Monday, October 6, 2014

The Medal of Honor: A History of Service Above and Beyond

by The Editors of Boston Publishing Company

The Medal of Honor is the United States’ highest military honor.  It is awarded by the President of the United States in the name of the United States Congress to U. S. military personnel for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.

Since its creation in 1861 the Medal of Honor has been awarded to nearly 3,500 men and 1 woman, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, from the Civil War to the present. “The Medal of Honor: A History of Service Above and Beyond” from The Editors of Boston Publishing Company and published by Zenith Press is a gorgeous book detailing the history of the medal and the persons to whom it has been bestowed upon.  It is a history told in deeds, of self-sacrifice and acts of valor, for which of the Medal of Honor has been awarded.

The book has been divided into seven chapters; one for each period of active conflict involving the United States Military, beginning with the Civil War and traveling through The Indian Campaigns, the Wars of American Expansion (Korea and China in 1871 & 1900, Latin America 1898-1933 and the Philippines and Samoa 1899-1913, and encapsulating the Spanish-American War), World War I, World War II, and the Cold War (the Wars of Korea and Vietnam).  The final Chapter titled “new Enemies, New Conflicts, covers the Persian Gulf War, The Iraq War and the Afghanistan War.

Each chapter begins with a brief historical overview of its assigned era and sets the stage for the following stories of unreluctant heroism in the face of mortal danger, of men reluctant to call themselves heroes: of such men as Second Lieutenant Edward M. Knox who rushed his cannon ahead of the Union Lines during the 2nd day of fighting during the Battle of Gettysburg; Sergeant Benjamin Crisswell who recovered the body of Lieutenant Hodgson from the banks of The Little Big Horn River; Lieutenant Richmond P. Hobson who guided the USS Merrimac into Santiago Harbor under heavy Spanish fire before He and his crew were captured and held as prisoners of war; Marine Gunnery Sergeant Earnest A. Janson who received two Medals of Honor under two different names; Major John Jerstad who volunteered for the Ploieşti raid even though he had flown enough missions to be eligible to return home; Private First Class Joseph R Ouellette who braved enemy fire to retrieve ammunition; Sergeant Alfredo Gonzalez, Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines who was killed in the fight to retake Hue; Master-at-Arms Michael A. Monsoor and Pfc. Ross A. McGinnis who both jumped on grenades to save the lives of their fellow soldiers; and Lieutenant Michael Murphy who was killed trying to save his fellow SEALs while fighting in Afghanistan.  These are but a few of the deeds of heroism featured in “The Medal of Honor.”

The Medal is often awarded posthumously, and those who have lived to wear it say it is much harder to wear than to earn.

In a final tribute to those who have been awarded the Medal of Honor, “The Medal of Honor: A History of Service Above and Beyond,” concludes with a Register of the Recipients of the Medal of Honor from 1861 to June 2014.

The Editors of Boston Publishing Company and Zenith Press have produced an impressive book. “The Medal of Honor” is contains 70 color and 218 black and white photographs and illustrations.  It is a book that they should be justifiably proud of authoring and publishing.

ISBN 978-0760346242, Zenith Press; New Edition, © 2014, Hardcover, 11.2 x 9.5 x 1 inches, 304 pages, Maps, Photographs & Illustrations, Appendix: Register of Recipients, Bibliography, Photo Credits & Index. $40.00.  To purchase this book click HERE.

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