Culture

5 Books Dads Will Love for Father's Day

There is still time to head over to Amazon to place an order in time for Father’s Day delivery! I’ve linked the images below to help you out.

La Place de la Concorde Suisse

by John McPhee

Swiss

“The Swiss Army has served as a model for less languid nations. The Israeli Army is a copy of the Swiss Army. … They are a civilian army, a trained and practiced militia, ever ready to mobilize. They serve for thirty years. All six hundred and fifty thousand are prepared to be present at mobilization points and battle stations in considerably less than forty-eight hours.”

This book, written at the end of the Cold War, gives a compelling view of the Swiss military system. The pastoral views in the Alps don’t reveal that beneath those mountains are bunkers stocked with munitions caches and that the winding roads all have bridges that can be blown to pieces at a moment’s notice to thwart an attack.

The book might provoke some intriguing thoughts and conversations about forced conscription, responsibility as citizens, what some like to call “military adventurism,” and the implications of heavily armed neutrality.

In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents In the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect

by Ronald Kessler

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This is a fascinating inside look at the Secret Service. New York Times bestselling author Ronald Kessler interviewed over a hundred current and former Secret Service agents, who dished on a wide range of events ranging from the serious to the bizarre:

** President Bush being told about the 9/11 terrorist attacks
** Barbara and Jenna Bush trying to lose their agents
** The Salahis crashing the White House state dinner
** President Obama’s smoking habit
** Lyndon Johnson’s extensive philandering in the White House
** The assassination attempt on Reagan from the Secret Service perspective
**The electronic boxes at the White House that display the current location of POTUS, FLOTUS, and VPOTUS

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

by Laura Hillenbrand

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You might recognize Hillenbrand as the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Seabiscuit. Unbroken is the gripping story of Air Force bombardier Louis Zamperini, whose plane crashed into the Pacific in WWII. A rebel and juvenile delinquent, Zamperini eventually channeled his energy into competitive running, culminating in the Berlin Olympics. When he found himself on a raft in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, he faced nearly unbearable circumstances — thirst, starvation, enemy aircraft — driving him to the limits of his endurance.

Hillenbrand wrote:

On a May afternoon in 1943, Louie took off on a search mission for a lost plane. Somewhere over the Pacific, the engines on his bomber failed. The plane plummeted into the sea, leaving Louie and two other men stranded on a tiny raft. Drifting for weeks and thousands of miles, they endured starvation and desperate thirst, sharks that leapt aboard the raft, trying to drag them off, a machine-gun attack from a Japanese bomber, and a typhoon with waves some forty feet high. At last, they spotted an island. As they rowed toward it, unbeknownst to them, a Japanese military boat was lurking nearby. Louie’s journey had only just begun. … It is a tale of daring, defiance, persistence, ingenuity, and the ferocious will of a man who refused to be broken.

Along with the book, I recommend this interview with Laura Hillenbrand at the Public Square

It will give you even greater insight into Louis Zamperini’s story (spoiler alert).

The Perfect Game

by Terrence O. Moore

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I picked up this slim volume (200 pages) in the Hillsdale College bookstore last Parents’ Weekend. It was written by Terrence Moore, a Hillsdale history professor and former lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.

The Perfect Game is a coming-of-age tale that shows how a boy becomes a man through the eyes of Trammel D. Jones. Those who love the game of baseball will revel in the descriptive language — the sights, sounds and smells that are baseball: the gritty dirt between your fingers, the hot sun baking the field, the sound of a boy spitting. Whether you played the game as a child or you coached your own child’s team, there is much you will find familiar here.

From the back cover:

How does a boy become a man? How do institutions — family, church, sports — train him in the virtues so he might live a happy life and be a force for good in the world? How ought teenage boys to spend their time and relate to others? Have Americans forgotten what it means to be a boy and how to bring up their boys? This is the story about one young man’s summer — about boys and baseball, about fishing and fighting, about friendship, family, and faith — about discovering the greater purposes of human life.

While this book will be an enjoyable read for dad, it also teaches timeless parenting values about raising boys to be men. In our postmodern society where more and more often the lines between the sexes are blurred and “manliness” is not considered a virtue, Moore’s book strikes a contrast, upholding the distinctions and honoring what is good in manhood.

The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership that Matters

by Albert Mohler

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Dr. Albert Mohler took over the flailing Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at the age of 33 and helped to transform it into a thriving, influential evangelical seminary. He is a leading cultural/religious critic who brings intellectual heft to the debate on the moral issues of our day. When the tornadoes struck Oklahoma recently, Mohler took to the air waves with a special edition of his radio broadcast — seemingly hoping to pre-empt anyone who would jump in to blame one sin or another for the tragedy. He offered a sound theological explanation for understanding tragedies without hysterics or hyperbole and followed up with a written column on the topic of evil.

All of this is to say that Mohler is well-qualified to offer advice on leadership, especially from a Christian perspective.

From the book description:

Using his own experiences and examples from history, Dr. Mohler demonstrates that real leadership is a transferring of conviction to others, affecting their actions, motivations, intuition, and commitment. This practical guide walks the reader through what a leader needs to know, do, and be in order to affect change.

Mohler is well-versed in history and culture. In one chapter he references the Bible, Eisenhower, Ben Franklin, George W. Bush, Churchill, and Google. The book will be helpful for anyone in a position of leadership and is written specifically for Christian leaders who desire to honor God.