Author: Andrei Cherny
“What an exciting, inspiring, and wonderfully-written book this is....Each page has lessons for today, and it is also a thrilling narrative to read.”—Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Steve Jobs The masterfully told story of the unlikely men who came together to make the Berlin Airlift one of the great military and humanitarian successes of American history. On the sixtieth anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, Andrei Cherny tells a remarkable story with profound implications for the world today. In the tradition of the best narrative storytellers, he brings together newly unclassified documents, unpublished letters and diaries, and fresh primary interviews to tell the story of the ill-assorted group of castoffs and second-stringers who not only saved millions of desperate people from a dire threat but changed how the world viewed the United States, and set in motion the chain of events that would ultimately lead to the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and to America’s victory in the Cold War. On June 24, 1948, intent on furthering its domination of Europe, the Soviet Union cut off all access to West Berlin, prepared to starve the city into submission unless the Americans abandoned it. Soviet forces hugely outnumbered the Allies’, and most of America’s top officials considered the situation hopeless. But not all of them. Harry Truman, an accidental president, derided by his own party; Lucius Clay, a frustrated general, denied a combat command and relegated to the home front; Bill Tunner, a logistics expert downsized to a desk job in a corner of the Pentagon; James Forrestal, a secretary of defense beginning to mentally unravel; Hal Halvorsen, a lovesick pilot who had served far from the conflict, flying transport missions in the backwater of a global war—together these unlikely men improvised and stumbled their way into a uniquely American combination of military and moral force unprecedented in its time. This is the forgotten foundation tale of America in the modern world, the story of when Americans learned, for the first time, how to act at the summit of world power—a masterful and exciting work of historical narrative, and one with strong resonance for our time.
Author: Gail Halvorsen
Publisher: Cedar Fort
The Berlin Candy Bomber is the story of how two sticks of gum and one man’s kindness to the children of a vanquished enemy grew into an epic of goodwill—spanning the globe and touching the hearts of millions in both Germany and America. In June 1948, Russia cut off the flow of food and supplies to Berlin. The Americans, joined by the English and French, began a massive airlift to bring sustenance to the city and thwart the Russian siege. Gail Halvorsen was one of hundreds of U.S. pilots involved in the airlift. While in Berlin, he met a group of children standing by the airport watching the planes. He was impressed to share two sticks of gum with them, and he promised to drop candy the next time he flew to the area. The next day he wiggled the wings of his plane to identify himself and then dropped several small bundles of candy, using parachutes crafted from handkerchiefs. Local newspapers picked up the story. Suddenly, letters addressed to “Uncle Wiggly Wings” began arriving as the children requested candy drops in other areas of the city. Enthusiasm spread to America, and candy contributions came from all across the country. The blockade and airlift ended in 1949, but the story of the Candy Bomber lives on—a symbol of human charity, and the candy drops have continued into a new century.
Author: Richard Reeves
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
In the early hours of June 26, 1948, phones began ringing across America, waking up the airmen of World War II—pilots, navigators, and mechanics—who were finally beginning normal lives with new houses, new jobs, new wives, and new babies. Some were given just forty-eight hours to report to local military bases. The president, Harry S. Truman, was recalling them to active duty to try to save the desperate people of the western sectors of Berlin, the enemy capital many of them had bombed to rubble only three years before. Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin had ordered a blockade of the city, isolating the people of West Berlin, using hundreds of thousands of Red Army soldiers to close off all land and water access to the city. He was gambling that he could drive out the small detachments of American, British, and French occupation troops, because their only option was to stay and watch Berliners starve—or retaliate by starting World War III. The situation was impossible, Truman was told by his national security advisers, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His answer: "We stay in Berlin. Period." That was when the phones started ringing and local police began banging on doors to deliver telegrams to the vets. Drawing on service records and hundreds of interviews in the United States, Germany, and Great Britain, Reeves tells the stories of these civilian airmen, the successors to Stephen Ambrose’s "Citizen Soldiers," ordinary Americans again called to extraordinary tasks. They did the impossible, living in barns and muddy tents, flying over Soviet-occupied territory day and night, trying to stay awake, making it up as they went along and ignoring Russian fighters and occasional anti-aircraft fire trying to drive them to hostile ground. The Berlin Airlift changed the world. It ended when Stalin backed down and lifted the blockade, but only after the bravery and sense of duty of those young heroes had bought the Allies enough time to create a new West Germany and sign the mutual defense agreement that created NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. And then they went home again. Some of them forgot where they had parked their cars after they got the call.
Author: Gail S. Halvorsen, Denise H. Williams
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Gail Halvorsen's story began long before he flew planes full of candy over post-war Berlin. Discover how the compassion Gail showed in Germany began with lessons learned in childhood, lessons like gratitude, hope, and serving others. Illustrated with gorgeous photographs, this fitting tribute to an unforgettable act of charity will inspire you to keep kindness alive and look for the good all around you.
Author: Daniel F. Harrington
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
The Berlin blockade brought former allies to the brink of war. Britain, France, the United States and the Soviet Union defeated and began their occupation of Germany in 1945, and within a few years, the Soviets and their Western partners were jockeying for control of their former foe. Attempting to thwart the Allied powers' plans to create a unified West German government, the Soviets blocked rail and road access to the western sectors of Berlin in June 1948. With no other means of delivering food and supplies to the German people under their protection, the Allies organized the Berlin airlift. In Berlin on the Brink: The Blockade, the Airlift, and the Cold War, Daniel F. Harrington examines the "Berlin question" from its origin in wartime plans for the occupation of Germany through the Paris Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in 1949. Harrington draws on previously untapped archival sources to challenge standard accounts of the postwar division of Germany, the origins of the blockade, the original purpose of the airlift, and the leadership of President Harry S. Truman. While thoroughly examining four-power diplomacy, Harrington demonstrates how the ingenuity and hard work of the people at the bottom -- pilots, mechanics, and Berliners -- were more vital to the airlift's success than decisions from the top. Harrington also explores the effects of the crisis on the 1948 presidential election and on debates about the custody and use of atomic weapons. Berlin on the Brink is a fresh, comprehensive analysis that reshapes our understanding of a critical event of cold war history.
Author: Margot Theis Raven
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
A True Story of the Berlin Airlift and the Candy that Dropped from the Sky. Life was grim in 1948 West Berlin, Germany. Josef Stalin blockaded all ground routes coming in and out of Berlin to cut off West Berliners from all food and essential supplies. Without outside help, over 2.2 million people would die. Thus began the Berlin Airlift, a humanitarian rescue mission that utilized British and American airplanes and pilots to fly in needed supplies. As one of the American pilots participating in the Airlift mission, Lt. Gail S. Halvorsen helped to provide not only nourishment to the children but also gave them a reason to hope for a better world. From one thoughtful, generous act came a lifelong relationship between Lt. Gail and the children of Berlin. This is the true story of a seven-year-old girl named Mercedes who lived in West Berlin during the Airlift and of the American who came to be known as the Chocolate Pilot. Artist Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen's evocative paintings illuminate Margot Theis Raven's powerful story of hope, friendship and remembrance. About the Author: Margot Theis Raven has been a professional writer working in the fields of radio, television, magazines, newspapers, and children's books for thirty years. She has won five national awards, including an IRA Teacher's Choice award. Ms. Raven earned her degree in English from Rosemont College and attended Villanova University for theater study, and Kent State University for German language. Ms. Raven splits her time living in Concord, MA, Charleston, SC and West Chesterfield, NH. About the Illustrator: Born in the Netherlands, Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in Holland. He immigrated to the United States in 1976, and years later he became a children's book illustrator. Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot is Nick's ninth children's book with Sleeping Bear Press.
Author: Michael O. Tunnell
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing
"World War II was over, and Berlin was in ruins. US Air Force Lieutenant Gail Halvorsen knew the children of the city were suffering. They were hungry and afraid. The young pilot wanted to help, but what could one man in one plane do?"--Dust jacket flap.
Author: Andrei Cherny
Publisher: Basic Books
The Next Deal offers a highly readable blueprint for politics in the twenty-first century. The old-style one-size-fits-all government, Cherny argues, cannot accommodate the significant changes-including the moral revolution of the '60s and the technological revolution of the last fifteen years-that American society has undergone. Cherny proposes a "Next Deal" that will expand democracy by taking decision-making power out of the hands of experts and back into the hands of ordinary people.
Author: Tom Brokaw, Robert T. Barrett
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Presents the story of how an American pilot participated in the Berlin Airlift and decided to drop candy for the German children caught behind the post-World-War II Soviet blockade, an effort intended to heal the wounds of war.
Author: Romesh Ratnesar
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
On June 12, 1987, Ronald Reagan addressed a crowd of 20,000 people in West Berlin in the shadow of the Berlin Wall. The words he delivered that afternoon would become among the most famous in presidential history. "Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate," Reagan said. "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this Wall!" In this riveting and fast-paced book, Romesh Ratnesar provides an account of how Reagan arrived at his defining moment and what followed from it. The book is based on interviews with numerous former Reagan administration officials and American and German eyewitnesses to the speech, as well as recently declassified State Department documents and East German records of the president's trip. Ratnesar provides new details about the origins of Reagan's speech and the debate within the administration about how to issue the fateful challenge to Gorbachev. Tear Down This Wall re-creates the charged atmosphere surrounding Reagan's visit to Berlin and explores the speech's role in bringing about the fall of the Berlin Wall less than two years later. At the heart of the story is the relationship between two giants of the late twentieth century: Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. Departing from the view that Reagan "won" the Cold War, Ratnesar demonstrates that both Reagan and Gorbachev played indispensable roles in bringing about the end of the U.S.-Soviet rivalry. It was the trust that Reagan and Gorbachev built in each other that allowed them finally to overcome the suspicions that had held their predecessors back. Calling on Gorbachev to tear down the Wall, in Reagan's mind, might actually encourage him to do it. Reagan's speech in Berlin was more than a good sound bite. Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we can now see the speech as the event that marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War. Elegant and dramatic, Tear Down This Wall is the definitive account of one of the most memorable speeches in recent history and a reminder of the power of a president's words to change the world.
Author: Sam McGowan
On August 23, 1954 the most successful airplane in aviation history took to the skies on its maiden flight. A little over two years later the first operational airplanes were delivered to the 463rd Troop Carrier Wing at Ardmore AFB, Oklahoma. Over the next 21 years Tactical Air Command, United States Air Forces Europe and Pacific Air Forces troop carrier/tactical airlift crew amassed a heroic and impressive record from Africa to Vietnam. Trash Haulers is a revision of a 1988 TAB/Aero publication by Sam McGowan, who was part of that mission.
Author: G. J. Meyer
A narrative of the First World War examines the brutal conflict that transformed the face of Europe, paved the way for the Soviet Union and Hitler, and had long lasting repercussions.
Author: Denise Kiernan
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
THE GIRLS OF ATOMIC C ITY AT THE HEIGHT OF WORLD WAR II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, consuming more electricity than New York City. But to most of the world, the town did not exist. Thousands of civilians—many of them young women from small towns across the South—were recruited to this secret city, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work. Kept very much in the dark, few would ever guess the true nature of the tasks they performed each day in the hulking factories in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. That is, until the end of the war—when Oak Ridge’s secret was revealed. Drawing on the voices of the women who lived it—women who are now in their eighties and nineties— The Girls of Atomic City rescues a remarkable, forgotten chapter of American history from obscurity. Denise Kiernan captures the spirit of the times through these women: their pluck, their desire to contribute, and their enduring courage. Combining the grand-scale human drama of The Worst Hard Time with the intimate biography and often troubling science of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Girls of Atomic City is a lasting and important addition to our country’s history.
Author: Barry Turner
Publisher: Icon Books
Acclaimed historian Barry Turner presents a new history of the Cold War's defining episode. Berlin, 1948 – a divided city in a divided country in a divided Europe. The ruined German capital lay 120 miles inside Soviet-controlled eastern Germany. Stalin wanted the Allies out; the Allies were determined to stay, but had only three narrow air corridors linking the city to the West. Stalin was confident he could crush Berlin’s resolve by cutting off food and fuel. In the USA, despite some voices still urging ‘America first’, it was believed that a rebuilt Germany was the best insurance against the spread of communism across Europe. And so over eleven months from June 1948 to May 1949, British and American aircraft carried out the most ambitious airborne relief operation ever mounted, flying over 2 million tons of supplies on almost 300,000 flights to save a beleaguered Berlin. With new material from American, British and German archives and original interviews with veterans, Turner paints a fresh, vivid picture the airlift, whose repercussions – the role of the USA as global leader, German ascendancy, Russian threat – we are still living with today.