Tayler Lord and Anna Weir are publicists at UNP who share a cubicle and cannot stop talking about books (or caffeinated beverages, for that matter). Today they also share their thoughts about a few upcoming titles they’re particularly excited about as readers. The books in this discussion will be published in November.
Tayler Lord: My first pick this month is How We Won and Lost the War in Afghanistan: Two Years in the Pashtun Homeland by Douglas Grindle, a former freelance journalist with extensive experience in the Middle East, including six years as a war correspondent in Afghanistan and Iraq. Because of his track record, Grindle is able to provide a firsthand account of how the war in Afghanistan was won in a rural district south of Kandahar City and how the newly created peace slipped away when vital resources failed to materialize and the United States headed for the exit.
Kirkus Reviews called the book “maddening, but helpful in pointing the way toward meaningful reforms in the conduct of American policy in the region.” I think it’s an important book that can hopefully give us a better idea of how to move forward with our relationship to Afghanistan.
What are you excited about this month, Anna?
Anna Weir: My first pick is far from a cheerful story, but it’s an important one. The Modoc War of 1872–73, swept northern California and south-central Oregon up in a rising tide of violence and racism, capturing the nation’s attention for an entire year. Still, the wrenching events are largely forgotten today. In today’s political climate, however, the story and its implications for the present feels more important than ever. Robert McNally tells the story in his book The Modoc War: A Story of Genocide at the Dawn of America’s Gilded Age.
What else are you looking forward to, Tayler?
TL: My second pick is another one from Potomac Books: Dorothy Brooke and the Fight to Save Cairo’s Lost War Horses by Grant Hayter-Menzies. Dorothy Brooke was a Scottish aristocrat who married a World War I general. While on a trip to Cairo with her new husband, Brooke discovered thousands of malnourished former British cavalry horses languishing after the war. So, Brooke established the Old War Horse Memorial Hospital to provide respite for the ailing animals. I’ve always been curious about what happens to the animals who are used for war after all the battles are fought; I assumed they went home with the soldiers. This book shows a different reality and celebrates one woman’s work to save these forgotten war horses.
What’s next for you?
AW: My next pick is Morta Las Vegas: CSI and the Problem of the West because, honestly, I’m impressed. It seems there’s always a CSI marathon running on one channel or another, so the sheer amount of material Nathaniel Lewis and Stephen Tatum could have picked from is a little overwhelming. Instead, they focused on a single episode, “4×4,” and wrote an entire book reflecting on how that one episode encapsulates the essence of Las Vegas in storytelling and media. Talk about attention to detail! I’m excited to flip through it and see what conclusions they draw.
Tune in next month for more picks from your friendly neighborhood publicists!