We're bringing three authors together for one night of War Stories.
In his debut work of fiction - Into a Dark Frontier Mangan fuses a modern military thriller with and a classic American Western and plunges the reader into the chaos of an African continent where anarchy reigns. In the near future, Africa collapses into an enormous failed state, leaving the continent lawless and severely depopulated. For most, the breakdown brings horror, but for others―the outcast, the desperate, the criminal, and the insane―it allows unparalleled opportunity: a new frontier of danger and unlimited possibility. Mangan is retired from 25 years of military service, and is writing a series of books that will pay tribute to the men and women with whom he served.
On a more biographical note - In So Long for Now: A Sailor's Letters from the USS Franklin, Jerry L. Rogers produces both a rich historical resource and a touching legacy to his late brother, who perished in service on the USS Franklin in 1945. So Long for Now reconstructs the lost world of a sailor’s daily life in World War II, piecing together letters from Elden’s family in Vega, Texas, and from his girlfriend, the untold stories behind Elden’s own letters, and the context of the war itself. Rogers delves past censored letters limited to small talk and local gossip to conjure the danger, excitement, boredom, and sacrifices that sailors in the Pacific theater endured. He follows Elden from enlistment in the navy through every battle the USS Franklin saw. Flight deck crashes, kamikaze hits, and tensions and alliances aboard ship all built to the unprecedented chaos and casualties of the Japanese air attack on March 19. “So long for now,” Elden signed off—never “Goodbye.” This moving work poignantly confronts the horrors of war, giving voice to a young sailor, the country he served, the family and friends he left behind, and the hope that has sustained them.
And Predicting Pearl Harbor gives us a historal narrative. While it’s common to say that the most predictable thing about the next war is its unpredictability, that wasn’t the case in the run-up to war with Japan. From Commodore Matthew Perry’s voyage into Japanese waters in 1853 to the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States and Japan were on a collision course. In Predicting Pearl Harbor, the saga of the run-up to war with Japan is brought to vivid life using primary-source documents, memoirs, and firsthand testimonies of those who lived during that era. It was Gen. Billy Mitchell who recognized the signs and foresaw the eventual showdown between the two nations twenty-eight years before the tragedy of Pearl Harbor, but his spot-on predictions were dismissed out of hand.
Discover one of the most exciting periods in American history through General Mitchell’s prescient reports, providing new insight into an ages-old conflict.
About the Authors:
Lt. Col. John Mangan is a decorated combat rescue pilot, novelist and coffeehouse poet. He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, was an instructor at the Survival Escape Resistance & Evasion (SERE) school, and is currently an HH-60G, Pave Hawk instructor pilot. He has deployed to the Middle East eight times and has commanded the 33rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron in Kandahar, Afghanistan. His actions in combat have been documented in the books Not a Good Day to Die, None Braver, and Zero Six Bravo. He has flown combat missions with PJs, SEALs, Delta, Rangers, and the SAS. John has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor twice, The Air Medal twelve times, and the 2009 Cheney Award.
Jerry L. Rogers, a 34-year alumnus of the National Park Service (NPS), served for a decade and a half as the Service’s senior officer for every NPS historic preservation and cultural resource management program – both inside the parks and nationwide. Today, many of the Service’s and our nation’s heritage programs bear his mark and influence. He continues to preserve and conserve the beauty of the New Mexico landscape where he lives with his wife.
Author, lecturer, and historian Ronald J. Drez is a Tulane University alumnus and a recipient of an MA in history from the University of New Orleans. He is a decorated Vietnam veteran, having received two Bronze Stars for his service in the Marine Corps. As a member of the General Society of the War of 1812, the American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars, he has published numerous books on military history. He has written and edited for a number of magazines and publications, including World War II magazine, Vietnam magazine, and American History magazine.