The Art of Clear Thinking; IWO, 26 Charlie; The Sniper; Total Empire

Being there . . . . to serve as your own “Critic’s Choice” book reviewing columnist for one or
two, or perhaps even all four, of St. Martins Press’s latest best military offerings thus far this
Spring. With Springtime waning fast, and early summer’s first crop of new titles due soon, and
your current season’s stack of unread books not growing any smaller, best to choose from the
titles below those that instantly palpitate mind and heart lest you forget and lose them. All
four smack of our favorite adjective, “nonpareil” – – one of the most beautiful words in all the
English language. Below are four books that certainly are because each commingles heart,
mind, and soul.
Reviewed and Highly Recommended by Don DeNevi
“THE ART of CLEAR THINKING – – A Stealth Fighter Pilot’s Timeless Rules for Making Tough
Decisions”, by Hasard Lee, U.S. Air Force Combat Pilot and Instructor. St. Martin’s Press, St.
Martin’s Publishing Group: May 2023, 384 pages, 5 ¾” x 8 ½”, hardcover, $29.99, eBook,
$14.99. Visit,
Hasard Lee is arguably the top fighter pilot in the US Air Force. Flying the F-35 joint strike
stealth fighter, the most advanced (and expensive) fighter jet in the world at twice the speed of
sound, Lee must perform at the very top of his game. Every split-second decision he makes has
potentially catastrophic consequences. Here, he has taken what he’s learned about decision-
making from his years in the Air Force as an elite fighter pilot and applied all actions to words
for his first book. We can only hope he is well into, NAY, almost finished, with his second book
to not only learn more about his flying art, and amazingly brave personality, but also to relish
additional psychological insights. This is military applied psychology at its best.
“TOTAL EMPIRE – – A Garrett Sinclair Novel”, by A.J. Tata. St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s
Publishing Group: March 2023, 341 pages, 6 ½” x 9 ¾”, hardcover, $28.99, eBook, $14.99. Visit,
If you read his first book in the Garrett Sinclair Series, 341-page read, “Chasing the Lion”,
you’ll chafe at the bit for his equally riveting, terror-filled, simply splendid read. Here, General
Garrett Sinclair undertakes a rogue mission in the Sahara inferno desert to thwart an
international nuclear threat. Plan on reading this stunner cover to cover since you’ll be unable
to put the 341 hardcovers down. Truly a good story, mostly because of his unique imagination,
but also due to his incredible insight and knowledge of military content. As a Brigadier General,
U.S. Army (Retired), A.J. recently performed the duties of Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
in the Pentagon. He also commanded combat units in the 82 nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and
the 10 th Mountain Division and earned the Combat Action Badge and Bronze Star Medal. He is
the author of numerous national bestselling novels, including books from the Captain Jake
Mahegan and Threat series. If you’ve been reading Anthony’s series in the past, this is his
second in the Garrett Sinclair Series.

“THE SNIPER – The Untold Story of the Marine Corps’ Greatest Marksman of All Time”, by Jim
Lindsay, Foreword by Chuck Mawhinney. St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Publishing Group:
March 2023, 231 pages, 6” x 8 ½”, hardcover, $28.99, eBook $14.99. Visit,
What an incredible half-memoir, half biographical sketch of a soldier combining to add up to
a classic narrative nonfiction tribute! Yes, classic, no doubt about it! For the first time ever, the
full story of the deadliest sniper in the history of the USMC, the field story of “Chuck”
Mawhinney, is told via a writer and friend who befriended Chuck, then realized he had one-hell-
of a story to tell. Young Mawhinney, serving in Vietnam at 18 (16 months of active duty),
managed 103 confirmed kills, 216 probable kills, rivaling, if not surpassing, the best snipers,
male or female, the Soviets were boasting about on the Eastern Front. “During his tours”,
writes Lindsay, “in one of the most dangerous war zones of Vietnam, his character and
charisma helped him deal with life and death in a hellhole with other young men a long way
from home.”
But all that is the merely the beginning of this deeply human story. After Vietnam, Chuck
returned to small-town life, married, and raised a family, content only a few friends and family
knew of his achievements. Then in 1991, he was startled and dismayed when outed by a fellow
Marine sniper, Joseph Ward, who spoke of Mawhinney’s number of kills in his own book, “Dear
Mom”. Newspapers picked up the story and Chuck’s life changed forever. The notoriety
troubled him at first, but then he accepted the fame and used the opportunity to train
servicemen and lawmen in the art of accurate long-distance shooting. Here, “The Sniper” tells
the full story of Chuck Mawhinney, who to this day downplays his uncanny killing skills and
heroic exploits in battle when his country tried desperately to save a democratically oriented
ally in South Vietnam. Somberly, to his final days, Chuck can’t help but recall, consciously or
preconsciously, the toll of lives he took, even while momentarily asking the most terrible of all
life’s questions, “Your life, or mine?”.
“IWO, 26 CHARLIE”, A Novel by P.T. Deutermann, author of the W.Y. Boyd Literary Award-
winning “Pacific Glory”. St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Publishing Group: November 2023, 304
pages, 6 ¼” x 9 ¾”, softcover, $29. Visit,
We all realize and understand that the Battle for Iwo Jima that sadly cost the lives of
thousands upon thousands of US Marines and Navy men was one the three pivotal, most
crucial, fights of the Pacific War. The image of our boys raising the American flag atop Mt.
Surabachi is unequivocally the iconic, most sacred, image of all World War II. Now, award-
winning author, P.T. Deutermann, the author of “The Hooligans”, “The Nugget”, “Sentinels of
Fire”, “The Commodore”, “Trial By Fire”, etc., provides us with a story so totally absorbing,
thrilling, and powerful, we, too, have just landed there sweating out whether we’re going to
live, minute by minute, as shells and machine gun fire bombard and pelt us as we dash up the
beach, then try to claw and crawl into the black sand as bullets kill our closest buddies.
P.T., the author, follows Lee Bishop, a young liaison officer who during the ferocious battle to
control the beaches, and therefore the entire island, is pulled from his station aboard the USS

Nevada to serve as an onshore spotter, calling in coordinates for the Nevada to target. Little
does he know he will be subject to “hell one earth”, a time during which 26,000 USMC and
Army men are killed in a fight to the bitter end. No question about it, buff, “IWO, 26 CHARLIE” is
a dramatic, utterly authentic novel by an award-winning master of a great genre.