Posted: Oct. 7, 2013

The Heart of Everything That Is by Bob Drury  In the bestselling tradition of Empire of the Summer Moon, this is the untold story of Red Cloud, the most powerful Indian commander of the Plains who witnessed the opening of the West.

The great Oglala Sioux chief Red Cloud was the only Plains Indian to defeat the United States Army in a war, forcing the American government to sue for peace in a conflict named for him. At the peak of their chief’s powers, the Sioux could claim control of one-fifth of the contiguous United States. But unlike Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, or Geronimo, the fog of history has left Red Cloud strangely obscured. Now, thanks to painstaking research by two award-winning authors, his incredible story can finally be told.

Born in 1821 in what is now Nebraska, Red Cloud grew up an orphan who overcame myriad social disadvantages to advance in Sioux culture. Through fearless raids against neighboring tribes, like the Crow and Pawnee, he acquired a reputation as the best leader of his fellow warriors, catapulting him into the Sioux elite—and preparing him for the epic struggle his nation would face with an expanding United States. Drawing on a wealth of evidence that includes Red Cloud’s 134-page autobiography, lost for nearly a hundred years, Bob Drury and Tom Clavin bring their subject to life again in a narrative that climaxes with Red Cloud’s War—a conflict whose massacres presaged the Little Bighorn and ensured Red Cloud’s place in the pantheon of Native American legends.

A story as big as the West, with portraits of General William Tecumsah Sherman, explorer John Bozeman, mountain man Jim Bridger, Red Cloud protégé Crazy Horse, and many others, The Heart of Everything That Is not only places you at the center of the conflict over western expansion, but finally gives our nation’s greatest Indian war leader the modern-day recognition he deserves.


Let me say this was a great book. The untold story of Red Cloud is truly a history lesson on the old west but also on guerrilla warfare. But the story begins with Red Cloud as a young boy whose father dies by drinking to death. Not honorable in the Tribe. But a leader takes him in and helps him in the young warrior ways. What is seen is a keen skill in hunting and tracking. He is able to bring in large amounts and he takes care of the older ones in Tribe and sick ones. By this time he is allowed to be around the leaders. He is there for one of the very first treaties signed. He of course cannot say anything or do anything. Some of the things he does take in is the weapons the army had and how they drilled. For a show of power the army fired a cannon. He thought two things. First one shot could take out a lot of braves but in the time it took them to reload they could attack and kill them before the next shot. As he moved into his 20's his racking continued to grow in the Tribe. He was also becoming well known around other Tribes, they were afraid of him as well. He could hunt, plan attacks on other Tribes and do all of this as a team with the other braves that followed him. He continued to rise in power and he continued to see the decline of the buffalo and other animals. Lands that were agreed on were now being overrun. Other Tribes were being killed by troops. By the time of the end of the civil war he was now chief. He married into the family. Now treaties did not matter like they did any way. The government needed money after the war so when gold was discovered it did not matter where. They sent the 18 build a fort in one of the places they said they would not. To Red Cloud this was the last straw this was scarred ground. He was able to unite 7 Tribes which is amazing and then get them to fight as a unit. They attacked an attachment from Fort Kearney. They had been watching them for weeks. They attacked once wiped out the first part and when the reinforcements showed up they wiped them out as well. The next day what was left at the fort went out to see what was left. After this the fort was closed down for about 8mos. He then started back with the attacks not just on this fort but on two others as well. He would also attack two forts at the same time. During this time is when Custer was killed with his men. The Army or Dep. or the Dept. of the Army. Issued new Springfield ripping rifles, on the next attack that Red Cloud made on the fort he lost over 100 braves. He now saw that they had no way of defeating that rifle. He brought his people, his Tribe to a reservation in Montana, where he lived out his remaining days. His battles against the Army are truly things of work of art. Now our snipers are trained to blend into the land around them, get close to the enemy without being seen. Just some of the things we now do from the Indians. Red Cloud is still the only Chief that has ever claim victory over the United States. One last thought the fight against the Indians or indigenous people, the single most continuous war, over 300 years. A great book. I got this from Net Galley.


MISTRESS                                                   JAMES PATTERSON
Posted: Oct. 7, 2013

Mistress by James Patterson James Patterson's scariest, sexiest stand-alone thriller since The Quickie.

Ben isn't like most people. Unable to control his racing thoughts, he's a man consumed by his obsessions: movies, motorcycles, presidential trivia-and Diana Hotchkiss, a beautiful woman Ben knows he can never have. When Diana is found dead outside her apartment, Ben's infatuation drives him on a hunt to find out what happened to the love of his life. Ben soon discovers that the woman he pined for was hiding a shocking double life. And now someone is out to stop Ben from uncovering the truth about Diana's illicit affairs. In his most heart-pumping thriller yet, James Patterson plunges us into the depths of a mind tortured by paranoia and obsession, on an action-packed chase through a world of danger and deceit.


Another outstanding James Patterson, book. This one was good from the beginning to the end. A lot of twists and turns and I enjoyed the running dialog the main character had with himself, in his head to help him get through one event after another. The main character is not only trying to solve this crime but also how or why his mother died when he was a child. A very good story that does not let go until the end.

Fire Base Illingworth: An Epic True Story

Posted: Oct. 7, 2013

Fire Base Illingworth by Philip Keith Fire Base Illingworth is an epic, never-before-told true story of a North Vietnamese Army attack and how the men of this nearly overrun Fire Base survived.

In the early morning hours of April 1, 1970, more than four hundred North Vietnamese soldiers charged out into the open and tried to over-run FSB Illingworth. The battle went on, mostly in the dark, for hours. Exposed ammunition canisters were hit and blew up, causing a thunderous explosion inside the FSB that left dust so thick it jammed the hand-held weapons of the GIs. Much of the combat was hand-to-hand. In all, twenty-four Americans lost their lives and another fifty-four were wounded. Nearly one hundred enemy bodies were recovered. It was one of the most vicious small unit firefights in the history of U.S. forces in Vietnam.

As in his acclaimed book Blackhorse Riders, a finalist for the prestigious Colby Award, Phil Keith uncovers a harrowing true story of bravery and sacrifice by the men who fought valiantly to hold FSB Illingworth—a tale never-before-told and one that will not be soon forgotten.


This like many books about Vietnam is hard to read or maybe frustrating or both. First let me say this is a very good book and the men, yes men for what they went through and continue to go through from that night. They are men. Mr. Kieth does a good job in giving you all of the information leading up to the night of the battle. He goes into detail about why these fire bases were set up and who's idea was it. That a few nights before this fire base was attacked another not to far away was attacked. The commanding officer of this fire base asked to vacate since they were down troops. That request was denied. They were sitting ducks. The Viet Cong by this time had study each base and knew after each attack how to improve. Now they were waiting. At this same time someone decided to house an additional 40 tons of ammo for artillery. This would be a curse and a blessing. Some of the things that saved some of the men was that at the first sight of movement in the jungle the commander had everyone get into place. At the other fire bases when they were attacked they had to run from there bunks. Here when the first rockets were fired they returned fire. The big problem was that the first few rounds took out the com center and mortar pits.Then they focused on there big guns, all the while attacking the brim. Men were firing back but were losing the battle. Finally two things happen, one a gunship helicopter showed up and was able to rely radio signal back to the main base for fire support while giving support itself. Second an 11 man recon patrol showed up outside of the fence line this helped as well. One man a Peter Lemon, was awarded the Medal of Honor. What he did was un- believable but like many soldiers today still living with the pain from that night. The ammo in the middle of the base exploded and everything stopped a cloud of dirt was in the air for minutes. But that ended the attack. The Viet Cong were dragging their wounded back to the jungle and the Americans won another battle. An under sized force took on over 200 Viet Cong and won, made them retreat, for me that was a victory. But by the time the sun was coming up the powers to be were trying to save there jobs and make it like these men and the commander was wrong.What a crock of s...t. Then on top of everything else these men who could still walk and stand had to spend another night at the fire base because they did not have any one to relief them. What a joke. I was amazed that some of these higher ups were able to get a star and some two. Talk about not caring for your troops and your fellow officer. Any way this is a good book about a equally great generation of young men who felt like they were doing the right thing but did not have the support. We one more battles than the press wants people to believe and usually we were out numbered that says something to men who were there. I proud to have a uncle who fought there. This is a good book about one battle. I got this book from Net Galley.

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