing the mental challenges of such an expedition in a way that makes his struggles and the lessons he learns relatable to the average person.
PositiveThe Wall Street JournalWorld War II has been covered so extensively that there’s little left to add to the broader narrative. What remains are many personal stories that give us a deeper understanding of the men who did the grunt work to defeat the Axis Powers. The best to come out recently is No Surrender ... a very moving story.
James Carl Nelson
RaveThe Wall Street JournalJames Carl Nelson...deserves an A for his excellent book ... Mr. Nelson paints distinguishing portraits of [the soldiers] ... Mr. Nelson describes myriad hit-and-run skirmishes between the Allies and the Bolsheviks, countless brutal engagements in weather cold enough to freeze machine guns and men ... Mr. Nelson does not mince words.
RaveWall Street Journal\".. we can now add Hampton Sides’s On Desperate Ground [to the pantheon of literature on The Battle of Chosin Reservoir], which hits all the right notes in the novelistic way that histories are written today ... Mr. Sides does an admirable job of balancing the book’s two storylines, explaining the upper-echelon politics that put the Marines in such a precarious position, and the on-the-ground planning, execution and sheer bravery that helped them escape. To Mr. Sides, the Marines’ Gen. Smith is the hero of the story, and rightly so. Smith had the better understanding of the conflict his men were thrust into, even as he was being thwarted at almost every turn by MacArthur and his staff.\