The History Reader

The History Reader A History Blog by @StMartinsPress, an imprint of @MacmillanUSA. We offer interviews, excerpts, and original commentary from a wide range of experts; from award-winning historians to honored veterans and more.

For more than sixty years, St. Martin's Press has published award-winning history books on a range of subjects.

For more than sixty years, St. Martin's Press has published award-winning history books on a range of subjects.

Operating as usual

Join in on Kate Mosse Author's #womaninhistory campaign! The goal is to celebrate and honor the amazing women in whose f...
02/12/2021

Join in on Kate Mosse Author's #womaninhistory campaign! The goal is to celebrate and honor the amazing women in whose footsteps we walk.

Please share and nominate! If you prefer email, send in your nominations to: [email protected]

Ever wonder about the history behind the name of your street? Well, if you haven't, Deirdre Mask has. Join Deirdre as sh...
02/10/2021

Ever wonder about the history behind the name of your street? Well, if you haven't, Deirdre Mask has. Join Deirdre as she discusses the fascinating history behind streets around the world and the politics of retaliatory street renaming: bit.ly/THRAddressBook1

History books and literature have too often overlooked the inclusion of the black community, but as Langston Hughes once...
02/04/2021

History books and literature have too often overlooked the inclusion of the black community, but as Langston Hughes once wrote, “I, too, am America”. Here are some books that make black people and culture be seen, understood, and empowered. bit.ly/THRBlackHistoryMonth2021

THE ADDRESS BOOK by Deirdre Mask is Barnes & Noble's February Nonfiction Pick!  In this wide-ranging and remarkable book...
02/03/2021

THE ADDRESS BOOK by Deirdre Mask is Barnes & Noble's February Nonfiction Pick!

In this wide-ranging and remarkable book, Deirdre Mask looks at the fate of streets named after Martin Luther King Jr., the wayfinding means of ancient Romans, and how N***s haunt the streets of modern Germany.

Our February Picks are here! Get wrapped up in a sprawling tale of history and magic, chase ghosts in a haunting chiller, investigate the lines between truth and fiction, uncover the hidden stories behind street names, set sail on an epic swashbuckling adventure and save the world in a thrilling new middle-grade spy novel.
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/b/books/awards/barnes-noble-monthly-picks/_/N-29Z8q8Z2uri

Love frontier history? Want to learn more about the legend of Daniel Boone? Enter now for your chance to win BLOOD AND T...
02/02/2021

Love frontier history? Want to learn more about the legend of Daniel Boone? Enter now for your chance to win BLOOD AND TREASURE AND a limited-edition leather bookmark: bit.ly/THRBloodandTreasureSweeps

Summer 1940. With France facing defeat and British forces pressed back to the Channel, there were few who believed Brita...
01/30/2021

Summer 1940. With France facing defeat and British forces pressed back to the Channel, there were few who believed Britain could possibly survive against Hi**er and the N***s. THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN paints a complete picture of that extraordinary summer - a time in which the fate of the world truly hung by a thread: us.macmillan.com/books/9781429919418

Who was George Andrew McMahon and why did he attempt to kill King Edward VIII? Alexander Larman discusses finding the "s...
01/28/2021

Who was George Andrew McMahon and why did he attempt to kill King Edward VIII? Alexander Larman discusses finding the "smoking gun" that inspired his new book, THE CROWN IN CRISIS. bit.ly/THRCrownInCrisis

January 27 marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945. Today, we remember the stories that sh...
01/27/2021

January 27 marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945. Today, we remember the stories that shed light on one of the darkest periods in history. bit.ly/THRRememberingtheHolocaust

THE CROWN IN CRISIS reveals shocking, never-before-reported details about Wallis Simpson's relationship with King Edward...
01/26/2021
A New Book Exposes Shocking Details from Wallis Simpson's Divorce Hearing

THE CROWN IN CRISIS reveals shocking, never-before-reported details about Wallis Simpson's relationship with King Edward VIII. Head over to Town & Country Magazine for an excerpt!

An excerpt from the new book The Crown in Crisis reveals never-before-reported details about Simpson's shocking relationship with King Edward VIII.

BLOOD AND TREASURE is the explosive true saga of the legendary figure Daniel Boone and the bloody struggle for America's...
01/25/2021

BLOOD AND TREASURE is the explosive true saga of the legendary figure Daniel Boone and the bloody struggle for America's frontier. Enter for your chance to win a copy AND a limited-edition leather bookmark: bit.ly/THRBloodandTreasureSweeps

'If Hi**er fails to invade or destroy Britain, he has lost the war,' Churchill said in the summer of 1940. The Battle of...
01/22/2021

'If Hi**er fails to invade or destroy Britain, he has lost the war,' Churchill said in the summer of 1940. The Battle of Britain was a crucial turning point in the history of World War II and acclaimed British historian James Holland has written the definitive account of this battle. Get your eBook copy: us.macmillan.com/books/9781429919418

Author Michael Walsh discusses the rising dominance of the Roman military and the shocking outcome of the Battle of Cann...
01/21/2021

Author Michael Walsh discusses the rising dominance of the Roman military and the shocking outcome of the Battle of Cannae that left historians wondering: how could the best-outfitted and best-trained army of the ancient world have been routed in such a way? bit.ly/THRDeathOverDishonor

Legend says that Abraham Lincoln grew his beard at the request of a young girl who said he was ugly. Why did Lincoln rea...
01/20/2021

Legend says that Abraham Lincoln grew his beard at the request of a young girl who said he was ugly. Why did Lincoln really grow his famous beard? bit.ly/THRLincolnsBeard

Kate Mosse Author delves into the fascinating history of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, and how it serves as the ca...
01/19/2021

Kate Mosse Author delves into the fascinating history of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, and how it serves as the catalyst for her novel, THE CITY OF TEARS. bit.ly/THRKateMosse1

On August 28, 1963, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators flocked to the nation's capital for the March on Washington. ...
01/18/2021
Alone at the March: A Firsthand Account of the Dream Speech

On August 28, 1963, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators flocked to the nation's capital for the March on Washington. That day a 19-year-old black student from a working-class family in New Mexico heard Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. It was a life-changing occasion for Clayborne Carson as it launched him on a career to become one of the most important chroniclers of the civil rights era.

The speech would be embedded in Carson's memory, but it would take decades to find the deeper meaning of King’s “dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”

Archives are great but if you really want to understand how a particular battle or event unfolded, you have to visit the...
01/14/2021

Archives are great but if you really want to understand how a particular battle or event unfolded, you have to visit the site where it took place. bit.ly/THRMonuments

There is something about the Old West that calls to the American heart. There is something about life on the wild fronti...
01/13/2021
‎Can't Make This Up: Tombstone with Tom Clavin on Apple Podcasts

There is something about the Old West that calls to the American heart. There is something about life on the wild frontier that is still compelling a century and a half later. Join Tom Clavin as he unpacks the story of a frontier boomtown that is so much more than its famous shootout at the O.K. Corral.

‎Show Can't Make This Up, Ep Tombstone with Tom Clavin - Jan 4, 2021

Who were the women behind the infamous men in Hi**er's inner circle? Head over to the Washington Post and read about the...
01/08/2021
Review | The real housewives of the Third Reich

Who were the women behind the infamous men in Hi**er's inner circle? Head over to the Washington Post and read about the fascinating lives of "the real housewives of the Third Reich."

James Wyllie uncovers the domestic lives and petty rivalries of top N**i spouses.

In 1881, Lt. A.W. Greely and his crew of scientists and explorers were bound for the last region unmarked on global maps...
01/07/2021

In 1881, Lt. A.W. Greely and his crew of scientists and explorers were bound for the last region unmarked on global maps. What would follow was one of the most extraordinary and terrible voyages ever made. Enter here for your chance to win a copy of LABYRINTH OF ICE, the incredible true story of the Greely Expedition: bit.ly/THRLabofIceSweeps

In 1879, Wyatt Earp bade farewell to Dodge City, saying the town "was beginning to lose much of its snap which had given...
01/05/2021

In 1879, Wyatt Earp bade farewell to Dodge City, saying the town "was beginning to lose much of its snap which had given it a charm to men of restless blood.” But where was the next frontier for such men? bit.ly/THRTombstoneTP

While Christmas has transformed itself over the centuries—from elite to mass, from adult to child, from public to family...
12/25/2020
The Transformation of Christmas - The History Reader

While Christmas has transformed itself over the centuries—from elite to mass, from adult to child, from public to family—it has survived and it has thrived, because, ultimately, Christmas is not what is, or even has been, but what we hope for. Merry Christmas to one and all!

Christmas has transformed itself over the centuries—from elite to mass, from adult to child, from public to family—but ultimately it has survived.

HITLER'S AMERICAN FRIENDS is a fascinating book examining the strange terrain of N**i sympathizers, nonintervention camp...
12/18/2020

HITLER'S AMERICAN FRIENDS is a fascinating book examining the strange terrain of N**i sympathizers, nonintervention campaigners, and other voices in America who advocated on behalf of N**i Germany in the years before World War II. Get your eBook copy: us.macmillan.com/books/9781250148964

The year was 1773 and all was not well in the American colonies. "Taxation without representation" was on the lips of ma...
12/17/2020

The year was 1773 and all was not well in the American colonies. "Taxation without representation" was on the lips of many Americans as King George III continued to implement oppressive taxes. Finally, frustration and anger culminated on the night of December 16 as colonists hurled upwards of 90,000 lbs of tea into the Boston Harbor.

Enter here for a chance to brush up on your revolutionary history with the audiobook edition of THE BRITISH ARE COMING, Rick Atkinson's deeply researched and stunningly vivid history of the American Revolution: bit.ly/THRBritishAreComingSweeps

THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in Belgium, France, and Luxembour...
12/16/2020
The Battle of the Bulge, December 16, 1944 – January 25, 1945

THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in Belgium, France, and Luxembourg, The Battle of the Bulge was the last major German offensive campaign of World War II. The surprise attack caught the Allied forces completely off guard.

The Battle of the Bulge (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945) was the last major German offensive campaign of World War II.

In Jersey City, stands one of the most dramatic Second World War memorials in the world, commemorating the massacre of t...
12/14/2020
How the Fight Over One Monument Shows the Power of the Past

In Jersey City, stands one of the most dramatic Second World War memorials in the world, commemorating the massacre of thousands of Polish officers in the Russian forest of Katyn in 1940. But ever since it was first installed in 1991, the monument has caused nothing but turmoil in the local community. Head over to TIME to learn more about how the past is still very much alive today.

There could be no better demonstration of how impossible it is to escape our history

Winner of the 2020 National Outdoor Books Award, LABYRINTH OF ICE by Buddy Levy is the incredible true story of the Gree...
12/12/2020

Winner of the 2020 National Outdoor Books Award, LABYRINTH OF ICE by Buddy Levy is the incredible true story of the Greely Expedition, one of the most harrowing adventures in the annals of polar exploration. A must-read for any armchair explorer. https://read.macmillan.com/lp/labyrinth-of-ice/

I'M STAYING WITH MY BOYS is a firsthand look inside the life of one of the greatest heroes of WWII. Sgt. John Basilone h...
12/11/2020

I'M STAYING WITH MY BOYS is a firsthand look inside the life of one of the greatest heroes of WWII. Sgt. John Basilone held off 3,000 Japanese troops at Guadalcanal after his 15-member unit was reduced to three men and went on to be the only Marine in World War II to receive the Medal of Honor, the Navy Cross, and a Purple Heart. Get your copy: us.macmillan.com/books/9781429996594

Enter to win a hardcover copy of THE ADDRESS BOOK!  Filled with fascinating people and histories, THE ADDRESS BOOK illum...
12/10/2020
Promo - Macmillan

Enter to win a hardcover copy of THE ADDRESS BOOK! Filled with fascinating people and histories, THE ADDRESS BOOK illuminates the complex and sometimes hidden stories behind street names and their power to name, to hide, to decide who counts, who doesn’t—and why.

The Address Book Sweepstakes

In 1776, Jefferson made the case for social freedom, claiming that each person was entitled to “life, liberty, and the p...
12/08/2020
Do We Believe in Equality? - The History Reader

In 1776, Jefferson made the case for social freedom, claiming that each person was entitled to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But has America upheld that principle?

In 1776, Jefferson made the case for social freedom, claiming that each person was entitled to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But has America held up that principle?

In the winter of 1778, things were looking bleak for George Washington and the Continental Army. While Washington's troo...
12/04/2020

In the winter of 1778, things were looking bleak for George Washington and the Continental Army. While Washington's troops starved at Valley Forge, the British were holding lavish parties wintering in Philadelphia. That all changed when the French officially joined the fray. Order your copy of HOW THE FRENCH SAVED AMERICA to learn more: us.macmillan.com/books/9781250146144

THE STORY OF IRELAND re-examines Irish history, challenging the accepted stories and long-held myths associated with Ire...
12/03/2020

THE STORY OF IRELAND re-examines Irish history, challenging the accepted stories and long-held myths associated with Ireland. Transporting readers to the Ireland of the past, beginning with the first settlement in A.D. 433, this is a sweeping and compelling history of one of the world's most dynamic nations. Order your eBook copy: us.macmillan.com/books/9781429941297

What inspired the unification of China? And how did the Qin dynasty do it? Michael Wood has traveled the length and brea...
12/02/2020
The First Emperor and the Unification of China - The History Reader

What inspired the unification of China? And how did the Qin dynasty do it? Michael Wood has traveled the length and breadth of China, the world’s oldest civilization and longest lasting state, to tell a thrilling story of intense drama, fabulous creativity, and deep humanity that stretches back thousands of years.

Michael Wood has traveled the length and breadth of China to tell a thrilling story of intense drama and deep humanity stretching back thousands of years.

"Now, more than ever before, we are beginning to question our collective memory of the past. There is a huge amount of a...
11/30/2020
'Some Monuments Really Should Be Torn Down,' Says WWII Historian Keith Lowe

"Now, more than ever before, we are beginning to question our collective memory of the past. There is a huge amount of anger and passion in play, especially when it comes to our public monuments...this book is an attempt to pause, take a step back and look at what our monuments really mean." - Keith Lowe

"it's not the people of yesteryear who have to live with these statues. Monuments are given pride of place in our public spaces, so we really need to weigh up what's more important to us: the memory of who we once were or the celebration of who we are now."

A fresh, unique insider’s view of what it’s like to be a woman aviator in today’s US Navy—from pedicures to parachutes, ...
11/25/2020
Jet Girl: "No Time to Worry" - The History Reader

A fresh, unique insider’s view of what it’s like to be a woman aviator in today’s US Navy—from pedicures to parachutes, friendship to firefights.

A fresh, unique insider’s view of what it’s like to be a woman aviator in today’s US Navy—from pedicures to parachutes, friendship to firefights.

On the afternoon of October 26, 1881, eight men clashed in what would be known as the most famous shootout in American f...
11/23/2020

On the afternoon of October 26, 1881, eight men clashed in what would be known as the most famous shootout in American frontier history. TOMBSTONE is the true story of the Earp brothers, Doc Holliday, and the famous Battle at the OK Corral. Enter for your chance to win a copy here: bit.ly/THRTombstoneSweeps2020

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No purchase necessary. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia or Canada (excluding Quebec) who are age 18 years of age or older and of the legal age of majority in the jurisdiction in which he or she resides. Entry period begins at 12:00 a.m. (ET) on Friday, November 20, 2020 and ends at 11:59 PM ET on Sunday, December 13, 2020. Void where prohibited. For full Official Rules, visit https://read.macmillan.com/promo/thrtombstoneholidaysweeps2020. Sponsored by St. Martin's Press, 120 Broadway 10271.

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Shades of history past to enlighten us. On some of the same today. How many of our present leaders, have the same thought of these figuers of the past History.
My 4th grade teacher, Mary Louise Joyce and her husband Bill, survived the last voyage of the Andrea Doria. As I recall they were so excite about the trip and when we heard about the disaster - as kids - we all feared they would not come home; but they did and the the story they told was unforgettable. I cannot wait to read this book - and be very grateful Mr. and Mrs. Joyce came back to us after that disastrous voyage.
One of the authors, actually two, I like are Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. There latest offering is; "Crooked River". Check out their web site: https://www.prestonchild.com
The History Reader should actually do research on its authors and their background...
Articles and pictures are very interesting
Set against the Czech reformation 100 years before Martin Luther, this nearly forgotten segment of history is the backdrop for The Rose & The Ring, a 7-book truth-based-fiction series. I've made 5 trips to Czech, done a ton of research, and offer the first book—FREE— Lady Rosamund, Book 1, The Rose & The Ring #intrigue #romance #treachery Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PSM5M08 Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00PSM5M08 Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/1126315780 iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1232018771 Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lady-rosamund
Check out the top 10 schools for history buffs of 2019!
“Warriors and Fools” is a story of how America’s leaders misunderstood, mistrusted, and mislead one another on how to employ US military force in Vietnam. This poor relationship resulted in disruptive and dysfunctional decision-making that produced timid policies and foolish strategies in their waging of that war. Furthermore, this book argues that US leaders ignored or did not realize that their North Vietnamese enemy pursued and relied upon a military solution to their primary object of unifying Vietnam under their rule. Nor did they ever understand that the main North Vietnamese leaders would never consider any compromise to that purpose or means with the US, the South Vietnamese government, or even their Communist allies in the south. The consequence of this poor decision-making and ignorance of their enemy was that the US failed in their primary aim to prevent the Communist North Vietnamese subjugation of South Vietnam - resulting in the loss of over 50,000 Americans and millions of Vietnamese lives; severe domestic disruption and divisiveness in America; and years of hardship, bloodshed, and turmoil in Southeast Asia (See Book Trailer here…..https://youtu.be/SUHysx3tI-E ) Warriors and Fools is available as a hardback, paperback, kindle, Nook, or iBook at: Apple- http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1370970562 Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Harry-Rothmann/e/B00JVUZIK2 Barnes and Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/warriors-and-fools-harry-rothmann/1128414597?ean=2940159090850
Norwegian's in Amerika, History and Record volume 1of 3, Pedersen Publishing, 1907 Minneapolis, Mn. Gettysburg, Dakota 1862-1865, Martin Ulvestads Kart. Oxcart, Taylor's Falls, etc, thrift store finds....... $8
HISTORY STAYS WITH US ALWAYS EVEN WHEN WE DON'T KNOW OUR HISTORY OR CARE ABOUT OUR HISTORY IT WILL ALWAYS BE THERE! HISTORY IS NOT SELFISH / SELFISH IS HISTORY THAT THOSE THAT DON'T SHARE THE TRUTH ABOUT HISTORY! LIKE THE GOVT. BEING CLOSED AND ALL THE NEWS IS ABOUT THOSE GOVT. WORKERS NOT GETTING A PAYCHECK, INSTEAD OF THOSE KILLED BY ILLEGAL ALIENS THAT WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO CASH A PAYCHECK WHILE CONGRESS AND THE SENATE STILL GET THERE PAYCHECK AND ACT LIKE IT'S NOT THERE FAULT! IMAGINE THAT WELL YOU DON'T HAVE TO BECAUSE NOW IT IS CURRENT HISTORY!
One Korean War POW’s Story of Capture and Repatriation Posted on July 27, 2011 By Lewis H. Carlson and Robert Coury Col. Bob Coury retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1974 after being one of the very few pilots to fly in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He also flew the Berlin Airlift. Coury was a twenty-nine-year old captain flying an F-86 in Korea when he was shot down and captured on June 10, 1953, just a couple of hundred yards short of his own lines. As a prisoner, Coury was not overtly mistreated, although he tried to escape at his first opportunity. Coury, who was extensively interrogated, readily admits that every man had his breaking point. In spite of the passage of more than fifty years, Coury, who tells his story with a detached objectivity, has almost total recall of the events surrounding his incarceration. Between early May and June 10, 1953, I flew thirty-eight sorties in Korea. I had just flown a mission on the morning of June 10 when my squadron commander met me at the airplane and told me I was to fly another mission that afternoon. Photo reconnaissance had picked up a buildup about ten miles behind lines. The photos determined the target was going to be difficult and that we should use a two-ship “pathfinder” to acquire the target followed by a twelve-ship flight. We were to dive-bomb the target, and I was to lead the twelve-ship gaggle. We found the target, I rolled into a dive, released the bombs, and was immediately hit by antiaircraft fire. I pulled out of the dive and saw two fire warning lights glaring at me on the dash panel. The other guys in the flight began hollering at me to punch out because I had a good fire going. With the situation I, the book says you have ten seconds to get out. I figured if the bird would hold together for two minutes I could make it back across the lines, and I was going to take that chance. I headed south, but within a few seconds I lost thrust. I continues gliding south and losing altitude rapidly. I then lost flight controls and went into an inverted spin. I ejected and hit the ground immediately after my chute opened. I landed in a barren, battle-scarred area about fifty meters from enemy lines and some three hundred to four hundred meters from our lines. I had enough time to get out my emergency radio and talk to the deputy flight leader. He told me to head into the sun and that they had already launched a helicopter to pick me up. If I had succeeded in moving in that direction, I would have crawled right into their trench lines. I was crawling along on my stomach and all of a sudden I felt a poke in my back. I rolled over and there were two soldiers armed with rifles. They hurriedly took me into one of the bunkers. At first I thought they might be South Koreans, but when I looked around the bunker and saw a Red Star on a canteen, I knew where I was. I was shot down about four o’clock in the afternoon of June 10, 1953. The soldiers on the frontline were very friendly and curious about the garb I was wearing. As soon as it began getting dark, they started moving me to the rear. I walked through their lines for about a mile and then out on a road. Two soldiers would take me a mile or so, and then two more would come up and continue the trek. I covered about ten miles that night, back to the area that we had bombed. I got so exhausted that I couldn’t walk anymore, so for the last couple of miles they were practically dragging me. They took me to a prisoner collecting point that was a compound of caves dug into the side of a hill. These caves were lined with timber, roofed and covered with soil. They left one corner above ground and used it as a window and put small three-inch timbers in as bars. The first thing that came into my mind was to escape. I was not in any kind of shock. I just had a numb spot on top of my head where the canopy had hit me during ejection. I started twisting these timbers to see if I could get them loose. I finally got them to where I could take them out and put them in at will. This left me enough room to crawl out. I still had my billfold with me with some photos and a pack of ci******es. I took the tinfoil out of the ci******es and put it on one of the plastic picture holders, which made a pretty good reflector. I practiced with it when I got some sunshine, and it worked pretty well. I thought if I escaped from the cave, I might be able to signal one of our airplanes, or I might be able to make my own way across the lines at night. On the eighth night of my captivity, I very carefully removed the timbers and started crawling out. The guard was pacing back and forth just a few yards from me. I was watching him and slowly making my way out when I heard people coming up the pathway to the compound. I quickly squirmed back into the cave. I didn’t even have time to put the timbers back in place before they came directly into my cave, but a blinfold on me, and put me in a truck with a bunch of South Korean prisoners, and off we went. From the collecting point we traveled all night. We were seated in the bed of a rather large pickup truck with a couple of guards standing over us. Every time I got up to myself a guard would jab his rifle butt into my shoulder. The next morning we were unloaded and put into a room in a Korean hut. All of us tried to get some rest, but within an hour they came in with a huge bowl of rice and put it in the middle of the room. The Korean prisoners all had eating utensils with them, either chopsticks or spoons, and the rice vanished quickly. I reached in with my hand to get some, and the guard made us all stop. He left for a minute or so and came back with a spoon and handed it to me. A few hours later, they blindfolded me and put me in the back end of a truck myself. It was a cloudy day and I guess they felt they could travel without being attacked by our planes. We traveled until early the next morning when we stopped at a small command post. We work up the soldier inside, and he proceeded to try to interrogate me. I gave him only my name, rank, and serial number, and he instructed the guards to take me away. We were in very mountainous terrain near what looked like a vacated POW camp. The guards took me down the road a couple of miles, where we stopped at a three-room family hut occupied by an old man, his daughter, and an infant child. They were moved out of the room that was then used as a cell for me. There were eight or ten Chinese guards who guarded me around the clock. It was a bare room with a dirt floor, and they insisted that I sit on the floor. They kept the door closed most of the time, and when they opened it, and I was caught standing or lying down, they raised hell with me. After about the fourth day, they began leaving the door open, and I could observe what was going on outside. Initially they tried to interrogate me a couple of times a day. After about twelve days, there were only interrogating me once a day, but there were also cutting down on my food. During the last few days I was being fed one small bowl of rice and a can of water per day. I used the same slit-trench latrine the Korean family used. I was allowed to go down to the stream once a day and bathe and brush my teeth. They provided e with a toothbrush and toothpaste. How the Korean peasants lived really amazed me. They were hardly civilized. The daughter carried her baby on her back wrapped in a piece of cloth she tied around her waist. She also did most of the work around the house. I watched her take some kind of grain, put it in this hollow stump, and grind it with a piece of wood. She would spend a couple of hours doing this. Then she would take this meal, make a kind of dough out of it, and put it in a little tin box that had holes in the bottom. By pressing the dough through the holes she made noodles. One time the baby did its business while on his mother’s back. The mother untied the sash, and held the baby out to let a small dog lick it clean. Without even cleaning the sash she put the baby back on her back. A few days later they butchered and ate the dog. It was during this time that I was most concerned about what the future held for me. There were no sounds of ground fighting or air activity. I often thought the war could have ended, particularly since just before taking off I was told that a cease-fire was expected momentarily. Once again I was blindfolded and hauled off in a truck. We arrived at our destination about ten o’clock at night. I was forced up a ladder, still blindfolded, into a very small room. As soon as I heard the door slam shut, I removed the blindfold and began feeling around the darkened room. It turned out to be an attic room about six feet square with a four-foot ceiling that slanted to the floor. I stayed there the rest of the night and all the next day. After dark they removed me from the attic, walked me across a courtyard into a room where several interrogators were seated. The Chinese head honcho told me, ”We are very displeased with your interrogation thus far. If we don’t get better cooperation, we’re going to take you behind the building and put a bullet through your head. We’ve done it before and we will do it again.” I believed him, but at that point I just didn’t care. I was then taken back across the courtyard to a cell. I could tell by feeling around the interior that this had been a horse stall. It had small double doors leading to the courtyard, and an individual entrance going to the outside. The entire room was sealed with cardboard to prevent seeing outside. There was a small opening at the ceiling. I went to the individual entrance and gave it a good kick, and it flew open. I walked outside into a bright, moonlit night, and for the first time since my capture knew exactly where I was. I could see the city of Sinuiju and the mouth of the Yalu River. This had to be their top interrogation center. Both to my right and left there were individuals squatting and watching me. I immediately figured that trying to escape would be fruitless, so I walked back into the cell and went to sleep. They raised hell with me again the next morning. The interrogation process was pretty routine. Once or twice a day they would try to interrogate me. As best I could tell, there were eight Chinese and two North Korean interrogators. Once of the North Koreans tried to befriend me by telling me that he was originally from South Korea, but that he had political differences with government officials. Both he and his wife were imprisoned in South Korea. His wife died in prison during childbirth, but he was able to escape, and there was only one place for him to go, and that was to the North. I don’t know whether he was sincere or just trying to get me to talk to him. When I first arrived at this interrogation center, there were three other American POWs, all pilots. One of them had been injured and was allowed to walk the interior of the courtyard with a guard. I was able to observe this by peeling back some of the cardboard covering the cracks. Once when he passed my cell, I began humming the “Air Force Song,” hoping to get some response out of him. No luck! This prisoner was moved out after a couple of days. Later I learned there were two more American prisoners there. While at this interrogation center, it was easy to tell the war was still on because all the big air battles were taking place overhead. Finally there came a time when there was no air activity despite the good weather. I had gone out to the toilet, and one of the Chinese interrogators came out at the same time. I asked him about the status of the war, and all I got was a grin. Later, a North Korean interrogator came out, and I mentioned there had been no air activity. He said “We expect a cease-fire momentarily. You should be going home very soon.” My morale skyrocketed. A day or two later, they blindfolded the three of us who were left and put us in a weapons carrier. They told us not to talk to each other—which lasted for about three minutes. We were heading up the Yalu River. We spent one night on the road, and the next day we went by a couple of POW camps that had already been vacated. A bit later we went by an active camp, and we could see the guys walking around and playing volleyball. We went beyond the camp about a mile, and were taken into a small command post. There someone told us the war had ended and gave us each a bottle of beer and a carton of ci******es. We thought they would put us into this camp with the rest of the guys. Instead, they put the three of us in a little compound and left us there for a couple of hours. An interrogator showed up with some questionnaires he wanted filled out. We put down our name, rank, and serial number and handed them back. He became angry and started raising hell with us. One of our guys, Steve Bettinger, started giving the interrogator a bad time. The interrogator called a couple of guards and they moved Steve into solitary confinement. They took Don Hodges and me back to the regular camp and left us there. We went into the compound, parked our meager belongings, and went out to watch the guys playing volleyball. Nobody made any effort to come and greet us for quite some time. The reason for this was they were divided into two groups: the good guys and the bad guys, those whoe had confessed to germ warfare and other evil deeds and those who had not. Finally, one guy came over and asked us some pointed questions. We both gave him a full account of what had happened to us. He reported back to the group and they accpeted us as friends. Most of them were pilots, but there were also some enlisted men there as well. Bettinger showed up the following day. Steve was quite a character, and the last “ace” of the Korean War. He had shot down his fifth MIG and then was shot down himself. He told us they had put him in a thatched-roof hut the previous night and as he was about to go to sleep on the floor, something dropped on his chest. He let out a yell, and the guard opened the door. A big snake had fallen out of the thatched roof. After a couple of days at that camp, we were put on a train headed south. We went into another compound for a few days, and each day they would take a few guys out to be repatriated. I came out the next to the last day of the repatriation cycle. The thing that impressed me the most as we entered Freedom Village were two husky Military Police who were spit-and-polish from head to toe. The folks running the place questioned us a bit, fed us, and let us make phone calls home. I was put on a hospital ship to come home. I weighed 145 pounds when I was shot down and about 105 before repatriation. On the hospital ship, the head Air Force guy was Bud Mahurin, a World War II ace and a full colonel. At our first evening mess about ship he called al the Air Force guys together and said, “Okay, we’ve been through the business of being captured and tortured and all that, and there are supposed to be good guys and bad guys, but let’s try to forget about that and have a good trip home.” One of my fellow prisoners onboard was a Marine colonel who was actually a staff officer. He was one of the guys who had confessed, and he told me why. He was flying up to Seoul for a meeting and had some top-secret documents with him. He was in a little twin-engine C-45 and decided to fly up to the frontlines to observe some Marines. He was shot down and captured. He told me his interrogators had all kinds of information on his family, and they threatened to harm his family members. They had the names of his children, where they went to school, and all sorts of other information. He told me, “Rather than do harm to my family, I was willing to confess to anything they wanted me to say.” My personal belief is that you can break anybody down if you really want to, given the time and the right environment. I was very lucky for a couple of reasons. I was a prisoner during the summer months when it was warm, and I knew what had happened to the guys who had already returned during the exchange of wounded prisoners in Operation Little Switch. All of us went through a counter-interrogation on the boat. I was hospitalized after reaching the States and went through another interrogation. When I got to my next base, I went through a third one. Several months after I got home, I received a letter from the Air Force stating that my conduct as a POW was considered commendable and wishing me future success in the Air Force.