Books by Don Johnson

(This is a pinned post – please scroll down for recent posts)

I invite you to take a look at books I have authored. Most of them are of a historical nature and contain much of what has been important in my life.

I have recently created the presentation below as a companion to one of my books “Yearning For Liberty“. Take a look. 

And here is my original post on this presentation. 

If you are wondering about my books and who I am, click on the image of my Amazon Book Store just below and read “About Donald L Johnson.” For a more detailed and intimate look at me, my autobiography is at:
A Yearning for Publius – A Look at My Life 

I think you will enjoy my work.

https://www.amazon.com/Donald-L-Johnson/e/B00C0AZUDKBookStore

The Books

I Didn’t Want to Worry You Mom (but sometimes it got a little scary and dangerous out there.)
When a loved one goes off to the military, especially in time of war, those left behind often have no idea what that loved one may be going through. This book is a glimpse of some of that, with true stories and episodes of what life is often like for that young man or woman. The book is mainly about Navy life at sea, but that is only because of the author’s personal experience and service.
Click below for the companion video. 

USS Porterfield – 1943: WW-II South Pacific
This is Porterfield’s first cruise book. It covers the 2 year – 7 month – 24 days the ship was at war in the South Pacific in World War-II. 

I’ve added a short section at the back as Notes from the Future as a salute to those plank owners, highlighting a few of those sailors I have been blessed to know in the past few years.  

Yearning for Liberty
Liberty is extremely rare in history and throughout the world. It is also so very precious and not to be taken for granted. This book is the author’s attempt to delve deeper into various facets of this jewel called liberty, and hopefully give the reader a greater appreciation of what’s at stake.

Budapest at War – The Story of Hungarian Freedom Fighter Adam von Dioszeghy
This book is very personal to the author. After 50+ years, Adam von Dioszeghy and Don Johnson reconnected – in Budapest. Adam and Don were shipmates on a US Navy destroyer back in the 1960s off the coast of Vietnam. The book is a narrative & pictorial walk through of the Budapest of von Dioszeghy’s youth. A World War II veteran at age 6 and a freedom fighter in the 1956 Hungarian  Revolution. The book also tells of Adam’s new life in America, including his Navy & Vietnam service, and his return to his native Hungary.

So They Can Fight Like They Train
US Combat Aircrews are the best in the world. This is a short history of the amazing system that keeps these aircrews razor sharp and ready for whatever is thrown at them. Much of my professional life was spent working to keep these aircrews well trained.

Immigration & Assimilation – A Hungarian Model
The 1956 Hungarian Revolution provided a wealth of quality new American citizens. Read the stories of some of these amazing refugees, including Intel Corporations founder Andrew Grove and my friend and shipmate Adam von Dioszeghy.

Just Thinking … The Case for Intelligent Design
A controversial topic for sure. But here’s one layman’s look at Darwinian evolution and a better idea – you decide.

Sam Jankovich – A Sports Legend.
Written by Sam Jankovich. Edited and published by Don Johnson.
The life story of a remarkable man. Beginning his career as a hard-rock miner in the depths of a mile deep copper mine in Butte Montana to national championships in collegiate football to CEO/GM of the New England Patriots. And a very fine man and dear friend.

A Yearning for Publius – A Look at My Life
My autobiography. Standing on the shoulders of giants all along the way.

The Old Man in Apartment 620: A Conversation
My first and only work of fiction. A dystopian short story.

amazon.com/author/donjohnsonbooks – Again, my bookstore.

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Another Statue of Liberty


                      Don Johnson

I will be returning to Normandie May 24-26 and will witness some of the celebrations commemorating the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing and the liberation of Normandie with the subsequent liberation of France and the rest of Europe, and the final defeat of the evil German Nazi regime.

I am looking forward to being among the first to view the film The Girl Who Wore Freedom being shown in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont very close to the Utah Beach landing zone. I am looking forward to meeting Dany Patrix – “The Girl Who Wore Freedom”; her daughter Florence; Christian Taylor – the producer of the film; and as many French citizens as opportunity permits.  

Click >> https://www.normandystories.com/ to view the site.

The sculpture at the top of this post is seen as we enter the village square of Sainte-Mere-Eglise. Upon first seeing it, and in the days and weeks following, I’ve come to see it as if I were one of those it represents – a captive in that small French village, and in a larger sense — the condition of humanity.

  • We see the falling parachute – the liberators.
  • We see the gnarled and tortured hands reaching out to the falling parachute.
  • We see chains falling off the reaching hands.
  • We see the cliffs and a ladder where US Army Rangers scaled from the rocky beach below.
  • We see a rusty defunct machine gun.
  • We see a church and the hanging paratrooper, a warrior for liberty.
  • And we see the flame of liberty flowing from the base of the falling parachute.

The US Army 82nd & 101st Airborne Divisions dropped into this area, and into the small village of Sainte-Mere-Eglise which was among the first of many villages and cities liberated by the Allied landings. If you recall seeing the movie The Longest Day (1962) you may recall the scene where a paratrooper is hanging from the church bell tower. Well, he’s still there after 75 years (in effigy of course). When I first visited Sainte-Mere-Eglise in 2017, I was struck by the very many and prominent displays of remembrance and gratitude I saw there. The sculpture shown above brilliantly captures the essence of liberty and is foremost in my memory.  

Such were the conditions on 6 June 1944.

A great evil had captured the land.

  • Evil came in columns of trucks and tanks across the roads of France. It came as columns of soldiers marching through the farms and villages. It came as bombers in the skies above.
  • Evil killed. It captured. It put men, women and children into rail cars and deported them to death camps to be gassed by the hundreds of thousands.
  • Evil moved into homes that weren’t theirs. It took food that wasn’t theirs. It destroyed what it couldn’t use or have.
  • Evil came, and evil stayed.
  • Evil sought to destroy culture, sovereignty and history – to destroy a sense of who they were, and it intended to replace it with something quite foreign.
  • Evil had a name – National Socialism: Nazism
  • Evil had a flesh and blood leader – Adolf Hitler.
  • Evil had a god – Satan.

This new “Statue of Liberty” has become the theme of my thinking on the subject of liberty, and became the cover of my book Yearning for Liberty, where I explore many facets of this thing called “Liberty”. Take a look by clicking on the link.

The French in Normandy understand Liberty, and for 75 years have carried the flaming torch of liberty in grateful remembrance of what those many thousands of liberators did beginning in their towns and villages on June 6, 1944.  The film and my book capture much of the essence of this gratitude where you will hear and read a theme of: 

“They came from thousands of kilometers away and died by the thousands – for us. And they didn’t even know us.”

Don Johnson — April 2019

A Return to Normandy

EDIT:
As I have been finishing this article, I am heartbroken by the disaster that has befallen Notre Dame. We have visited this magnificent cathedral on several occasions, and are due to return May 7. A great loss.
_______________________________

I will be returning to Normandy May 24-26 and will witness some of the celebrations commemorating the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing and the liberation of Normandy and the subsequent liberation of France and the rest of Europe, and the defeat of the evil German Nazi regime.

In particular I’m looking forward to being among the first to view the film The Girl Who Wore Freedom being shown in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont very close to the Utah Beach landing zone. I’ve been in contact with the producer of this film, and also the daughter of The Girl Who Wore Freedom and am looking forward to meeting them and other French citizens. I have also been invited to be a guest blogger on this site, although I’ve not as yet been given the go ahead.


Click to view >>> https://www.facebook.com/thegirlwhoworefreedom/videos/926185217579994/

The sculture at the top of this post is seen as we enter the small village of Sainte-Mere-Eglise. Upon first seeing it, and in the days and weeks following, I’ve come to see it as if I were one of those it represents – a captive in that small French village, and in a larger sense — the condition of humanity.

We see the gnarled and tortured hands reaching out to the falling parachute – chains are falling off the reaching hands – we see the cliffs and a ladder where US Army Rangers scaled from the rocky beach below – the rusty defunct machine gun – we see a church and the hanging paratrooper, a warrior for liberty.

And we see the flame of liberty flowing from the base of the falling parachute.

The US Army 82nd & 101st Airborne Divisions dropped into this area, and into the small village of Sainte-Mere-Eglise which became the first of many villages and cities liberated by the Allied landings. If you recall seeing the movie The Longest Day (1962) you may recall the scene where a paratrooper is hanging from the church bell tower. Well, he’s still there after 75 years (in effigy of course). When I first visited Sainte-Mere-Eglise in 2017, I was struck by the very many and prominent displays of remembrance and gratitude I saw there. The sculpture shown above is my most memorable.

Such were the conditions on 6 June 1944 and the days to follow.

_________________________

A great evil had captured the land.

* Evil came in columns of trucks and tanks across the roads of France. It came as columns of soldiers marching through the farms and villages. It came as bombers in the skies above.

* Evil killed. It captured. It put men, women and children into rail cars and deported them to death camps to be gassed by the hundreds of thousands.

* Evil moved into homes that weren’t theirs. It took food that wasn’t theirs. It destroyed what it couldn’t use or have.

* Evil came, and evil stayed.

* Evil sought to destroy culture, sovereignty and history – to destroy a sense of who they were, and it intended to replace it with something quite foreign.

* Evil had a name – National Socialism: Nazism

* Evil had a flesh and blood leader – Adolf Hitler.

* Evil had a god – Satan.

___________________________________________

Power Vacuums & Political Correctness – Part 2

I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

(Click on the link above for context)

I remember saying this in late 1964. I was attending a Navy tech school and a small group of us sailors were having a bull session – about what, I don’t remember. But I do remember there was full agreement with that statement.

Brash and braggadocios you say. Yes, I suppose it was. But here is a bit of context that sets the stage:

  • This was at the height of the Cold War.
  • The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba occurred in April 1961. This was an attempted ouster of the new Cuban dictatorship of Fidel Castro, and ended in failure.
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 was just two years prior to our bull session. The placement of Soviet nuclear missiles just 90 miles from the US mainland resulted in a serious confrontation between the two nuclear superpowers of the United States and the Soviet Union and brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.
  • There was a draft, and I was drafted, as I suppose were most of us in that room.

So this small group of green horn sailors was not entirely naïve about the world at large and the existential dangers involved. I don’t recall knowing about a country far away called Vietnam, nor do I recall knowing a very hot war was ramping up over there – wherever over there was. What I do recall was that when I was drafted I decided to join the Navy so I wouldn’t find myself crawling around in the jungles of Cuba shooting at communists and them shooting at me.

Upon completing that tech school, most of us were assigned to destroyers, and in short order found ourselves off shore in that far away place in harms way, and faced with stepping up to those brash and braggadocios words spoken in the safety of the barracks not long before.

___________________________________________________

Anti-war sentiment and demonstrations were just ramping when I got off active duty in June 1966. I went back to school that year, and my thoughts on the war were confused and conflicted. I didn’t know who was right and who was wrong – I just didn’t know. I used to go to the library and read commentary in various magazines. There were two in particular that I remember, Ramparts and The Nation. I was very busy with school and dealing with raising a family with a young toddler, and I didn’t have time to invest nor much interest in the ongoing and strengthening protests. I had no real concept of left/right or liberal/conservative at that time. Only much later did I discover that The Nation and Ramparts were Left and Liberal, even radical.

In retrospect, I have come to the realization that many of those young protestors really didn’t know either. Many were sucked into the “political correctness” of the time; that the US involvement in Vietnam was evil and immoral. Adding further confusion was the concurrent Civil Rights Movement and the conflation of it with the anti-war movement – actually they were two separate and distinct movements.

Now, in todays climate of political correctness, young students are again living in a climate, a saturated climate, of political correctness across much of the culture. Read the following post
https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/arrogant-campus-elites-suppress-free-speech/ to get a sense of today’s environment, and be sure to follow the links this author, an Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at McGill University, provides as background.

So again, I return to the admonition of John Adams spoken at the foundation of the nation:

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.”

and we see the looming spector of political correctness as being the whale. Do we want to take the risk of continuing down this path, or can we return to the first principles of our constitution and teach the true progress and strengths of our American history?

Will there be many in coming generations willingly stepping up to those
brash and braggadocios words spoken by young sailors so many years ago?

Don Johnson — April 2019


Western Civilization – more

further to my last post on Western Civilization, here’s an essay by Ben Shapiro.

https://www.dailywire.com/news/45680/ben-shapiro-heres-why-west-has-been-so-successful-daily-wire?fbclid=IwAR1NpiaWTHA9VeX1yAXH3r-tOkUeEITR3D2IEDjQrwBhKELqkN9R5H25_Ug

American Universities – Western Civilization, Ben Shapiro & Dr. Clifford Laity

See the source image

I’m reading The Right Side of History by Ben Shapiro. This is my first in-depth look at Shapiro. I’ve seen him pass by on my browser and he seems to have quite a following, so I’ll take a look.

What I have seen of Shapiro is that he causes quite a stir at university campuses whenever he show up to speak, so it’s time to take a look for myself.

Just a few chapters into the book, I see that Ben Shapiro is presenting a defense of Western Civilization, and why it has been important and fundamental to the development of our “Western” way of thinking, and why its demise portends serious problems for the West. In other words, Shapiro seems to be a historical philosopher.

Why then does his appearance at many universities attract chaos? And it does. Why is this?

Here’s a summary of some of the campus intolerance of First Amendment free speech experienced by Shapiro:

2015 – University of Missouri. A Black Lives Matter protest; the football team vowed not to take the field for a game; student protesters declared a hunger strike; a professor, Melissa Click, asked for someone to physically manhandle a student reporter.

2015 – California State University at Los Angeles. The president of the university announced a cancelation of the speech – he later backed down. Helicopters patrolled overhead; dozens of armed police surrounded Shapiro and escorted him through the back door; several dozen police backstage; hundreds of protestors filled the hallways outside the auditorium and blocked off all entrances; rioters physically assaulted students wanting to enter; the administration ordered the police to stand down and allow the protestors to do whatever they pleased; students pulled the fire alarm during the speech; constant pounding on the doors; Shapiro escorted after the speech with a police escort.

It was found out later that a professor had been telling here students that Shapiro was a white supremacist, akin to a Ku Klux Klan member and a Nazi (Shapiro is a Jew).

University of Wisconsin. The speech was nearly shut down as protestors flooded the front of the stage.

Penn State. Protestors gathered outside the speech and pounded on the doors.

DePaul University. The administration threatened Shapiro with arrest should he come on campus.

UC Berkley. Hundreds of police called out to protect law-abiding citizens from the rage of violent rioters.

_______________________________

All this because someone dared come on campus and speak to students about Western Civilization – an existential threat from a historical philosopher?

Further in the book, Shapiro talks about the demise of Western Civilization on the American University campus. Listen to what he says:

The founding fathers were well versed in Latin and Greek and their writings were replete with references to ancient literature. In 1900, half of all American high school students were obligated to take Latin courses. As of 2010, not a single top university required students to take a course in Western Civilization; only sixteen even offered such a course.

_______________________________

This brings me to Clifford Laity.

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Dr. Clifford Laity was a history professor at what was then called the Montana School of Mines in Butte Montana. I took his course A History of Western Civilization and liked it very much. I must have liked it since I distinctly remember Dr. Laity and recall his name after 50+ years.

Like Ben Shapiro, I am saddened at the demise of Western Civilization on the university campus, and thus its demise also in American culture. Had the universities not failed in this critical and foundational teaching, students would be eager to learn of what this historical philosopher Ben Shapiro seeks to teach them. Rather, these radical professors and their radicalized student disciples treat dissenting opinions and thoughts much like the brown shirts of 1930s Germany.

My hope is that voices like Ben Shapiro will make inroads into the thinking of America, and especially the universities where agendas – good and bad – are set. My hope is that the campus will welcome such voices in the spirit of the First Amendment to our Constitution.

I remember as a young 20 year old sailor saying among a group of like minded sailors – “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

It saddens me when I wonder – did Western Civilization go to the grave with great teachers such as Dr. Clifford Laity?

Don Johnson — April 2019

The Girl Who Wore Freedom

Click here to view the trailer for this upcoming historic film.

This film is about D-Day, but different from other movies made about that epoch event. It’s not Saving Private Ryan or The Longest Day. No, this one is about French civilians living along the Normandy coast that June 1944, and their experiences with liberation from the horrors of Nazi occupation.

When I visited Normandy in 2017, I was struck but the everywhere expressions of gratitude of the French towards their liberators. This film affirms what I saw.

I feel a connection to it after having been to Normandy and including the French D-Day experiences in my book Yearning for Liberty. I hope to be at Utah Beach on May 31 for the debut of this film.

The Girl Who Wore Freedom – an upcoming film


Click to go to the site: https://www.facebook.com/thegirlwhoworefreedom/

I’m very much looking forward to this film. If you’ve been following me on my book “Yearning For Liberty” you will see on the cover of the book, and within, the sort of remembrance and gratitude that I saw, and you will see in the trailer to this film.

As I was doing this book I ran across a book “D-Day Through French Eyes” This book contains many stories and first person accounts of the experiences of the French during this liberation. I have included a collection of these stories in my book.
In the visitors center auditorium at the Normandy American Cemetery they run a video. At one point you see and hear an old Frenchman who was there at the time. He said “They came from thousands of miles away, and died by the thousands, for us … and they didn’t even know us.”

That’s the gratitude I saw, and I’m hoping the film shows that to you as well.

June 6, 2019 – Don’t miss it.