Monday, May 28, 2012

HNN Reviews Wedemeyer Book

Thomas Fleming, former president of the Society of American Historians, has reviewed John J. McLaughlin's book on General Wedemeyer.  The title of his review "At Last, Honor for Albert Wedemeyer, a Great American Soldier" indicates the timeliness of this book.  Click here to read the review.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

June 2012 Newsletter

May 21, 2012, Volume 2, # 17

On Tuesday June 19, 2012 John J. McLaughlin Moderator of the World War II Book Club will give a lecture on his just published book General Albert C. Wedemeyer: America's Unsung Strategist in World War II. As usual the lecture will be at the Millburn Library and commence at 7 p.m. This will be the final lecture of the Spring season. The lectures will recommence in September with the first lecture scheduled for Tuesday, September 18. Copies of John's book will be available for sale and signing for $18.00.

Dr. Josh Botts
Josh Botts, senior historian at the State Department delivered a wonderful lecture on the famous Yalta World War II Conference on May 15. Seventy five people were in attendance and thoroughly enjoyed his presentation. Dr. Botts was an overnight guest of the Book Club at the Short Hills Hilton, and the following morning had breakfast with John McLaughlin and retired State Department Foreign Service Officer and long time Summit resident Henry "Hank" Mueller.

Dan Petach
On Tuesday, September 18,  Dan Petach will lecture on the Flying Tigers, the World War II aces commanded by General Claire Chennault in the China Burma India Theatre. Dan is the son of one of the most famous of the Flying Tigers and has delivered this lecture to many audiences over the last 10 years. One of the fascinating things about the Flying Tigers is the remarkable feud between General Chennault and the then Commanding General of the Theatre, "Vinegar" Joe Stilwell. He will talk about a little known, but extremely important battle, and the role the Flying Tigers played in turning back a Japanese advance that had the potential to change the entire course of the Pacific war and force the Chinese to surrender. The consequence of a Chinese surrender would have released over a million Japanese soldiers then occupying China for use against MacArthur's forces in the Pacific. John McLaughlin heard Dan Petach's lecture last year and immediately booked him for the World War II Book Club.

Del Staecker
On Tuesday, October 16, Del Staecker will tell the story of his father's account of the USS Fuller, The Lady Gangster, an attack transport ship and its courageous crew of "Chicago Boys" who braved enemy fire to deliver troops and supplies to the South Pacific theatre during some of the toughest battles of the war.

Gregory J.S. Urwin
On November 20, we will close out the year with a lecture by Professor J.S. Urwin who will discuss his book The Siege of Wake Island Facing Fearful Odds. This lecture was presented last year at Brookdale College.

Treasurer's Report
Along with this Newsletter we send a Treasurer's Report so the membership will know our financial condition and be aware of how their dues are spent to bring you the best speakers and the best programs. We are grateful for the extra donations of almost $1500 from some of our members.

Treasurer's Report

Cash Flows
Inception to May 14, 2012

Donations $1,395.00
Dues Received $6,080.00
Total Inflows $7,475.00
Lecturer Expense:
Dining $623.94
Transportation  $555.89
Honoraria  $1,075.00
Miscellaneous  $409.48
Total  $2,664.31
Holiday Party  $328.43
Professional Fees  $675.00
Supplies  $547.62
Director Reimbursement  $194.74
Postage, Printing & Stationery  $201.65
Miscellaneous  $487.40
Total Cash Disbursed  $5,099.15
CASH RESERVES  $1,975.85

Friday, May 4, 2012

More on Hitlerland

Andrew Nagorski's Hitlerland has been receiving great press and Andrew himself has been interviewed and featured on a number of programs, including most recently, the Leonard Lopate show on WNYC.  For those of you on Facebook, you can find him here:  And here is video from The Daily Beast, Tina Brown's interview with the author.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May 2012 Newsletter

April 22, 2012, Volume 2 # 16

On Tuesday, May 15, 2012, Josh Botts, Ph.D., a senior member of the Historical Division of the State Department, will present a  lecture about the most important, and clearly the most controversial, war time military conference of World War II, the famous Yalta Conference. As usual the lecture will be at the Millburn Library, and commence at 7PM.  Dr. Botts has devoted many years to studying, lecturing and writing  about this most important meeting, and he is one of the most knowledgeable State Department historians on this subject. He is intimately familiar with the background and all the documentation related to the conference.

Hundreds of books have been written about the Yalta Conference and Historians have debated for years whether Roosevelt because of his ill health, (he died exactly two months after the conference) alleged lack of preparation,  and his determination to get Russia into the war against Japan, and convince Stalin to join with the major powers in the creation of the United Nations, made too many concessions to Stalin. Dr. Botts will thoroughly review these contentions, giving the arguments on both sides of the question.
Lila Levinson
Ms. Levinson gave a superb lecture to our organization on April 17. About 70 people were in attendance and she sold and signed about 20 copies of her book Gated Grief. We are grateful to Ms. Levinson for traveling from Austin Texas to meet with the Book Club. We further are pleased to see the support our group is giving to the authors who travel long distances to meet with us.

The Wedemeyer Biography
John J. McLaughlin's biography of General Albert C. Wedemeyer is due for release the first week in  May. The name of the book is General Albert C. Wedemeyer, The Unsung Strategist of World War II. John will give a talk about his book on Tuesday, June 19, at 7PM.

There are no lectures during the months of July and August. For those interested in the Fall and winter Calendar for the balance of the year here it is.

Future Meetings
  • September 18: Dan Petach, an authority on the Flying Tigers will present a film and lecture on this famous groups of pilots and their experience in Burma and China, under the command of the indomitable General Claire Chennault.
  • October 16: Del Staecker will discuss his award winning book The Lady Gangster, about his father and his experience as a sailor on the USS Fuller, an Attack Transport ship that did a good deal more than just deliver supplies to the troops in the Pacific during World War II.  
  • November 20: We will close out the lecture portion of our year with Professor J. W. Urwin of Temple University who will present a lecture on the Wake Island defenders and their experience as prisoners of War of the Japanese after the surrender of the island.
In December we will hold our annual Holiday Party at Pal's Cabin. The date not yet been set.