Rachel Cox, "Into Dust and Fire"

05/03/2012 7:00 pm

Rachel Cox, Into Dust and Fire: Five Young Americans Who Went First to Fight the Nazi Army, Thursday May 3rd, 2012 at 7 p.m.

A touch of local history brings this author to Concord. Rachel Cox's uncle, Rob Cox, made a career for himself at St. Paul's School, which is also the site of his initial decision to go to war.

A multifaceted, moving story of five American Ivy League students who committed themselves to fight alongside the British in the spring of 1941.

Rachel will be bringing photos and maps from her research, as well as a few minutes of film footage from St. Pauls in 1941.

Journalist Cox, the relative of one of the recruits, pieces together this extraordinary story of five patriotic young students at Dartmouth and Harvard who bucked the official U.S. decision to remain out of the war while the Nazis were conquering Europe and offered themselves as volunteers for the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. Dartmouth senior Charles G. Bolté led the way by firing off an incendiary letter to President Roosevelt on the front page of the student newspaper announcing, “Now we have waited long enough.” At Harvard, senior Rob Cox had been wrestling with his own decision, spurred by a high draft number; while visiting a friend at Dartmouth that spring, he persuaded fellow Dartmouth students Jack Brister and Bill Durkee, along with Harvard sophomore Heyward Cutting, to join the fight. Within six weeks the five well-educated, fairly privileged young men arrived by Allied convoy to Halifax. Mixing in with the English they underwent recruit and officer training at Winchester and were considered curiosities and often displayed for the press and upper echelon. When events in North Africa boiled over, they were finally sent out by freighter in June 1942—the author gives a terrific account of onboard shenanigans and reflections by the bored, fearful men. They endured harsh conditions in the desert and were engaged in the decisive, ferocious Battle of El Alamein in October 1942. Brister was the only Yank not wounded in this battle; once Cox had recovered from being shot in the back, he and Brister returned to fight, and they both died in the Battle of Mareth in 1943. Bolté went on to pursue the cause of veterans’ rights and international peace; his first book, The New Veteran (1945), was dedicated to his fallen colleagues.

A unique take on the war, from the point of view of the young, idealistic and foolhardy.

Rachel Cox, author
Book List
$5.99
ISBN-13: 9780451234759
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: NAL Hardcover, 4/2012
"A moving, beautifully written tale of five young Ivy Leaguers, romantics and idealists all, who left their privileged lives in peacetime America to join the British Army in its pre-Pearl Harbor struggle against the Nazis. In her quest to trace the wartime experiences of her uncle, Rob Cox, and his four colleagues, Rachel Cox has produced a masterpiece of storytelling, infused with romance, danger, adventure, humor, and heartbreaking loss. It is, hands down, the best description of the transformation of untested young men into soldiers that I have ever read." ~Lynne Olson, Citizens of London.

Location: 
Street:
27 S Main St
Additional:
City:
Concord
,
Province:
New Hampshire
Postal Code:
03301
Country:
United States

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They grew up here and now they're back with books! Plus Saturday poetry. Monday, October 20th, 2014

Events in the bookstore this week....
 
Local girl makes good!
NH author Chelsey Philpot grew up spending her weekends browsing the shelves at Gibson's, and we're thrilled to be able to place her debut novel on the shelves of our new store! Join us as she presents Even in Paradise. Early readers are throwing some pretty impressive names around in trying to describe Chelsey's new book.... "The Great Gatsby meets Looking for Alaska in this stunning debut novel." "With inspiration drawn from Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, Chelsey Philpot's moving debut novel perfectly captures the intensity, the thrill, and the heartbreak of our too-brief friendships and loves."
Come meet Chelsey Philpot and hear about this excellent new book!

Local boy makes good!
Concord native Michael Fournier returns triumphant with his new novel! Swing State unveils the generally overlooked decades-long economic downturn in the rural Northeast. With an unflinching eye, he lays bare the dim dreams and raw existence of the lives of three residents of Armbrister, New Hampshire, who share the same goal: Get out. Faced with grim prospects, the intersection of bullying and terrorism blurs, with disastrous consequences in this deftly woven tale.  "A riveting, compassionate story"--Mike Faloon, author of 'The Hanging Gardens of Split Rock' and editor of 'Fan Interference'
 

Quarterly meeting of the Poetry Society of NH--free and open to the public
After a private board meeting, a public poetry event centered on The Widow's Handbook begins at 11 AM and goes until 1 PM. 
The Widows’ Handbook is the first anthology of poems by contemporary widows, many of whom have written their way out of solitude and despair, distilling their strongest feelings into poetry or memoir. This stirring collection celebrates the strategies widows learn and the resources they muster to deal with people, living space, possessions, social life, and especially themselves, once shock has turned to the realization that nothing will ever be the same. As Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says in her foreword, losing one's partner is a loss like no other.
 

Some big books for fall
Dan Chartrand from Water Street and I visited Laura Knoy recently to talk about some of the best books for fall. If you missed the show, you can find our lists and listen to the broadcast here.  ... Here's a photo in which I was making some point or other--who knows, really--much to the apparent amusement of Dan.

And that's it for now! Thank you for reading!
For our full events schedule go to www.gibsonsbookstore.com.  And why not follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and (dare we say it? are we ready?) Tumblr.

Our best to you,
Michael Herrmann and the booksellers of Gibson's

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