As we prepare for our next NVMM Reads: Meet the Authors Conversation, we’re reading the works of the authors who will be joining us at the Museum on September 7.
From 2017 to 2018, Andrew Biggio, author of “The Rifle: Combat Stories from America’s Last WWII Veterans, Told through an M1 Garand,” interviewed 200 WWII Veterans and compiled their unique stories. In “The Rifle,” he shares a handful of these stories including the experiences of men who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, U.S. Army Air Corps, and the U.S. Navy. By providing a wide range of firsthand accounts from the Pacific to the European theater, the reader gains a sense of the immense scope of World War II. When interviewing a Veteran, Andrew always brings an M1 Garand and shares how this weapon sparks memories and oftentimes reinvigorates the Veteran as they hold it. By signing the M1, the Veteran’s story gains a platform for Veterans and non-Veterans to learn more about our nation’s history and the sacrifice of the individuals who were part of the Greatest Generation.
Nick Laidlaw, author of “What War Did to Us: Combat through Their Eyes,” has interviewed men from both sides of almost every major war since 1939, culminating in more than 1,100 total conversations with men from more than 20 armies. As Nick states in his introduction, “This book does not focus on the efforts of one individual nation. Rather, it is a montage of stories from many nations. This is my attempt to shed some light on one of the most extreme experience human beings can endure. War.” The stories shared are organized by war and the words are directly from those who experienced the good, the bad, the (at-times) hilarious, and the terrifying aspects of a combat zone. Unlike Andrew’s book, many of the stories shared in “What War Did to Us,” were shared anonymously or by a Veteran’s family.
Check out both books and then join us for a thought-provoking conversation with Nick and Andrew as they discuss their experience documenting the human experience of combat and war through the use of social media and artifacts. Reserve your spot here.