Sons And Soldiers is a non fiction book, an accounting of a handful of a group of men known collectively as Ritchie Boys. The Ritchie boys who became the focus of this book were Jewish Germans, several sent to America alone as children or teenagers in an attempt to save them from the Nazis. Each one of them willingly went back to Germany as US Army soldiers in WW2 to fight against the Nazis, and for many of them, to learn the fate of their families.
Side note: there are quite a few books, fiction and non fiction, that have and are coming out that center on WW2, easily one of the most defining periods of modern history. We would do well to remember the circumstances and attitudes leading up to the war, and the horrors and lessons of the war.
Carrying on: this was one of the most engrossing historical books I have read in a while. I didn't want to put it down. Starting with the years of the Nazi rise to power and continuing into the early years of the persecution of non Aryan peoples, and finally concluding with notes about each of the Ritchie Boys mentioned and where they went in life after the war brought it all home in a very real way. Like many, I had relatives who fought in the war- my great grandfather was in the Army, but never spoke of his experiences. Reading more than facts, figures, and battle names brings the experiences of each individual involved into a clearer light. Books such as Sons And Soldiers bring the human element to history, giving it color and depth and detail, keeping it from being separated and simply being "something that happened"- they are essential to our understanding of the past.
Sons And Soldiers is well written, providing insights into how each one of the Ritchie Boys felt, how they reacted to different things, how they adopted their new home in America yet never lost their roots. It draws the reader into each experience, providing enough detail and depth to make the history truly unforgettable, and to bring the Ritchie Boys to life in the mind. I will be reading it again and again.
I recommend this book for history readers, of course, as well as for those who read historical fiction from that time period, and for those watching the politics of today- there are always parallels between past and present that we can learn from. Sons And Soldiers will be released July 25th of this year.