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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Busiest week of the year! Bill Littlefield, Ernie Hebert, Tomie dePaola, all at Gibson's. November 17th, 2014

What a week at Gibson's!
This may be our busiest week of the year for events. Read on...
 
Tuesday, Nov. 18, 7 PM  Bill Littlefield! If you're up early enough on Saturday, you may (as we do) reward yourselves with the fantastic sports show Only a Game, hosted by Bill Littlefield, heard on WBUR and on our own NHPR. Bill has written and collected some whimsical light verse, all on the subject of sports. Join us as he shares his poems with a Concord audience! He'll be here on Nov. 18. Come early to get a good seat! His signed book will be a wonderful Christmas present for the sports nuts on your list.
Friday, Nov. 21, 7 PM   Ernie Hebert now concludes the Darby Chronicles, which he began 35 years ago with The Dogs of March.
"Ernie Hebert's novels don't just capture New England; they've become a part of it...and his latest is a spectacular addition to an already impressive canon."—Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of My Sister's Keeper and Vanishing Acts
Part Falstaff, part King Lear, but all American, Howard Elman was a fifty-something workingman when he burst onto the literary scene in The Dogs of March. Now in this, the seventh and last installment in the series, the Darby constable is an eighty-something widower who wants to do "a great thing" before he motors off into the sunset. You can bet he does ... in strange, wonderful, and dangerous ways.
Saturday, Nov. 22, 10 AM   Meet Tomie dePaola at Gibson's!
After a brief presentation about his new book, Jack, Tomie will sign copies of all his books, new and old, and will also sign copies of the latest issue of New Hampshire Home, which has a fascinating and sumptuous spread featuring his art studio.  
Jack is Tomie's take on traditional “Jack tales”—in which a young hero ventures out to seek his fortune and gains it through luck or pluck. This book is perfect for preschoolers and kids in the early grades!. His hero’s reward is a wealth of animal friends who increase in number—and volume—as the story progresses. What a treat! Don't forget--Christmas is coming. A new Tomie is a great gift.
(Note: a bad date for this event sneaked into an ad in the Hippo. It's Saturday. For real.)
Watch for our email tomorrow about two ticketed December events, both offsite. See below!

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