A vast Tube poster for Anthony Quinn's Half of the Human Race follows the same format for First World War lit as Birdsong, Early One Morning and War Horse; a poignant image of a solitary soldier, somehow not engulfed in a hail of gun fire despite being silhouetted on top of a trench. But the scramble to promote Quinn's book after its endorsement from Channel 4’s TV Book Club perhaps led the publishers to paste in haste from the image library.
In distant, inhospitable climates, military forces often struggle to provide Close Air Support to dispersed detachments of troops on the ground. CAS involves aircraft hanging around at low altitude, close to the action, for a long period of time, to protect ground troops from such threats as enemy tanks and artillery by blowing them up. Cutting-edge fighter planes are no good for it as they quickly run out of fuel, can’t loiter long at lower altitudes and aren’t well enough armoured. The problem, which Nato is experiencing in Libya, isn’t new: the US faced it in Vietnam.
This year’s Association of American University Presses conference was held in Salt Lake City.