Northwest Epic is the panoramic story of the courageous U.S. Army Engineers and civilian contractors who toiled in the tense months after Pearl Harbor to build a 1,500-mile emergency supply line through the rugged Canadian Rockies to isolated military bases in Alaska. The construction of this winding gravel road--GI's called it the ALCAN--was very much an all-American adventure: blacks, whites, and natives working together under the harshest extremes of climate and terrain--racing to bolster Alaska's defenses and deter another Japanese attack on North American soil.
It is a story of ambitious men, such as Lieutenant General Brehon B. Somervell, the Army's suavely ruthless chief logistician, who brooked no opposition to his grandiose schemes. "Dynamite in a Tiffany Box" some called him. It is the story of Master Sergeant Wansley Hill and thousands of other black soldiers who, unwanted by their country for duty on the front lines, nonetheless proved themselves steadfast heroes in the land of the midnight sun. And it is also the story of natives like Charlie McDonald, a guide whose intimate knowledge of the land--with its dense forests, impassable muskeg bogs, and unmapped mountain valleys--was used by the Army Engineers to help build a road that has brought fundamental change to a once-remote corner of the North American continent.
The Alaska Highway--with its hundreds of bridges, chain of airfields, and oil refinery and pipeline system (known as CANOL)--opened to traffic in late 1942 and was in full use one year later. Though one of the greatest feats of twentieth-century macro-engineering, this huge project sparked as much protest as patriotism. Critics argued that the road was in the wrong place and would have little postwar value; a well-publicized investigation of CANOL's excesses gave a critical boost to the career of Senator Harry S. Truman.
Despite such controversy, the completion of the highway provided a historical watershed for the territory of Alaska, for in the decades that followed, the land would be propelled, often reluctantly, from a pristine refuge, a nineteenth-century land inhabited by natives, dreamers, and rugged individualists, into the twentieth century.
In the tradition of David McCullough's The Path Between the Seas, Heath Twichell's Northwest Epic is a sweeping and richly textured history, a book that tells of almost forgotten hardships and heroics during the darkest days of World War II.
The Shelby American Story is about the decade of the sixties. Carroll Shelby is world-renowned for developing the Shelby Cobras and Mustangs as well as the Ford GT racing program. Prior to this, however, Shelby was a championship race driver, culminating in 1959, when he and his co-driver, Roy Salvadori, won Le Mans, the World's premier road racing event.
Forced to retire from racing due to ill health, Carroll got the idea of installing small-block American V-8 engines in a light-weight sports car. The English AC had a beautiful body and good-handling characteristics, but a somewhat anemic power plant. Shelby discussed the idea with Charles Hurlock of AC and a roller was shipped to Shelby who installed a 260 cid Ford V8. The first car was finished in early 1962.
Renamed the Cobra, Shelby's creations were beginning to appear at race courses by the end of 1962. A sufficient number of cars were built for the FIA to recognize the Cobra as a production (GT) car. Cobras dominated the GT Class in racing for much of the decade, winning Le Mans and Sebring in 1964. In 1965, Cobra Daytona Coupes won the World Manufacturers' Championship. After some success installing Ford V-8s in Cooper Mona-cos (the King Cobra), Shelby teamed with Ford to pursue the triple crown of sports car racing: Le Mans, Sebring and Daytona. Success finally came with the Ford GT in 1966 and then again in 1967.
This book tells the entire story including accounts of the most significant races, the engineering and development of the cars as well as something about the outstanding individuals involved with Shelby during the era. It is a must have for all autosports enthusiasts as well as those interested in the history of cars and racing. But most of all, it is essential for the many Shelby fans throughout the world.
The author sets the background to the flight against the birth of manned powered flight and Britain in the aftermath of the First World War. He goes on to describe the record breaking flight in detail, drawing on Alcock and Browns written records and their flying log book, and concludes with a round-up of the fates of all the pioneers who are mentioned in the narrative, and the flights legacy for Everyman. Now published as a paperback, Yesterday We Were in America is the first accurate and atmospheric account of one of the most significant and dramatic flights in history.