Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, October 11, 2012 8:21 pm

It took two years, but “Eastern Inferno” is now officially a WSJ best-seller!

Two years ago, my sister-in-law Christine Alexander and her brother Mason Kunze published in book form the journals kept by their grandfather, a Wehrmacht infantryman who had fought on the Russian front during World War II. The hardcover version of the journals, which began just before the June 1941 German invasion and continued through mid-1943, sank without a trace,. That didn’t surprise me — small publisher, labor of love and all — but it did disappoint me because the book was compelling enough to appeal to a wide audience, even people without any particular interest in World War II. The writer wrote simply, from a grunt’s-eye view, and he wrote without flinching about what he witnessed. As the kids say, it was about as real as sh*t gets.

However, the Kindle version did better. Much better. In fact, unbeknownst to any of us until earlier today, back in mid-August the Kindle version hit No. 8 on the Wall Street Journal list of best-selling nonfiction e-books.

If you’ve got a Kindle and 10 bucks, download it. I’m not going to swear that you’ll enjoy it, but I promise you you’ll have a hard time putting it down. And when you’re done, take a minute and think about the fact that sterile terms like “pre-emptive strike” and “collateral damage” boil down, in real life, to the savagery you’ve just read about.

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Monday, August 23, 2010 8:44 pm

Eastern Inferno now available for Amazon.com pre-order

Filed under: Salute! — Lex @ 8:44 pm
Tags: , ,

My sister-in-law’s grandfather’s journal of his service in the German infantry on the Eastern Front during World War II, which she and her brother edited, is now available for pre-order from Amazon. (Short excerpts here.) In addition to being a rifleman, he also was his unit’s cartographer, so the book is going to include some of his hand-drawn maps.

I am really proud of Christine and Mason. They recognized early the value of what they had, and they have worked hard and spent a lot of their time and money to bring to light this lengthy piece  of primary source material from an episode in history in which a high percentage of participants did not survive. I hope it will be of help to historians. I know it will be of interest to anyone, professional or amateur, who studies World War II.

And it’s just my opinion, but even having seen probably every WWII movie ever made, I think it would make a helluva movie.

Saturday, May 8, 2010 9:19 am

Eastern Inferno

Filed under: Woohoo! — Lex @ 9:19 am
Tags: ,

My search did not match any products. But soon it will.

I wrote last year about my brother Frank’s wife’s grandfather, who kept a journal as he fought in the Wehrmacht on the Soviet front during World War II (and, who, being a cartographer in additiont to a rifleman, included a number of hand-drawn maps).

Her brother has gotten the journal translated, and it’s an interesting coincidence that I’m able to tell you on the 65th anniversary of the Nazi surrender that the journal will be published in October as Eastern Inferno: The Journals of a German Panzerjäger [“tank-hunter,” soldier who uses anti-tank weapons] on the Eastern Front, 1941–43.

I hope the book becomes a resource for both amateur and professional historians of that campaign, which stood out even in a war unprecedented in its savagery.

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