Military Monday with John D. Gresham and Author George Galdorisi – Op Center

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Understanding the Mideast

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When we began to do our research and due diligence to conceive and write, Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes we started out with scores of scholarly books to consult. We whittled that down to just a dozen key books that helped us understand the conundrum that is the Greater Middle East.

At the very top of that short list was Bernard Lewis classic: The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years. We commend it to anyone who wants to begin to understand this complex region in 2014. Here is what booklist has to say about this gem:

For more than 50 years, Lewis has strived mightily and successfully to explain the cultures and histories of Middle Eastern peoples to Western readers. The task of writing a political history of the region has already been fulfilled by him and by many others. In his latest work, Lewis has chosen to accentuate the social, economic, and cultural changes that have occurred over 20 centuries. He ranges from seemingly trivial concerns (changes in dress and manners in an Arab coffeehouse) to earth-shaking events (the Mongol conquest of Mesopotamia) in painting a rich, varied, and fascinating portrait of a region that is steeped in traditionalism while often forced by geography and politics to accept change. As always, Lewis is eloquent, incisive, and displays an intuitive grasp of the social dynamics of the culture he describes. Both scholars and general readers with an interest in the Middle East will find this work a delight. Jay Freeman

Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes takes the reader on a fast-paced thrill ride through Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran and the Greater Middle East.

The Clancy Tradition Continues

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This year saw two “reboots” the Tom Clancy Op-Center series and another movie starring Jack Ryan – the fifth movie with “America’s action hero.” Adam Kepler put it this way in the New York Times.

Someone once said, “Never trust a man with two first names,” but that wit obviously was not referring to Jack Ryan, the C.I.A. analyst and reluctant action hero of Tom Clancy’s series of spy novels. The closest thing pop culture may have to an American James Bond, the character has appeared in four films, which were collectively rereleased in December by Paramount Home Video as “The Jack Ryan Collection.” And now he is the focus of a fifth, “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” which arrived in theaters in January of this year. It turns out that every era gets a Jack Ryan to fit the times.

Read more here.

More Early Praise for Out of the Ashes

Out of the Ashes

Kirkus Reviews had this to say about Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes:

Even when it’s been disbanded and its creator has died, you can’t keep a good agency down—especially when it’s as badly needed as Clancy’s National Crisis Management Center.”

Jeff Edwards, bestselling author of THE SEVENTH ANGEL and SWORD OF SHIVA, had this to say about Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes:

Op-Center is back with a vengeance!  OUT OF THE ASHES isn’t just a reboot of the Op-Center series; it’s one of the best techno-thrillers to hit the shelves in a long time.  Dick Couch and George Galdorisi have just raised the bar for military adventure fiction.  Suit up, strap in, and hang on, because you’re in for one hell of a ride.

Tom Clancy Presents: Out of the Ashes

Out of the Ashes

A key book reviewer, Bookist, had this to say about Tom Clancy Presents: Out of the Ashes, just out this week:

Tom Clancy’s Op-Center books (12 in all) were popular, but the series ended after the last one was published in 2005. Now, almost 10 years later, St. Martin’s has resurrected Op-Center with this offering from coauthors Couch and Galdorisi. A series of terrorist attacks at NFL stadiums during games causes havoc, and the president’s response does little to restore confidence. He realizes the time has come to reestablish the Op-Center, a group known for its unmatched SWAT, computer, and infiltration skills. The recruitment process takes up the beginning third of the novel and proves surprisingly compelling. Once the team is up and running, the operation to strike back at the terrorists begins. Couch and Galdorisi are veteran military-thriller authors, and they show their talents here. Op-Center fans will be pleased to have the series back and will look forward to more installments in the future.

More reviews on Amazon here

Tom Clancy Presents: Out of the Ashes

Out of the Ashes

The premier book review medium, Publisher’s Weekly, had this to say about Tom Clancy Presents: Out of the Ashes, just out this week:

Fans of the original Op-Center series created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik that ended with Jeff Rovin’s War of Eagles (2005) will welcome this solid continuation from Couch (SEAL Team One) and Galdorisi (Coronado Conspiracy). The original Op-Center, “an information clearinghouse with SWAT capabilities,” fell under the budget ax and was disbanded, but after a horrific series of bombings at four NFL stadiums, U.S. president Wyatt Midkiff decides to dust off the Op-Center file and bring the group back to life. Chase Williams, a retired four-star Navy admiral, agrees to head the new center and hunt down the terrorists responsible for the devastating attack. The trail takes the men and women of the revitalized agency into the Middle East, where they find a new plot aimed at the American homeland. This thriller procedural packs plenty of pulse-raising action. The open ending promises more to come. Agent: Mel Berger, WME.

More reviews on Amazon here

What Made Tom Clancy So Unique?

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Tom Clancy’s complex, adrenaline-fueled military novels spawned a new genre of thrillers and made him one of the world’s best-known and best-selling authors. When Clancy died in October of last year, one of the most celebrated authors of our generation no longer walked among us.

Many people had – and continue to have – diverse options about Tom Clancy. However, most agree, above all else, he was prescient about the future of geopolitics, intelligence, military operations and emerging technology and weaponry. In his own words:

I hang my hat on getting as many things right as I can. I’ve made up stuff that’s turned out to be real — that’s the spooky part.

Tom Clancy also left a gift for aspiring writers with words that are as important today as when he said them years ago He said none of his success came easily, and he would remind aspiring writers of that when he spoke to them:

I tell them you learn to write the same way you learn to play golf. You do it, and keep doing it until you get it right. A lot of people think something mystical happens to you, that maybe the muse kisses you on the ear. But writing isn’t divinely inspired — it’s hard work.

Read more about Tom Clancy and his knack for writing prescient books here.

One Year – Two Reboots

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The Reboot of the award-winning series 24 comes just two weeks before the release of our reboot of Tom Clancy’s Op-Center series with the release of Out of the Ashes. What do these two efforts – a mutli-Emmy winning series and a twelve-book best-selling book series – have in common? It’s this. Americans have lost confidence in the routine levers of national power – whether domestic or internationally – to protect Americans at home and aboard. One only need look at the success of the wildly-popular series House of Cards or Scandal and these comes home with emphasis. The president needs a special organization – unfettered by bureaucratic in-fighting or inertia – one the chips are down.

Going Into the Teeth of Death

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Three years after the SEAL assault on the Pakistani compound and the killing of Osama bin Laden by a team of dedicated Navy SEALs flying sophisticated helicopters of the same type used by our Special Forces and highly trained Combat Search and Rescue forces, it is worth asking, as Rear Admiral George Tarrant (played by Fredric March) famously asked in the 1954 movie, Bridges at Toko Ri, “Where do we get such men?”
Our book, Leave No Man Behind, tells these stories – over a century of heroes going into harm’s way – literally into the teeth of death – to rescue their comrades. Here is what other writers thought of it:
An important and comprehensive work on that most American of military imperatives–going in harm’s way to get one of our own.
Dick Couch
Author of The Sheriff of Ramadi and Chosen Soldier (and ten other books)

Combat search and rescue (CSAR) has evolved into one of the most complex operations in war. Modern rescues often involve dozens of aircraft, and hundreds of military personnel-all this to save just one person! Why does the United States commit so many resources to this endeavor? Why do its Armed Forces consider it a sacred duty to leave no man behind? George Galdorisi and Tom Phillips explore these questions in their comprehensive history of CSAR from World War I through the Global War on Terrorism. In doing so, they help explain why CSAR has become a fundamental element of the American way of war.

Dr. John Sherwood
Author of: Afterburner: Naval Aviators and the Vietnam War and Officers in Flights Suits: The Story of American Air Force Fighter Pilots in the Korean War.

The Kissing Sailor continues to generate interest – and controversy…

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The Kissing Sailor continues to generate interest – and controversy – as readers everywhere deep dive into the compelling proof  that George Mendosa and Greta Zimmer Friedman – two national  treasures and  icons that are both “fit and feisty” at 91 are indeed, without a doubt, the two principals in America’s favorite picture. Read more of the current state of the art in this review in Sea History Magazine