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Looking for a non-fiction novel for English Seminar/Essay

IRepoCans

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Well as the thread title says, I'm looking for a non-fiction novel for my English course which I have to make a period long presentation and write a short essay on afterward. I can't use biographies unless they're biography/memoir is based more or less around a idea/theory which I can make into a thesis and explain to the class with my own opinions/conclusions of the content in the novel.

My teacher says there is no restriction on the subjects, as long as its cleared with her and that is should be I am fairly passionate/interested in. I've already done similar assignments on medicine (doctors without borders, the ethics/morals of medicine, memoir of a ER Nurse) and I'd say my other main passion/interest is the military but its a pain to find a topic that firstly I can discuss and devise a thesis from, something I can actually talk about in a school environment (shes fine with it, its my classmates that might have issues with the content presented. Some classmates had to leave the classroom when I did a similar assignment on Dave Grossman's: On Killing where I more or less explained the societal implications, effects, causes and dabbled a bit in the martial component to set a base of understanding for the duration of the presentation) but the problem is a majority of military novels are special operations fantasies, memoirs and biographies and very few propose ideas as you would see in books like A Brief History of Time.

Anyways, I'll continue to surf the amazon for any novels that can fit that billet, hoping you guys can give me a trickle of advice what to look for.
 

jeffb

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Check out the books by George Blackburn. They are Where the Hell are the Guns?, The Guns of Normandy and the Guns of Victory. The series follows the author's experiences in the Second World War as an artillery officer. It is arguably the best memoir of any artillery officer anywhere and does a fantastic job of linking his personal experiences with the wider historical events.
 

AmmoTech90

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Try Warrior without Weapons, it's the story of a Red Cross doctor, Marcel Junod who working in Eritrea/Ethiopia, the Spanish Civil War, and WWII.
 

cphansen

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IRepoCans said:
Well as the thread title says, I'm looking for a non-fiction novel for my English course which I have to make a period long presentation and write a short essay on afterward. I can't use biographies unless they're biography/memoir is based more or less around a idea/theory which I can make into a thesis and explain to the class with my own opinions/conclusions of the content in the novel.

My teacher says there is no restriction on the subjects, as long as its cleared with her and that is should be I am fairly passionate/interested in. I've already done similar assignments on medicine (doctors without borders, the ethics/morals of medicine, memoir of a ER Nurse) and I'd say my other main passion/interest is the military but its a pain to find a topic that firstly I can discuss and devise a thesis from, something I can actually talk about in a school environment (shes fine with it, its my classmates that might have issues with the content presented. Some classmates had to leave the classroom when I did a similar assignment on Dave Grossman's: On Killing where I more or less explained the societal implications, effects, causes and dabbled a bit in the martial component to set a base of understanding for the duration of the presentation) but the problem is a majority of military novels are special operations fantasies, memoirs and biographies and very few propose ideas as you would see in books like A Brief History of Time.

Anyways, I'll continue to surf the amazon for any novels that can fit that billet, hoping you guys can give me a trickle of advice what to look for.

Interesting assignment.

However I would be very cautious of anyone asking for a non fiction novel since a novel is a invented (i.e. fiction) prose narrative see the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

You would think a teacher of English would be aware of what they are actually asking for.

I don't know whether it would help to approach the teacher about their misuse of the word novel, don't think it would be of any benefit to you.
 

The Bread Guy

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SherH2A said:
.... You would think a teacher of English would be aware of what they are actually asking for ....
True, assuming this is exactly what the teacher said.

Some good suggestions here - good luck.
 

Timex

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My wife will be teaching "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien this year. Don't know if it fits your bill but it the way he wrote it was pretty interesting. It's done well in some of the literary circles in the States.
 

IRepoCans

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Thanks for the suggestions guys(and ladies), I'll look into them even outside of the assignment if they aren't whats needed or fit the criteria. As for the novel issue, my mistake should have just used book instead.

Here is the actual teacher type-out of the assignment:
Exng64O.jpg

 

cphansen

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Thanks for posting the actual requirements, it makes it a lot easier to understand the actual project.

If I may make a suggestion, perhaps you might consider two books. I would suggest Bugles and a Tiger and On The Road Past Mandalay by John Masters.

Bugles and a Tiger tells the story of his life in the Gurkahs prior to WWII while On The Road tells his story during WWII.

Together they tell an interesting story,  of the training and mentoring of a Second Lieutenant in the Indian Army to a LT COL in command of a brigade of Chindits.  You'll learn a lot more than you expected.

These two books are well worth the reading whether you need a writing project or not.

Worthwhile reading for any JOYO.  Somethings are common to all armies at all times
 

x_para76

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I'm not sure if they're appropriate for your assignment but "Shoot to kill", "The devil's guard", and "Black edelweiss" are all good reads!
 

a_majoor

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I am going to suggest "To Fight with Intrepidity: The Complete History of the U.S. Army Rangers 1622 to Present" because the author actually styles it as a "non fiction novel" (to fit in with the tiltle of your post  ;))

Still it is a good read, you shold enjoy it.

http://www.amazon.com/Fight-Intrepidity-Complete-History-Rangers/dp/1587360640
 

FJAG

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You're asking about a "non-fiction novel" which is pretty much a contradiction in terms. I note the assignment is a "non-fiction book" which is more precise.

If you wish to change your viewpoint from your earlier effort (on killing), you might try on one of Capt Ray Wiss's books FOB Doc http://www.amazon.ca/Fob-Doc-Ray-Wiss/dp/1553654722 or Line in the Sand http://www.amazon.ca/Line-Sand-Ray-Wiss/dp/1553659260. Neither is very controversial but it does deal with medicine practised in a combat environment and might suite your own interests.

If you wish a controversial subject try a book on atheism such as Dawkins' The God Delusion http://www.amazon.com/God-Delusion-Richard-Dawkins/dp/0618918248 or Hitchins' God is not Great http://www.amazon.com/God-Is-Not-Great-Everything/dp/0446697966. Lots of scope in a topic like that for development of arguments, analysis and feisty question and answer periods.

:cheers:
 

Navy_Pete

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If you want some of the historical stuff, there are a number of Pierre Berton books that are good.  Vimy is one of my favourites; gives an account of what happened from perspective of the guys on the ground.

Probably takes some license, but no more then most other good authors.
 

x_para76

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Anthony Beaver has also written some very good books about subjects such as Stalingrad and d-day.
 
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