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The Early Word: New Non-Fiction Books for the Week of June 30, 2008

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I've done the math, and this week's slim pickin's officially adds ups to a smattering. Let the firework [singular] begin:

Patton: Legendary World War II Commander (Military Profiles)
By Martin Blumenson, Kevin M. Hymel

“Old Blood and Guts'' George S. Patton comes under the scrutiny of the author of The Patton Papers and one-time member of the general's staff. Blumenson bolsters his portrayal with an interpretive analysis of Patton's paradoxical personality — the courageous and gruff leader who was at the same time an emotional and insecure wreck — running rampant throughout this American hero. Moreover, Blumenson goes on, Patton remained uneasy all his life with the differences between himself and the ideal he desperately wished to embody.

A Simple Life – Gift Edition
By Wanda E. Brunstetter

Wanda Brunstetter, author of the best-selling Amish-themed novel The Storekeeper's Daughter, takes us on a literary tour of Amish country, offering 60 thought-provoking and encouraging lessons in a special edition of the devotional The Simple Life.

The Dancer Within

By Rose Eichenbaum

Covering a wide array of artists, from the worlds of cinema, Broadway, ballet and modern dance — including Rita Moreno, Russ Tamblyn, Cynthia Gregory, Liza Minnelli, Dudley Williams, and Mitzi Gaynor — The Dancer Within is a collection of photographic portraits, short essays, and confessional interviews. Rose Eichenbaum is an award-winning photographer and author of Masters of Movement: Portraits of America's Great Choreographers (2004).

Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World
By David Maraniss

Many roads lead back to the 1960 Olympics in Rome, which saw the first televised Olympics, the first doping scandal, the first athlete paid for wearing a certain brand of shoes. Civil rights materialized as an issue, with black athletes emerging as super-stars and gold-medal winners, and women athletes into the winner‘s circles. The cold war heated up in a city that swarmed with spies and rumors of defections. East and West Germans competed as a unified team less than a year before the Berlin Wall. There was dispute over the two Chinas. There was, of course, much, much more.

David Maraniss has written a masterfully-interwoven narrative of events, themes and characters, and brings a complex and fascinating time alive. Furthermore, he illustrates how Rome 1960 anticipated a new era, both in sports and international competition, and connects The Olympics That Changed the World to the world today.

Golden Bones: An Extraordinary Journey from Hell in Cambodia to a New Life in America
By Sichan Siv

The stirring chronicle of a man who escaped genocidal Cambodia, became a U.S. citizen, then served in both Bush administrations. In the wake of the Vietnam War in 1975, Siv got caught up in the murderous campaign of social re-engineering unleashed on that Southeast Asian country and later — forced to leave his middle-class Cambodian family behind in a labor camp — he set out to find freedom. Siv survived numerous brushes with death but, in a compelling account of triumph, makes it to Thailand and eventually the U.S. to continue to tell the tale.

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