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Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDR's Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of Her Survivors

by

Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDR's Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of Her Survivors Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Son, we’re going to Hell."

The navigator of the USS Houston confided these prophetic words to a young officer as he and his captain charted a course into U.S. naval legend. Renowned as FDR’s favorite warship, the cruiser USS Houston was a prize target trapped in the far Pacific after Pearl Harbor. Without hope of reinforcement, her crew faced a superior Japanese force ruthlessly committed to total conquest. It wasn’t a fair fight, but the men of the Houston would wage it to the death.

Hornfischer brings to life the awesome terror of nighttime naval battles that turned decks into strobe-lit slaughterhouses, the deadly rain of fire from Japanese bombers, and the almost superhuman effort of the crew as they miraculously escaped disaster again and again–until their luck ran out during a daring action in Sunda Strait. There, hopelessly outnumbered, the Houston was finally sunk and its survivors taken prisoner. For more than three years their fate would be a mystery to families waiting at home.

In the brutal privation of jungle POW camps dubiously immortalized in such films as The Bridge on the River Kwai, the war continued for the men of the Houston—a life-and-death struggle to survive forced labor, starvation, disease, and psychological torture. Here is the gritty, unvarnished story of the infamous Burma–Thailand Death Railway glamorized by Hollywood, but which in reality mercilessly reduced men to little more than animals, who fought back against their dehumanization with dignity, ingenuity, sabotage, will–power—and the undying faith that their country would prevail.

Using journals and letters, rare historical documents, including testimony from postwar Japanese war crimes tribunals, and the eyewitness accounts of Houston’s survivors, James Hornfischer has crafted an account of human valor so riveting and awe-inspiring, it’s easy to forget that every single word is true.

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

US

Synopsis:

The author of "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" chronicles the untold story of one of World War IIs most celebrated warships, the U.S.S. "Houston," and the survivors who were captured and made slaves on Japans infamous Burma-Thailand Death Railway.

About the Author

James D. Hornfischer is a writer, literary agent, and former book editor. The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, his first book, won the 2004 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and their three children.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780553384505
Author:
Hornfischer, James D
Publisher:
Bantam Books
Author:
Hornfischer, James
Author:
James D. Hornfischer
Subject:
Military - Naval
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
Military - United States
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Military-World War II General
Subject:
military history;nanval history;world war ii;american history;pacific theater;us world war ii history;non-fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20070831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
5 MAPS 2 16-PAGE BandW PHOTO INSERTS
Pages:
544
Dimensions:
9.2 x 6.1 x 1 in 1.7438 lb

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
History and Social Science » Military » Naval History
History and Social Science » Military » US Military » General
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » General
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » Nautical
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » Pacific
History and Social Science » World History » General

Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDR's Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of Her Survivors Used Trade Paper
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Product details 544 pages Bantam - English 9780553384505 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , US
"Synopsis" by , The author of "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" chronicles the untold story of one of World War IIs most celebrated warships, the U.S.S. "Houston," and the survivors who were captured and made slaves on Japans infamous Burma-Thailand Death Railway.
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