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America Invades

Christopher Kelly is the coauthor of America Invades and Italy Invades. He is an American who lives in London and Seattle and his co-author, Stuart Laycock, is an Englishman. Together they have written two books on military history. America Invades takes its readers on a world tour of America's military involvement with the world from 1741 to the present. We have conducted an interview with Christopher.

What inspires you to want to retrace your great grandfather's steps in his memoir?
I never met Thomas Tileston Wells, my great grandfather – he died thirteen years before I was born. In order to understand more about him and what he had written about his extraordinary journey, I felt it was necessary for me to follow in his footsteps and see for myself what he had seen over a century ago. In his memoir, he wrote that “Riva is one of the most beautiful places in the world.” I had to see it for myself and, after seeing with it, I agree with Wells.

How did you arrive to this idea for your next book?
The text of An Adventure in 1914 was a gift from my Aunt (Catherine Townsend). This document had been sitting on a shelf and gathering dust for about a century. I was astonished on reading it to discover a fresh eyewitness account of the momentous events that led up to the start of World War I. With tales of assassination, mobilization, and financial crisis, it seemed startlingly relevant for 21st century readers.

What can readers expect to see in the upcoming book(s)? When will it be published?
An Adventure in 1914 presents the complete text of Wells’s manuscript. I have written an Introduction and provided historical commentary to assist the reader. I also have extensive photography. It will be published in October 2016.

How do you describe how you work together with your coauthor in the previous two books?
Stuart Laycock and I write popular history on military subjects. Our books, America Invades and Italy Invades provide a round the world tour of the impact of America and Italy on the rest of the world. Each book has a chapter devoted to every country in the world. America Invades spans from the American Revolution to the present day while Italy Invades covers ancient Rome to Italians in NATO.

What is so unique about your stories/books?
Aside from Laycock’s All the Countries We’ve Invaded (History Press, 2012), a survey of British military history, I am not aware of any other books formatted and conceived in this manner.
Wells’s memoir, An Adventure in 1914, is the story of an ordinary American family that is forced to deal with extraordinary events.

Why did you write ''Italy Invades: How Italians conquered the world''?
I am not Italian but I am what some call IBM: Italian By Marriage (for 21 years now!). Laycock and I both share a love of Italy and the Italians. We had written about America the Superpower previously with America Invades. With Italy Invades: How Italians Conquered the World we took on the grandfather of all empires that has, in many ways, been the model for the British Empire and the United States of America.

Moreover, we wrote to correct an injustice. Italian military performance has since World War II been widely disparaged and even ridiculed. We both felt that there was a much richer and more interesting story to tell about Italians all over the world from Caesar dividing Gaul into three parts to Italians serving as UN peacekeepers in the 21srt century.

America Invades Reviewed by JaamZIN on 9:38:00 AM Rating: 5
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