When it comes to writing about history, it's difficult to imagine a harder-hitting pair of reporters than Mark Bowden and Stephen Ambrose, the dynamic duo behind Our Finest Day: D-Day: June 6, 1944. Authoritative yet accessible, this dramatic, interactive account of the largest military operation ever launched contains reproductions of artifacts from the National D-Day Museum. Filled with classic quotes and photographs, the book is a great way to experience history first-hand. An official "Orders of the Day" letter issued by Ike to the Allied soldiers, a guidebook of France and a map of that country's coastline with areas targeted for invasion are a few of the pieces readers can remove and peruse. Drawing on first-person accounts from the soldiers and officers who served at Normandy, including journalist A.

J. Liebling, the text, written by Pulitzer Prize nominee Bowden, offers excerpts of authentic letters and diary entries. From preparation to actual invasion, Our Finest Day examines techniques and tactics, battle plans and strategies choices made by the superpowers that ultimately altered the course of history. Ambrose contributes a fine, if brief, introduction to this cleverly packaged war-time primer the perfect gift for a patriotic father.

The intrepid, enigmatic Charles Lindbergh would have been 100 this year. The man who gave wings literally to the anything-goes, can-do optimism that characterized America in the early 20th century made himself into a myth by completing the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Today, although astronauts outrank aviators in terms of mystique, the country's fascination with Lindbergh continues. Dominick Pisano and F. Robert van der Linden, both curators at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, take an in-depth look at an American legend in Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis. Illustrated with hundreds of black and white pictures, as well as new color photographs of the Spirit of St. Louis itself (the object of many a souvenir scavenger), this special volume brings to life the early days of aviation, while telling the story of an ambivalent hero. Lindbergh began his flying career as a risk-it-all barnstormer and airmail pilot before setting his sights on wider horizons. Despite his history-making accomplishments, his life was rife with controversy. The kidnapping and death of his son, along with his controversial social and political views, made him a reluctant target for the media. Pisano and van der Linen thoroughly explore the conflicts that eventually drove the flyer and his family to Britain. With fascinating specifics on aviation equipment, visuals of vintage flying gear and an introduction by Lindbergh's daughter Reeve, this volume soars. Here's a little something that's sure to make Dad smile: packed with fun activities and rugged bits of wisdom, 101 Secrets a Good Dad Knows by Walter and Sue Ellin Browder is a clever little paperback that collects all the lessons fathers, by tradition, teach their kids. With instructions on everything from flying a kite to skipping a stone, 101 Secrets celebrates timeless diversions that have been passed on from generation to generation. Lessons in making a paper boat, whistling with a blade of grass and building a campfire make this a one-of-kind book. Many of the skills (carving whistles, tying flies) are illustrated, and each is prefaced by a timeless maxim, like the following: "The difference between a useless stick and a useful stick is in the person who picks it up." What could be wiser? Full of tried-and-true know-how that will never go out of style, this good-humored anthology is the perfect way to bring families together on Father's Day.

 

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