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The Marrin Collection
The following books by award-winning author, Dr. Albert Marrin, are very
readable nonfiction books for young people that can be equally enjoyed by
adults. For mature 12+, teens, adults.
By weaving personal stories together with historical material, Marrin makes
reading history so much more interesting than simply memorizing dates from a
textbook. I learned the most from his book on Stalin because I knew so little -
I don't even remember studying Stalin when I was in school over 20 years ago!
Hopefully this is because it was only covered cursorily by my teacher, not
because it wasn't covered at all. After discussing what I'd learned in the book
with my friends, I discovered that they didn't know much about Stalin either.
What a shame, because Stalin's influence on the 20th century still has
ramifications today. Several of my friends have purchased the Marrin books for
their children AND themselves. It's never too late to learn!
I read the books listed below one right after the other, and I found that very
valuable because so many of the events tie into each other. (I was also reading
these during the Iraq War and found many items with relevance to that conflict -
when reporters referred to the Battle of Stalingrad, I understood what they were
talking about.) I am also expanding my own history education by reading the many
books the author references in the back of each book. I am very excited that we
are offering these excellent books.
Yanks are Coming: The United States in the First World War - by
Albert Marrin. World I is a bit harder to
understand than World War II, perhaps because the lines between good and evil
were not as clear-cut. There are many lessons to be learned from WWI, including
how it led up to WWII.
Marrin tells the story about how U.S. soldiers (Yanks or Doughboys), came to the
aid of allies to help turn the tide of the war. You are drawn into the stories
of their bravery as they fought on both the ground and in the air.
Our family started raising pigeons this year, and we were particularly
fascinated with the story of Cher Ami, the hero pigeon of WWI. She helped save a
battalion of men and went on to become a celebrity, winning the French Croix de
Guerre and the best medical treatment for her injuries (including a beautiful
wooden leg to replace the one that had been shot away). We have since found out
that WWII had its own hero pigeon named G.I. Joe. It's these kind of stories
that make history interesting.
From the Lusitania sinking to Armistice day, Marrin tells the story of “the war
to end all wars.”
Paper, 249 pages
DAMAGED copy of The Yanks are Coming - One corner of the book has a slight
Russia's Man of Steel by Albert Marrin.
A ruthless dictator who killed tens of millions of his own people, Stalin used
political power for his own deranged ends. The horrors he perpetuated were
staggering. I vaguely knew that he had killed many of his own people but did not
really understand the magnitude until I read this book. I also don't understand
why I did not learn more about Stalin when I was in school -stunned, actually -
because of how important this information is to know. His shadow is still felt
among people of the former USSR.
Marrin traces Stalin's roots all the way back to his childhood, his work as a
revolutionary leader, and then to his final role as dictator of the Soviet
Union. As the publisher says, “The magnitude and scope of the destruction
presented in this book is unsettling, disturbing and sometimes difficult to
The book also gives you a look at communism, which Stalin used for his own
Paper, 242 pages. Black and white photos throughout. School Library
Journal Book of the Year.
Victory in the Pacific - Albert
Marrin. The focus of this book is the Pacific Theatre of World War II.
Covering the events from Pearl Harbor to Japan's surrender, Marrin tells the
story of the Americans who fought in places like Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima.
Follow the struggles of the Navy and Marines as they fought from island to
island in the Pacific on their way to Japan.
Paper, 212 pages.
War I/II Quartet get all four books listed above (The Yanks are Coming,
Hitler, Stalin, Victory in the Pacific) at a special price.
and Vietnam: The Elephant and the Tiger by
Albert Marrin. I found this book to be the most complicated in the Marrin
collection because of the complex nature of the subject, especially the events
that led up to the war and the reasons why the U.S. entered it. It made me
realize how little I really knew about the Vietnam War; a war that was waged
when I was a child. The author's clear and compelling writing, however, makes
this information accessible to the reader. I know that I came away with a
greater understanding and a thirst to know even more.
The book does not sensationalize the atrocities of this war, but it doesn't
understate them either. There are accounts of battle, torture, and death. The
photographs, however, are not gory. This is a "thorough, concise and logical
look at the first TV war which cuts through the demagoguery of the time period."
Paper, 277 pages. Illustrated with black and white photos.
“[A] very good account of the history of Vietnam and events
leading up to the Vietnam war. The book is well documented. It presents a
complete picture of the difficult thought processes [of] our country's leaders
as we were drawn into Vietnam...One of the book's strong points is that it
portrays the war the way the men who fought remember it....A must for readers
who are interested in history.” - Everett Alvarez, Jr. (Longest-held P.O.W. in
the Vietnam War).
General: Robert E. Lee and the Civil War -
Albert Marrin. The author's engaging narrative covers the entire civil war,
from Lee's life and military career, his actions during the war itself, the
surrender at Appomattox to his presidency at Washington College.
The quotations and personal anecdotes throughout the book bring alive the story
of Robert E Lee, not just as a great military strategist, but as a complex and
fascinating human being. I really enjoyed details of his family life, such as
the nicknames he gave his children.
The book includes illustrations, maps of major battles, photographs, and
This more personal account of the Civil War is much more interesting than a dry
textbook and should spark an interest in further reading. Paper, 201 pages.
Sextet Get all of the Marrin books listed above. You'll enjoy reading them,
you'll learn a lot of history, and you'll save money!