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About John D. Beatty
He is the author of Stella's Game: A Story of Friendships (JDB Communications, LLC, 2019), Crop Duster, A Novel of WWII (Booklocker, 2013). The Devil's Own Day: Shiloh and the American Civil War (Booklocker 2011), and co-authored (with Lee A. Rochwerger) Why the Samurai Lost Japan: A Study in Miscalculation and Folly (JDB Communications, LLC, 2019), and numerous essay and short story collections, and several dozen articles for magazines, including Against the Odds and Strategy and Tactics.
He is retired from the US Army Reserve and has been a technical communicator for most of his professional life. He lives and works in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In the first week in April, 1862 three barely trained and poorly equipped armies, one under Ulysses S. Grant, one under Albert S. Johnston, and a third under Don C. Buell, clashed in southeastern Tennesse in a fight that decided the fate of the upper Tennessee River. For two days the armies fought from sunup to sundown, causing more casualties than America had suffered since Washington's time.
When it was done one general was dead, another discredited, one army smashed beyond repair, and the survivors weary and sick. But the survivors realized that this conflict would not be easily resolved, nor would it be short. One way of life, Northern or Southern, would have to end if America were ever to become whole again.
"The Devil's Own Day" describes the battle of Shiloh and its role in American history, placing the battle in a larger context than most Civil War books. The Appendix, The Steamboats of Shiloh, is the first in-depth analysis of the civilian-run steamboats' role at the battle.
Young Romance in the style of Fern Michaels; Adventure in the tradition of JA Vance; Thrills like John Grisham...Stella's Game has it all!
The Cold War; friends moving away; assassinations; deaths in the family; the Race to the Moon; draft and race riots; Vietnam;
marches for peace and freedom; overdoses; the Sexual Revolution; graduations; puberty...
What could go wrong?
Before there were cell phones; before the internet, before anyone even thought of Google, there was Stella's Game.
When Stella sat at her big round table and quietly shuffled her cards, the world took a seat and all arguments ended. Stella's Game was home; a safe port in a roiling sea.
See the world in the eyes of two boys and two girls in an affluent Detroit suburb from 1963 to 1974. Watch as their world is transformed, as they grow, laugh, love, and learn in Stella's Game: A Story of Friendships.
From these ideas arose the new breed of air warriors: flyers of bombers that devastated cities, and flyers of fighters that tried to stop them. Still the odds and the laws of physics were against both. But still there was the brotherhood of the air, the kinship between flyers that united them against outsiders.
This is the story of two such men caught up in the First Bomber War; a war not of their making, but theirs to fight, and to survive if they could.
Seers of the future are an especially special breed of thinkers, and they already know it. What makes them annoying for some of us, however, is their irritating propensi-ty for mistaking wit for brilliance. Case in point it the famous Albert Einstein quote:
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
There’s several versions of this quotation that first appeared in Liberal Judaism in 1949, and it may indeed have not even been original then, or even original to Einstein. But what those who depend on this quotation as a cudgel for disarmament forget that even Einstein missed the ironic point: After humankind blows itself into the Stone Age, they will still be fighting. These essays are an attempt to make some sense of the most fashionable trends, fads and fancies of American soothsayers in the early 21st century.
Recent writers, especially Steven Sears in The British Empire, have suggested that the British Empire was really nothing more than a jobs program for the English middle and upper classes. In some ways this is arguably true. However trivial this may seem in the great scheme of things, it was also the largest single influence on human civilization between the fall of Rome and the triumph of the United States and the Soviet Union in 1945. As these essays argue, this influence was in part because of the sheer genius of hard-pressed Britons to survive on their harsh, rocky islands.
That the early Bronze-Age civilizations of North America were devastated not just by Old World technology but also by Old World diseases is not new, but the effects of contagious disease in combination with their already slow population growth was a fatal combination for their continued existence. “Deadly Emigres” is an exposition into the dynamics of a one-two punch that the Indians got when the waves of invaders reached their shores.
“Obligations of Freedom” is an experiment in the legal and historical grounds for militia service. Though it didn’t start out that way, it is a sturdy rejoinder against the argument that the US National Guard is what Amendment II of the Constitution meant by “militia,” when the rec-ord is clear that it is anything but.
Academic history is very certain that the four classical philosophers discussed in “Four Philosophers Revisited” were the ur-scribes of modern strategic thought. The truth is that three of them at least were less concerned with philosophy than they likely were in seeing their name in print—and repeated what others wrote in the doing. But one, the first—Sun Tzu—we can’t even be certain how he was compensated, or if he wasn’t a pen name for some scholar who put a lot of other writers together. Writing during the Iron Age in China, whoever wrote the original text attributed to Sun Tzu really had little to say that others didn’t say afterwards who never heard of him, making him perhaps the first to re-state what was obvious to military professionals since the beginnings of organized warfare.
Traditionally, “a marriage made in Hell” was the unity of the machine gun and barbed wire on the Western Front in France and Flanders. “A Divorce from the Marriage Made in Hell” is an exposition on the earliest philosophies that poses a question: are separate air forces the an-swer? That, of course, depends on what the question is.
The distinct and contrarian position in these essays is unacceptable to “mainstream” Civil War scholarship: Civil War battlefield presentation isn’t what it’s cracked up to be as “Of Parks and Excuses” explains; the Southern Confederacy, always a “Forlorn Hope,” could not have gotten what she wanted by military means; Grant’s military legacy is much deeper and longer lasting than Lee’s, as “Bigger than History” and “Grant, the Army and the World” explain.
These essays were written over the course of perhaps ten years, a period of my academic harrying of long-suffering professors, Civil War Round Table members, and other unfortunates who tolerated my distinctly odd view of the 1861-65 conflict.
Enjoy these essays because they should challenge what you may think of the American Civil War, its place in world history, and how it is indeed tied to the rest of the world.