The Last Ridge: The Epic Story of America's First Mountain Soldiers and the Assault on Hitler's Europe (Paperback)

The Last Ridge: The Epic Story of America's First Mountain Soldiers and the Assault on Hitler's Europe By Mckay Jenkins Cover Image
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Description


When World War II broke out in Europe, the American army had no specialized division of mountain soldiers. But in the winter of 1939–40, after a tiny band of Finnish mountain troops brought the invading Soviet army to its knees, an amateur skier named Charles Minot “Minnie” Dole convinced the United States Army to let him recruit an extraordinary assortment of European expatriates, wealthy ski bums, mountaineers, and thrill-seekers and form them into a unique band of Alpine soldiers. These men endured nearly three years of grueling training in the Colorado Rockies and in the process set new standards for both soldiering and mountaineering. The newly forged 10th Mountain Division finally faced combat in the winter of 1945, in Italy’s Apennine Mountains, against the seemingly unbreakable German fortifications north of the Gothic Line. There, they planned and executed what is still regarded as the most daring series of nighttime mountain attacks in U.S. military history, taking Mount Belvedere and the sheer, treacherous face of Riva Ridge to smash the linchpin of the German army’s lines.

Drawing on unique cooperation from veterans of the 10th Mountain Division and a vast archive of unpublished letters and documents, The Last Ridge is written with enormous warmth, energy, and honesty. This is one of the most captivating stories of World War II, a blend of Band of Brothers and Into Thin Air. It is a story of young men asked to do the impossible, and succeeding.

About the Author


McKay Jenkins holds degrees from Amherst, Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, and Princeton, where he received a Ph.D. in English. He is also the author of The White Death and the editor of The Peter Matthiessen Reader. An associate professor of English and journalism at the University of Delaware, Jenkins lives with his wife and son in Baltimore.

Praise For…


The Last Ridge is the breathtaking story of how one man’s vision, and the sheer courage of the legendary 10th Mountain Division, helped change the course of World War II in Europe. Among the war’s countless acts of bravery and sacrifice, this one stands out, and McKay Jenkins brings it to life in his riveting account.”
—Senator John McCain

“The 10th Mountain Division was the only American Alpine unit to fight during World War II, and its heroic and daring exploits during the final months of the Italian campaign are fully documented by McKay Jenkins in this stirring, first-rate account of men at war.”
—Carlo D’Este, author of Eisenhower: A Soldier’s Life

“Stymied by army bureaucrats, forced to climb snowfields without ice axes or crampons, trained in skills that were never properly exploited, the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division nonetheless became the stuff of myth. Without McKay Jenkins’s meticulous research, the achievements and eccentricities of this remarkable group of men could easily have been forgotten. Instead, they have been brought to life.”
—Anne Fadiman, author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

“Few have written about the Army’s elite 10th Mountain Division, and no one has done so as dramatically and with such passion and insight as McKay Jenkins. The perfect war story has, at long last, found the perfect storyteller.”
—Andrew Carroll, editor of War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars

The Last Ridge is one of the very best books yet written about any part of the World War II story. My friend the late Stephen Ambrose would be proud of this work about one of the most fascinating yet little-known records of the mountain ski patrols—both in war and in the peacetime that followed.”
—Senator George McGovern

The Last Ridge is a great untold story of mountaineering and war. It’s a terrific read, sharp with characters, full of real drama, and, best of all, it’s true.”
—Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone

The Last Ridge, based on skillful interviews with the survivors, is a fine account of a great story, long overdue in the telling, and very well told.”
—Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopard
Product Details
ISBN: 9780375759512
ISBN-10: 0375759514
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Publication Date: November 9th, 2004
Pages: 336
Language: English

How to read more

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How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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