Devotional: The Classic Spiritual Disciples

Below are reviews for four books that I read that have had a profound impact on my life. The author, Dr. Richard J. Foster, is a Christian theologian and author in the Quaker tradition. His writings speak to a broad Christian audience. He has been a professor at Friends University and pastor of Evangelical Friends churches.  He earned his undergraduate degree at George Fox University in Oregon and his Doctor of Pastoral Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Fullerton, California. He has written four books dealing with the classic disciples of the Christian faith. Enjoy the reviews and just maybe, you will read one of the books.

Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard J. Foster

The late Dr. Harry Piland who headed up Southern Baptist Sunday School work during the 1980’s and early 1990’s first introduced me to this book. He said only the Bible has had a greater impact on his life. As I respected Harry’s walk with the Lord, I wanted to see what was so great about the book. I found out in the first few chapters. I never thought that reading this book would change my life so deeply. Dr. Richard J. Foster, the preeminent Quaker theologian of this age, helped me to understand every discipline in a simple way and inspired me to put them in practice in my every day life. The book is divided into chapters that explore one of the spiritual disciplines in a deep, insightful, and yet simple way. The disciplines described are: meditation, prayer, fasting, study, simplicity, solitude, submission, service, confession, worship, guidance and celebration. After reading every discipline you’ll know what it is, learn how to do it and most of all, you’ll want to do it! I have read the book (originally published in 1978) about every two or three years since my first reading in 1981, and every time it motivates me to seek for God’s will in my life and learn how to grow in my spiritual journey. The book is one of the all time classics in Christian literature. If the Lord tarries, this book will be read regularly until His return.

The Challenge of the Disciplined Life by Richard J. Foster

I first read this book in 1986. The Challenge of the Disciplined Life has guided me often from then until now. Its clear ethics will give valuable insight to all who will apply its ageless principles. Foster’s blending of practical reality linked with biblical concepts leaves one thinking in biblical ways that still make sense in a world whose ethics seem to be changing daily. The insights expounded by Foster will continue to make a profound positive impact. It shows the dangers/temptations of money, sex, and power to draw one away from Christ.

Freedom of Simplicity by Richard J. Foster

I bought this book in Nashville, Tennessee at the Lifeway Christian Bookstore. Written in the same warm, accessible style as Richard Foster’s best-selling Celebration of Discipline, Freedom of Simplicity articulates a creative, more human style of living and points the way for Christians to make their lives “models of simplicity.” Foster provides a way to review our priorities and to “seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness.” He shows us how to live in harmony with the rich complexity of life while stressing the relation of simplicity to prayer, solitude, and all the Christian Disciplines.

Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster

This wonderful book is a nearly 20 years old. I have read this book twice. I have come back many other times to reread parts of the book. Richard Foster is a Quaker. He is probably the best known Quaker in the world today. He takes us into twenty-one different types of Christian prayer. He divides these twenty-one different types of Christian prayer into three movements of prayer, moving inward, upward and outward, which correspond to seeking transformation, seeking intimacy and seeking ministry. For those of us who love prayer, seek increasing intimacy with the Father or who have found difficulty with prayer in at least some of its forms, this book is a wonderful how to guide and aid. It helps us gain a better understanding of what each type of prayer is about.

Meet the Poets: Mona Van Duyn – Pulitzer Prize in Poetry 1991 and Poet Laureate of the United States of America 1992

Mona Jane Van Duyn (May 9, 1921 – December 2, 2004) was an American poet. She won every major American award for poetry and was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1992.

In 1921, Mona Van Duyn was born in Waterloo, Iowa, and raised in the small town of Eldora, Iowa.

She received degrees from Iowa State Teachers College and the University of Iowa. It was there she met Jarvis Thurston, whom she married in 1943, and with whom she founded Perspective, a Quarterly of Literature in 1947, a publication she co-edited until 1975.

Van Duyn’s first collection of poems, Valentines to the Wide World (Cummington Publishing), was published in 1959, followed by A Time of Bees, which appeared as part of the University of North Carolina Press Contemporary Poetry Series in 1964.

She became close friends with the poet James Merrill, and from 1964 through 1981 the two engaged in regular correspondence, which included exchanging poems by mail.

In 1970, Van Duyn published To See, To Take (Atheneum), which received the National Book Award in 1971, followed by Bedtime Stories (Ceres Press, 1972). Her later collections include: Selected Poems (Knopf, 2003); Firefall (1994); If It Be Not I: Collected Poems, 1959-1982 (1994); Near Changes (1990), for which she won the Pulitzer Prize; Letters From a Father, and Other Poems (Atheneum, 1982); and Merciful Disguises (1973), which includes the bulk of her first four books.

About her work, the poet Alfred Corn has said, “Mona Van Duyn has assembled, in a language at once beautiful and exact, one of the most convincing bodies of work in our poetry.” Cynthia Zarin has called her poetry “notable for its formal accomplishment and for its thematic ambition,” adding that the “searching intelligence of the persona we have learned to know in her poems, combined with the humor, technical ease, and the blend of the abstract and the quotidian that the poet has made her own have resulted in that rare good thing: a strong, clear voice, original without eccentricity.”

Van Duyn was awarded the Bollingen Prize, the Hart Crane Memorial Award, the Ruth Lilly Prize, the Loines Prize of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Shelley Memorial Prize, and both the Harriet Monroe Memorial Prize and the Eunice Tietjens Award from Poetry magazine, as well as fellowships from The Academy of American Poets, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Van Duyn has said, “I believe that good poetry can be as ornate as a cathedral or as bare as a pottingshed, as long as it confronts the self with honesty and fullness. Nobody is born with the capacity to perform this act of confrontation, in poetry or anywhere else; one’s writing career is simply a continuing effort to increase one’s skill at it.”

She was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 1985, and served as the first woman Poet Laureate of the United States from 1992 to 1993, the year she was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

Mona Van Duyn died of bone cancer on December 1, 2004, in St. Louis, Missouri, where she had lived since 1950.

Selected Bibliography

Valentines to the Wide World (Cummington Publishing, 1959)
A Time of Bees (University of North Carolina Press, 1964)
To See, to Take (Antheneum, 1970)
Bedtime Stories (Ceres Press, 1972)
Merciful Disguises: Poems Published and Unpublished (Atheneum, 1973)
Letters from a Father, and Other Poems (Atheneum, 1982)
Near Changes (Knopf, 1990) – Pulitzer Prize 1991
If It Be Not I: Collected Poems (Knopf, 1992)
Firefall (Knopf, 1992)
Selected Poems (Knopf, 2002)

Sources: and




Meet the Poets: Bob Dylan – 2008 Pulitzer Prize: Special Awards and Citations

The Pulitzer Prize jury in 2008 awarded Bob Dylan a special citation for “his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.”

Birth: May 24, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota, United States.
Occupation: Singer, musician.
Family: son of Abe Zimmerman and Beatrice Rutman; m. Sara Lownds (or Lowndes), Nov. 22, 1965 (div. June 19, 1977); children: Jakob, Jesse, Samuel, Anna, Maria; m. Carolyn Y. Dennis, June 4, 1986 (div. Oct. 1992); 1 child, Desiree Gabrielle.
Education: self-taught; student, U. Minn., 1960; Music Dept., Princeton U., 1970.
Avocations/Research/Interests: Achievements include devising and popularizing folk-rock.
Addresses: Office, Columbia Records, 550 Madison Ave, New York, NY, 10022-3211.

Named to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1988.
recipient Lifetime Achievement Award, Grammy Awards, 1991.
Prince of Asturias Arts award, Prince of Asturias Found, 2007.

Musician: (albums) Bob Dylan, 1962; The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, 1963; The Times They Are A-Changin’, 1964; Another Side of Bob Dylan, 1964; Bringing It All Back Home, 1965; Highway 61 Revisited, 1965; Blonde on Blonde, 1966; John Wesley Harding, 1967; Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, 1967; Nashville Skyline, 1969; Self Portrait, 1970; New Morning, 1970; Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 2, 1971; Dylan, 1973, Planet Waves, 1974; Blood on Tracks, 1975; Desire, 1976; Hard Rain, 1976; Street Legal, 1978; Masterpieces, 1978; Slow Train Coming, 1979 (Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for “Gotta Serve Somebody”, 1980); Bob Dylan At Budokan, 1979; Saved, 1980; Shot of Love, 1981; Infidels, 1983; Real Live, 1984; Empire Burlesque, 1985; Biograph, 1985; Knocked Out Loaded, 1986; Down In The Groove, 1988; Oh Mercy, 1989; Under the Red Sky, 1990; The Bootleg Series, Vols. 1-3: (Rare and Unreleased 1961-1991), 1991; Good as I Been to You, 1992; World Gone Wrong, 1993 (Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album, 1994); Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 3, 1994; MTV Unplugged, 1995; Time Out of Mind, 1997 (Grammy Award for Album of Yr., 1998, Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album, 1998; Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for “Cold Irons Bound”, 1998); The Best of Bob Dylan, 1997; The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: The Royal Albert Hall Concert, 1998; Essential Bob Dylan, 2000; The Best of Bob Dylan, Vol. 2, 2000; The Very Best of Bob Dylan, 2000; Love and Theft, 2001 (Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album, 2002); The Bootleg Series, Vol. 5, Live 1975; The Rolling Thunder Revue, 2002; The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6: Live 1964, 200;, The Bootleg Series, Vol. 7: No Direction Home: The Soundtrack, 2005, Live at the Gaslight 1962, 2005; Modern Times, 2006 (Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album, Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, 2007); musician: (with various artists) The Concert for Bangladesh, 1971 (Grammy Award for Album of Year, 1973); Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration, 1993; musician: (with The Band) Before the Flood, 1974; The Basement Tapes, 1976; musician: (with Grateful Dead) Dylan and the Dead, 1988; musician: (with Traveling Wilburys) Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1, 1988 (Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, 1990); Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3, 1990; musician: (soundtracks) Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, 1973; The Last Waltz, 1976; Wonder Boys, 2000 (Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Things Have Changed”, 2001); Masked and Anonymous, 2003.

Composer: (songs) Like a Rolling Stone and over 500 more.
Dir., editor: (films) Eat the Document, 1972.
Appeared in: (documentaries) Don’t Look Back, 1967; No Direction Home, 2005
Actor: (films) Pat Garret and Billy the Kid, 1973; Hearts of Fire, 1987; actor, composer, dir., editor, writer (films) Renaldo and Clara, 1978; actor, composer, writer Masked and Anonymous, 2003.
Actor: (TV films) The Madhouse on Castle Street, 1963.
Author: Tarantula, 1971; Writings and Drawings, 1973; Tarantula: Poems, 1994; (book of sketches) Drawn Blank, 1994; (memoirs) Chronicles, Vol. 1, 2004 (Quills award-biography/memoir, 2005).

“Bob Dylan.” Marquis Who’s Who™, 2008.

Meet the Poets: Archibald MacLeish – Pulitzer Prize in Poetry 1933, 1953, and 1959.

Archibald MacLeish was born in Glencoe, Illinois, on 7th May 1892. After graduating from Yale University in 1915 and two years later his first book of poems, Tower of Ivory, was published.

MacLeish he joined the United States Army in 1917. He served in France as a field artillery officer during the First World War and during the summer of 1918 took part in the2nd Battle of the Marne. On his return to the United States MacLeish resumed his studies and received a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1919 and became a lawyer in Boston.

In 1923 MacLeish gave up his legal career and decided to tour Europe. During this period he published several books of poetry including The Happy Marriage (1924), The Pot of Earth (1925), Streets in the Moon (1926), The Hamlet of A. MacLeish (1928) and New Found Land(1930). He also wrote two plays, Nobodaddy and Panic which dealt with the Wall Street Crash.

MacLeish worked as editor of Fortune Magazine (1929-1938) but continued to write poetry.Conquistador (1932) won the Pulitzer Prize and His Frescoes for Mr. Rockefeller’s City (1933) was described by one critic as campaign poetry for Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. MacLeish also joined the League for Independent Political Action. The group, that included Lewis Mumford and John Dewey, promoted alternatives to a capitalist system they considered to be obsolete and cruel.

In August 1936 MacLeish wrote an article for New Masses where he urged the United States government to support the republicans in the Spanish Civil War. Along with John Dos Passos, Lillian Hellman and Ernest Hemingway, MacLeish helped to finance The Spanish Earth, a documentary film about the war.

MacLeish came into conflict with Henry Luce, the owner of Fortune Magazine, and Laird Goldsborough, the foreign affairs editor of Time Magazine, also part of the Luce’s growing media empire. George Teeple Eggleston, who worked for the company at the time, has claimed that it was Goldsborough who persuaded Luce to support General Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War. According to Eggleston: “Time’s conservative foreign news editor, Laird Goldsborough, promptly slanted all news stories in his department in favor of General Franco’s rebel insurgents.” Eggleston argued that MacLeish “promptly bombarded Luce memos denouncing Franco’s coalition of landowners, the Church, and the army”. Goldsborough responded by arguing: “On the side of Franco are men of property, men of God, and men of the sword. What positions do you suppose these sorts of men occupy in the minds of 700,000 readers of Time?… They resent communists, anarchists, and political gangsters – those so-called Spanish Republicans.”

MacLeish also joined other left-wing writers in the League of American Writers. Other members included Erskine Caldwell, Upton Sinclair, Malcolm Cowley, Clifford Odets, Langston Hughes, Carl Sandburg, Carl Van Doren, David Ogden Stewart, John Dos Passos, Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett. MacLeish wrote at the time: “The real struggle of our time was not between communism and fascism but the much more fundamental struggle between democratic institutions on the one side and all forms of dictatorship, whatever the dictator’s label, on the other.”

MacLeish took a keen interest in world affairs and The Fall of the City (1937), a radio play about the growth of fascism in Europe, obtained a large audience in the United States. In April 1938 MacLeish published Land of the Free. The book included 338 lines of a poem by MacLeish and 88 photographs by Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Arthur Rothstein and Ben Shahn. Most of the photographs came from the Farm Security Administration project and dealt with issues such as rural poverty and child labour.

In 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to appoint MacLeish as librarian of Congress. Right-wing politicians objected to this proposal and J. Parnell Thomas a member of the House of Un-American Activities, argued that MacLeish was a communist. MacLeish, who had been a harsh critic of the American Communist Party for many years, replied “no one would be more shocked to learn I am a Communist than the Communists themselves.” When the vote was taken in the Senate, sixty-three voted for MacLeish (eight voted against and twenty-five abstained) and he was appointed.

During the Second World War MacLeish wrote for the New Republic. He was also head of the Office of Facts and Figures. This brought him into conflict with J. Edgar Hoover, who tried to stop him employing left-wing figures such as Malcolm Cowley. Hoover complained that Cowley had been “associated with various Liberal and Communist groups.” In January 1942, MacLeish replied that the FBI agents needed a course of instruction in history. “Don’t you think it would be a good thing if all investigators could be made to understand that Liberalism is not only not a crime but actually the attitude of the President of the United States and the greater part of his Administration?”

MacLeish was unaware that he was also under investigation by Hoover and the FBI. The agency was particularly interested in his involvement with the League of American Writers and other anti-fascist groups in the United States and his pro-Russian stance after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. MacLeish’s FBI file eventually ran to six hundred pages, longer than any other writer in the United States.
In November 1944 Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed MacLeish as his assistant secretary of state for cultural and public affairs. Once again right-wing members of the Senate complained about the appointment of MacLeish. The vote was close with forty-three in favour, twenty-five against, and twenty-eight abstaining.

MacLeish’s main task was to promote the idea of the United Nations to the American people. However, the job only lasted a few months as Harry S. Truman decided not to reappoint him after the death of Roosevelt on 12th April 1945.

In October 1952 Joseph McCarthy claimed that MacLeish had belonged to more Communist front organizations than any man he had investigated. Despite coming under increasing pressure, MacLeish bravely defended his left-wing friends during the McCarthyism era. A play about the irrational fear of communism, The Trojan Horse, appeared in 1952.

MacLeish was appointed professor of rhetoric and oratory at Harvard University in 1949. Other books by MacLeish include Poetry and Journalism (1958), Poetry and Experience (1961), The Collected Poetry of Archibald MacLeish (1963), The Dialogues of Archibald MacLeish and Mark Van Doren (1964), The Wild Old Wicked Man and Other Poems (1968), The Human Season (1972) and Riders on the Earth (1978).

Archibald MacLeish died in Boston on 20th April, 1982.

Source: and




Meet the Poets: Elizabeth Bishop – Pulitzer Prize in Poetry 1956 and Poet Laureate of the United States of America 1949 -1950

Elizabeth Bishop (February 8, 1911 – October 6, 1979) was an American poet, short-story writer, and recipient of the 1976 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. She was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 1949 to 1950, the Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry in 1956 and the National Book Award winner in 1970. Elizabeth Bishop House is an artists’ retreat in Great Village, Nova Scotia dedicated to her memory. She is considered one of the most important and distinguished American poets of the 20th century.


Bishop was greatly influenced by the poet Marianne Moore to whom she was introduced by a librarian at Vassar in 1934. Moore took a keen interest in Bishop’s work, and at one point Moore dissuaded Bishop from attending Cornell Medical School, in which the poet had briefly enrolled herself after moving to New York City following her Vassar graduation. It was four years before Bishop addressed “Dear Miss Moore” as “Dear Marianne,” and only then at the elder poet’s invitation. The friendship between the two women, memorialized by an extensive correspondence (see One Art), endured until Moore’s death in 1972. Bishop’s “At the Fishhouses” (1955) contains allusions on several levels to Moore’s 1924 poem “A Grave.”

She was introduced to Robert Lowell by Randall Jarrell in 1947 and they became great friends, mostly through their written correspondence, until Lowell’s death in 1977. After his death, she wrote, “our friendship, [which was] often kept alive through years of separation only by letters, remained constant and affectionate, and I shall always be deeply grateful for it”. They also both influenced each other’s poetry. Lowell cited Bishop’s influence on his poem “Skunk Hour” which he said, “[was] modeled on Miss Bishop’s ‘The Armadillo.'” Also, his poem “The Scream” is “derived from…Bishop’s story In the Village.” “North Haven,” one of the last poems she published during her lifetime, was written in memory of Lowell in 1978.

Literary Style and Identity

Bishop did not see herself as a “lesbian poet” or as a “female poet.” Although she still considered herself to be “a strong feminist,” she only wanted to be judged based on the quality of her writing and not on her gender or sexual orientation. Also, where some of her notable contemporaries like Robert Lowell and John Berryman made the intimate, often sordid details of their personal lives an important part of their poetry, Bishop avoided this practice altogether. For instance, like Berryman, Bishop struggled with alcoholism and depression throughout her adult life; but Bishop never wrote about this struggle (whereas Berryman made his alcoholism and depression a focal point in his dream song poems).

In contrast to this confessional style involving large amounts of self-exposure, Bishop’s style of writing, though it sometimes involved sparse details from her personal life, was known for its highly detailed and objective, distant point of view and for its reticence on the sordid subject matter that obsessed her contemporaries. In contrast to a poet like Lowell, when Bishop wrote about details and people from her own life (as she did in her story about her childhood and her mentally unstable mother in “In the Village”), she always used discretion.

Although she was generally supportive of the “confessional” style of her friend, Robert Lowell, she drew the line at Lowell’s highly controversial book The Dolphin (1973), in which he used and altered private letters from his ex-wife, Elizabeth Hardwick (whom he’d recently divorced after 23 years of marriage), as material for his poems. In a letter to Lowell, dated March 21, 1972, Bishop strongly urged him against publishing the book, writing, “One can use one’s life as material [for poems]–one does anyway—but these letters—aren’t you violating a trust? IF you were given permission—IF you hadn’t changed them. . .etc. But art just isn’t worth that much.”

Later Career

In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize, Bishop won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award as well as two Guggenheim Fellowships and an Ingram Merrill Foundation grant. In 1976, she became the first woman to receive the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and remains the only American to be awarded that prize.

Bishop lectured in higher education for a number of years starting in the 1970s when her inheritance began to run out. For a short time she taught at the University of Washington, before teaching at Harvard University for seven years. She often spent her summers in her summer house in the island community of North Haven, Maine. She taught at New York University, before finishing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She commented “I don’t think I believe in writing courses at all… It’s true, children sometimes write wonderful things, paint wonderful pictures, but I think they should be discouraged.”

In 1971 Bishop began a relationship with Alice Methfessel. Never a prolific writer, Bishop noted that she would begin many projects and leave them unfinished. She published her last book in 1976, Geography III. Three years later, she died of a cerebral aneurysm in her apartment at Lewis Wharf, Boston. She is buried in Hope Cemetery in Worcester, Massachusetts. Alice Methfessel was her literary executor.

Awards and Honors

1945: Houghton Mifflin Poetry Prize Fellowship
1947: Guggenheim Fellowship
1949: Appointed Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress
1950: American Academy of Arts and Letters Award
1951: Lucy Martin Donelly Fellowship (awarded by Bryn Mawr College)
1953: Shelley Memorial Award
1954: Elected to lifetime membership in the National Institute of Arts and Letters
1956: Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
1960: Chapelbrook Foundation Award
1964: Academy of American Poets Fellowship
1968: Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
1968: Ingram-Merrill Foundation Grant
1969: National Book Award
1969: The Order of the Rio Branco (awarded by the Brazilian government)
1974: Harriet Monroe Poetry Award
1976: Books Abroad/Neustadt International Prize
1976: Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters
1977: National Book Critics Circle Award
1978: Guggenheim Fellowship

Elizabeth Bishop’s Poetry Collections :

North & South (Houghton Mifflin, 1946)
Poems: North & South/A Cold Spring (Houghton Mifflin, 1955)
A Cold Spring (Houghton Mifflin, 1956)
Questions of Travel (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1965)
The Complete Poems (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1969)
Geography III, (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1976)
The Complete Poems: 1927–1979 (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1983)
Edgar Allan Poe & The Juke-Box: Uncollected Poems, Drafts, and Fragments by Elizabeth Bishop ed. Alice Quinn, (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2006)

Sources: and

Battered Bastards of Bastogne by George Koskimaki

George Koskimaki wrote three books on the 101st Airborne Division. They are 1) D-Day with the Screaming Eagles, 2) Hell’s Highway: Chronicle of the 101st Airborne Division in the Holland Campaign, September – November 1944, and 3) Battered Bastards of Bastogne. This is a review of book three, Battered Bastards of Bastogne. George Koskimaki offers unique insights, as he was 101st Airborne Division commanding general, General Maxwell Taylor’s radio operator.

Battered Bastards of Bastogne fleshes out in vivid detail the entire story of the Screaming Eagles’ valiant struggle. It gives us information not covered in the other books by interweaving the stories of 530 soldiers interviewed who were on the ground or in the air over Bastogne. They lived, made this history and much of it is told in their own words.

The story of the Battle of the Bulge is amazing. We learn how little time had passed from the Holland Campaign before the 101st is pulled from being their reserve role. We see ill-equipped they were in terms of weapons. We find out their equipment and uniforms had not been replenished after Market Garden/Holland Campaign. We hear the often-told story of the lack of winter weather gear. We see how stupid some were in tossing their limited cold weather gear like over shoes when the weather was a little less cold at the beginning of the battle. We see circumstances with General Taylor being called back to the USA for a staff conference, the shifting of key senior NCO’s due to enjoying their time off line too much, and how the division moved into combat via ground transportation for the first time.

I especially enjoyed the detail and interweaving of the soldiers stories. It is amazing to view moments on the battlefield through multiple points of view. Some readers may find the book hard or even tedious to get through because of the detail. I did not. I found it added to the story. As in the author’s two previous works on the 101st I find the personal accounts gave vitality to the story. It kept it flowing instead of reading like a military after action report. Once again, Mr. Koskimaki did a superb job of telling the history the 101st Airborne Division. I appreciated the way the book is both descriptive and detailed. It gives you a feel that you are there with the men. The author did an outstanding job in this area. This is must reading for any student of World War II history.