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Friday, February 1, 2019

It's a State of Mind
This Week's Reviews of Some Exceptional Men


Black Water
The recruiting campaigns for the Royal Marines state quite categorically that 99.9% of those considering a career in the Corps need not apply. It’s not an idle boast or a slogan designed to deter the wary. It’s a simple statement of fact regarding the resilience of character required of those willing to submit themselves to the hardest basic training in existence, as aspirants really are reaching out for something that will distinguish them as the best of the best. And in “Black Water” by Don Camsell, we see exactly why this is so. As one of the infamous “men in black’ of the SBS, he has completed countless missions on behalf of Queen and country over the years, and epitomizes the sterling standards expected of those band of brothers who are – without doubt – among the world’s most elite soldiers.
While thoroughly entertaining, Camsell’s account is also an informative, thoughtful and often provocative journey down memory lane. His candidness regarding the trials and tribulations facing Special Forces operatives also help us appreciate why enduring such rigors on a daily basis instills that unique quality known as “the state of mind.”
An outstanding read.




They Shall Not Grow Old
To mark the centenary of the ending of the First World War, award winning director Peter Jackson presents a truly outstanding portrayal of life in the trenches. To help, he restored original archive footage more than 100 years old – in some cases adding color – to bring out what life was like in Britain during the outbreak of war; the attitude of the men who responded to the call to fight for their country; and what conditions were like once they got there.
A truly amazing and moving production, you get to see and hear from those who took part; listen to them as they explain how they felt; explore their attitudes – toward one another and their enemy – and how they managed to endure.
Most striking of all? Their incredible humility in the face of great danger. If you only see one thing during the year, watch this!

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