Stumped as to what to buy for that nephew who can name every president or the uncle with maps all over the house? Here are some of the best of the season's new geography and history books, from a history of both Bush presidencies to the latest edition of the magnificent Oxford world atlas.
Medal of Honor by Peter Collier (Artisan, $45, 336 pp.) – with essays by John McCain, Tom Brokaw, and Victor Davis Hanson – tells the stories of the soldiers who have won the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. Stories range from those of World War II sergeant Lucian Adams, a 20-year-old from Texas, who single-handedly destroyed a German machine gun position on two separate occasions, to Iowa infantryman Salvatore A. Giunta who, in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley, ran into enemy fire to pull a fellow American to safety, in addition to chasing down two Taliban who were attempting to drag one of Giunta's wounded comrades away with them. "Every single soldier I've been with in two combat tours deserves to wear this just as much as I do," Giunta said at the ceremony in which he received his award. Included in "Medal of Honor" are letters from presidents including Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama.
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