George Washington takes command of the Continental army. (Mount Vernon via Smithsonian)

The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch; Flatiron Books (413 pages, $29.99)

———

New York City has seen dark times, but in the spring and early summer of 1776 the outlook was especially grim. The Revolutionary War was in its early, chaotic days, the British fleet sailed en masse toward the city, and in a desperate defensive measure, General George Washington ordered thousands of his Continental troops into lower Manhattan. Almost a third of the city's citizens fled, and Washington's filthy, untrained and undisciplined soldiers quartered themselves in the elegant houses left behind. They were hungry, cold and scared, and they numbed their fear with drink, gambling and prostitutes. They were about to face the greatest military force in the world, outgunned and outmanned, fighting for a country that hadn't been created yet.

In hindsight, America's victory against the British seems like one of history's inevitabilities, but in the beginning it was anything but. And had a small group of pro-British conspirators had their way, the Glorious Cause might have lost its essential leader — George Washington — to imprisonment, execution or assassination.

Read More Show Less
A screenshot from the 2016 film adaptation of 'Deadpool'

Deadpool Max, a comic-book installment of the superhero saga that stormed the U.S. box office, includes a chapter about the bungling superhero's face-off with Zemo, a white supremacist hellbent on repeating the Holocaust. Deadpool's adversary spouts radical anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on his way to the grave.

David Lapham, the author, follows the chapter up with a note of caution to his readers, explaining that the historical figures and events praised by Zemo — the Holocaust, Hitler, and the KKK — are deplorable. "I know you're all savvy readers who get sarcasm and satire," Lapham writes.

The Russian censors, it seems, think otherwise.

Read More Show Less
Soldiers with the 4th Brigade Combat Team "Currahee", 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), participating in the Soldier, NCO of the quarter and Audie Murphy board, begin the run portion of the Army Physical Fitness Test, at forward operating base Salerno, Afghanistan, July 14, 2013. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Justin A. Moeller)

The standard-issue Army reflective belt, formally known as "Belt, High Visibility," is one of the most enduring symbols of the Global War on Terror. It is also the most indisputably reviled piece of gear in any U.S. service member's kit. Don't let Russian spies or Urban Outfitters convince you otherwise: the reflective belt might be the aesthetic version of a "Kick Me" sign.

Read More Show Less
Photo illustration by Task & Purpose

Let me know if this sounds familiar: An Army soldier deployed overseas as part of the United States' global fight against terrorism up and decides to abandon his post. Attempts to recover him result in the permanent injury of at least one other U.S. service member. Back home, the circumstances surrounding his decision to go AWOL become highly-publicized and controversial, and some even see him as a traitor.

This description encapsulates the saga of Army Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl — but it could easily describe Capt. Steve Rogers, the former Army O-3 who broke from the U.S. government before assembling an elite squad of international fugitives to wage an insurgency against a batshit crazy purple tyrant.

Yes, I know what you're thinking, but just hear me out.

Read More Show Less
Photo Illustration: Brad Howard / Photo: DoD

The Chinese military has sent a clear message for the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea: Your FONOPs will not be fun ops. Now, it appears likely that China's aggressive naval ambitions may spread beyond its artificial islands to the country's nascent military presence in Africa.

Read More Show Less
© 2018 Hirepurpose. All rights reserved. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service.