50 Notable works of nonfiction, posted by the Washington Post

Here’s a list of 50 notable nonfiction books, posted by The Washington Post.

50 works of nonfiction copy

Nice to Tom Shroder’s Acid Test included, along with a few words from my review.

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The Naked Mountaineer by Stephen Sieberson, reviewed by Gregory Crouch

Naked Mountaineer copyHere’s my review of The Naked Mountaineer: Misadventures of an Alpine Traveler by Stephen Sieberson, which appeared as “Bluffs in the Buff” in The Wall Street Journal on November 15 & 16, 2014.

“The jacket copy promises irreverent adventures and peculiar characters presented in a manner far removed from that of “the typical mountaineering book.” And so we crack its covers hoping for alpine rambles in the vein of Eric Newby’s lighthearted bumble “A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush,” of Tom Patey ’s gently deprecating “One Man’s Mountains,” or of W.E. Bowman ’s side-splitting satire “The Ascent of Rum Doodle… [MORE]”

(I’ve linked to a Google search, because linking directly to the review runs into the WSJ paywall; from the search, if you click the top link, it should take you to the review’s full text.)

Bluffs in the Buff copy




Here are links to 18 other book reviews I’ve done for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and more.



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No Man’s Land by Elizabeth Samet, reviewed by Gregory Crouch

No Mans Land copyHere’s my review of No Man’s Land: Preparing for War and Peace in Post-9/11 America by West Point English Professor Elizabeth Samet.

(For The Washington Post, November 7, 2014)

“Samet’s musings are fascinating, and for serving officers, they should be required reading. As goes the famous quote widely but incorrectly attributed to Thucydides but actually drawn from the writings of 19th Century Irish Lt Gen. Sir William Francis Butler, “The Nation that [draws a broad line] between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking done by cowards.”

Elizabeth Samet is certainly doing her bit to ensure neither calamity afflicts the United States.” [MORE…]

Here is a list of 17 other books I’ve reviewed for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and more.

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Adorable cat with dubious literary taste

Cat, EP and CW from June C

Adorable photo of Ginger the Cat, courtesy of June Creson. June recently retired from Boeing, where, as the person who coordinated the string of Ed Wells Book Club events I’ve been doing, she was probably responsible for creating more China’s Wings readers than any other single individual. Thanks, June!

(With a nod to Gregory Richards, a guy I served with in the Army’s 7th Infantry Division in the early ’90s who is now at Boeing. Gregory put me in touch with June shortly after the publication of China’s Wings.)

Nice to see Enduring Patagonia getting some cat love, too.

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Best Halloween costume ever, by my 13-year old son, Ryan

When my 13-year old son and I watched the  trailer for the movie Fury some weeks ago, he exclaimed, “It would be so awesome to go to Halloween dressed as a tank!”

I said, “You know, you could probably make that happen…”

He said, “Really?”

Here is the result of his efforts, an M4 Sherman Tank:

Halloween TankPretty fabulous, no? It was the hands down winner in his school costume contest. From what I could see, he had a swarm of kids following him around all day, because it was more than just a costume that he could wear, it was also a costume he could drive

Here’s a video of it rolling out from the assembly area:

(Forgive me, I was enjoying it almost as much as he was…)

And here he is rolling past a local softball field. Quite literally, it stopped the game:

And then a last short one of him catching the attention of a guy coming out of a corner store:

Here are a few pictures of the rig under construction:

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Enduring Patagonia quoted in Alpinist No. 48

Psyched to see Enduring Patagonia quoted in the new issue of Alpinist, No. 48

EP in Alpinist copy



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The Calling by Barry Blanchard, reviewed by Gregory Crouch

The Calling copy

Here’s my review of The Calling by Barry Blanchard, which appeared as “Wintry Climbs” in the October 11 & 12 issue of The Wall Street Journal.

(I’ve linked you through a Google search in the hopes that it’ll get us around the WSJ’s paywall.)

Barry’s one of the most impressive climbers of modern times. On Twitter, he’s: @Barry_Blanchard; his website is www.barryblanchard.ca; and here he is as one of Patagonia’s climbing ambassadors

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My Acid Test review quoted in Newsweek

Got a bit of a buzz the other day when I saw my Acid Test review for The Washington Post quoted in Douglas Main’s article “Ecstasy and Acid in your medicine cabinet? Doctors Explore Psychedelics” which published in Newsweek on 10/14/2014.

Newsweek copy

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Acid Test by Tom Shroder, reviewed by Gregory Crouch

Acid Test copyHere’s the review of Tom Shroder’s strangely wonderful new book Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy and the Power to Heal I did for The Washington Post.

Shroder makes a powerful case in support of using psychedelic drugs to treat PTSD.

With 20+ veteran suicides a day and the VA on the hook for more than $1 trillion in PTSD-related expenses, we can’t afford to keep ignoring the healing potential contained in such profoundly psychoactive drugs as LSD and MDMA.


“… For decades, the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration have strictly banned scientific investigations into their potential benefits — which is unfortunate, since these psychoactive drugs also seem able to do incredible good, particularly in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)…” [MORE]

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“The Legend of CNAC” exhibit at the SFO Museum

Legend of CNACIn conjunction with the 2014 CNAC reunion, a fantastic “Legend of CNAC” exhibit opened at the SFO Museum this past weekend. It’ll be open for the next six months, until February 6, 2015, and I strongly recommend dropping in to check it out. (It’s in the International Terminal at the San Francisco Airport.) John Hill and his SFO Museum staff did a wonderful job with the displays, which are packed with excellent artifacts from the heydays of the China National Aviation Corporation.

It really is a beautiful exhibit, and I think I can claim China’s Wings as one of its inspirations. If so, it’s one of the best outgrowths of the project.

Members of the CNAC family check out the SFO Museum exhibit

Members of the CNAC family peruse the SFO Museum exhibit

Held simultaneously to help kick off the exhibit’s opening, this year’s CNAC reunion was really special, too. Moon Chin held his annual dinner party in the museum’s main hall (which is modeled on San Francisco airport’s 1930s passenger terminal–very apropos to the CNAC era) and the Historic Flight Foundation flew their beautifully restored DC-3 down from Washington State to join the party.

That airplane is incredibly special to the China National Aviation Corporation because it once served with CNAC — as CNAC 100. Our very own Pete Goutiere ferried the plane from Miami to India in 1944, and most amazing of all, Pete helped fly the plane down the coast from Washington to San Francisco to join in the reunion/museum opening festivities.

Several news outlets ran stories about Pete’s reunion with CNAC 100: Here’s The Herald of Everett; HispanicBusiness.com; and CNN.

Thumbs up, Pete!

Thumbs up, Pete!

(I’ve posted photos and articles about the plane before — here’s a photo gallery of the restoration; here’s a photo of it standing on its nose after a bad landing in 1944; and here’s a photo of it flying in formation with a DC-2.)

Liz Matzelle of HFF has some fantastic photos of the flight down and of Pete with the airplane. I’ll link to them if she posts them online.

Did I mention that we celebrated Pete’s 100th birthday at the reunion? Here’s a photo of his cake at the climactic banquet:

Pete's birthday cake

China’s Wings is due to publish in China in early 2015, and here’s a picture of me signing a copy (of the English version) for Angie Chen, who has translated the book into Chinese.

Signing for Angie Chen

China's Wings

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