Wildflowers Never Die by Randall Howlett and Deb Turnbull DeVries
What’s it About?
Wildflowers Never Die chronicles the first thirty year history of the Cold War from a third party narrative perspective but also following the careers of five key CIA agents involved in various world hotspots during that time period.
Lack of trust between government and the people has been a defining phenomenon of the last decade. Starting with the Patriot Act post 9/11 and followed by Snowden and perhaps most recently the documents leaked by the young national guardsmen, what the government is doing to us and others behind our backs has become a topic of discussion for many newsrooms and political campaigns. In Wildflowers Never Die, a new work of historical non-fiction written by Randall Howlett and Deb Turnbull DeVries, the authors dive into some of the most important conflicts of the past several decades and track the careers of key CIA agents along the way. Filled with eye-opening accounts and carefully researched history, this book is not one to miss.
Wildflowers Never Die chronicles the first three decades of the Cold War from a third-party narrative perspective and follows the careers of five key CIA agents involved in various hotspots during that time period. First-hand accounts and true stories told by the agents and those close to them are not only abundant but explicit and raw, providing readers with unfiltered accounts of the atrocities committed in the name of justice. The decades covered include the Chinese Civil War, the Russo-Japanese war and the fall of Vietnam. To a lesser extent, the authors recount their own experiences growing up as members of the Cold War generation and reveal how these conflicts seeped into their everyday lives.
THOUGHTFUL, NUANCED AND REVEALING
My favorite aspect of the book was without a doubt the accounts, both first-hand and from those in close proximity to these pivotal events. The following is a first-hand account of the siege of Changchun city by the Chinese Communist Party:
“People were eating horses, dogs, cats, rats and birds… anything that could be killed and eaten. The dogs had taken to eating the bodies of children who had just died. Corpses could be seen almost everywhere. Children who had lost their parents were often pushed into the street, calling for their mother and father. They were easy targets for starving dogs, which had reverted to their feral status and acquired a taste for human flesh.”
Although the first-hand accounts are brutal, they do an excellent job of revealing the horrors of war and the extent to which governments will go to further their agendas.
Not only is the book full of eye-opening stories, the authors also do an excellent job of laying out these passages and information in an easily accessible manner. Whereas most military and political histories tend to be dense and esoteric to the average reader, Wildflowers Never Die is logically structured and broken down in a way that conveys the important history contained within to readers of all backgrounds in a manner that’s easily digestible and engaging. The authors’ prose is detailed yet concise, and leads readers by the nose through these tumultuous periods without a wasted word or thought.
Although some readers may balk at the thought of reading a military history, I can say without a doubt that Wildflowers Never Die is a thoughtful, nuanced, and revealing exposé and chronicle that is worth a read for anyone remotely concerned with both how far our country has come and where we are going.
About the authors:
Randall is a 69-year-old retired and divorced American who has been living in Bangkok for the last ten years enjoying the life as an expat. Prior to that, he worked in middle management for a major insurance company for about 20 years after doing a stint as a Captain in the US Marine Corps for six years. He has a BA in Psychology from Mesa State College, an MA in Business Administration from National University in San Diego and an MBA in Finance/ Real Estate from the University of Denver. Randall had taken up writing books several years ago, focusing mostly on historical nonfiction.
Deb Turnbull DeVries is a native of the Eagle County, Colorado area where much of this story takes place. She is a retired teacher and a grandmother presently living in Wisconsin. She has a BS in Business Education from Northern Michigan University, an MA in Educational Administration from the same institution and an MA from Central Michigan in Library Science.
Both Randall Howlett and Deb Turnbull DeVries graduated from the same class of 1971 at Battle Mountain High School, located in Colorado’s high country.
Publish Date: 3/16/2023
Genre: Historical, Nonfiction
Author: Randall Howlett and Deb Turnbull DeVries
Page Count: 237 pages