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The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War IIby Gregory A Freeman
Synopses & Reviews
In 1975, James Jonesand#151;the American author whose novels From Here to Eternity and The Thin Red Line had made him the preeminent voice of the enlisted man in World War IIand#151;was chosen to write the text for an oversized coffee table book edited by former Yank magazine art director Art Weithas and featuring visual art from World War II. The book was a best seller, praised for both its images and for Jonesand#8217;s text, but in subsequent decades the artwork made it impossible for the book to be reproduced in its original form, and it fell out of print and was forgotten. This edition of WWII makes available for the first time in more than twenty years Jonesand#8217;s stunning text, his only extended nonfiction writing on the war that defined his generation.
Moving chronologically and thematically through the complex history of the conflict, Jones interweaves his own vivid memories of soldiering in the Pacificand#151;from the look on a Japanese fighter pilotand#8217;s face as he bombed Pearl Harbor, so close that Jones could see him smile and wave, to hitting the beach under fire in Guadalcanaland#151;while always returning to resounding larger themes. Much of WWII can be read as a tribute to the commitment of American soldiers, but Jones also pulls no punches, bluntly chronicling resentment at the privilege of the officers, questionable strategic choices, wartime suffering, disorganization, the needless loss of life, and the brutal realization that a single soldier is ultimately nothing but a replaceable cog in a heartless machine. As the generation that fought and won World War II leaves the stage, James Jonesand#8217;s book reminds us of what they accomplishedand#151;and what they sacrificed to do so.
The story of the dramatic transformation of Detroit from "motortown" to the "arsenal of democracy," featuring Edsel Ford, who rebelled against his pacifist father, Henry Ford, to build the industrial miracle Willow Run, a manufacturing complex capable ofand#160;producing B-24 Liberator bombers at a rate of one per hourand#8212;a crucial component in winning the war.
In the tradition of incredible true stories from The Great Escape to Argo, Savage Will recounts a tale of survival, daring, and evasion behind enemy lines: that of American medics and nurses stranded for two months in Nazi-occupied Albania.
In 1943, men and women of the 807th Medical Air Evacuation Squadron boarded a routine flight from Sicily to the Italian mainland to care for wounded soldiers. En route, their plane drifted hundreds of miles off course and crash-landed in remote mountainous Albania.
The unarmed Americans were trapped hundreds of blizzard-plagued miles from Allied lines, in a country torn apart by rival bands of pro- and anti-German guerrillas. Hunted by German soldiers, the castaways relied on what one survivor called their savage will” to elude their enemy and find their way to freedom.
What followed is the most thrilling untold story of World War II—a saga reaching from President Roosevelt and top Allied intelligence officials to a host of brave Albanian Resistance fighters, the British and U.S. Mediterranean air forces, and the dashing English lieutenant and the tenacious American captain sent behind enemy lines to carry out a heroic rescue.
andldquo;A touching and absorbing portrait of one of the forgotten heroes of World War II . . . A. J. Baime has given us a memorable portrait not just of an industry going to war but of a remarkable figure who helped to make victory possible.andrdquo;andmdash;Wall Street Journal
As the United States entered World War II, the military was in desperate need of tanks, jeeps, and, most important, airplanes. Germany had been amassing weaponry and airplanes for five yearsandmdash;the United States for only months. So President Roosevelt turned to the American auto industry, specifically the Ford Motor Company, where Edsel Ford made the outrageous claim that he would construct the largest airplane factory in the world, a plant that could build a andldquo;bomber an hour.andrdquo; And so began one of the most fascinating and overlooked chapters in American history.
Drawing on unique access to archival material and exhaustive research, A. J. Baime has crafted a riveting narrative that hopscotches from Detroit to Washington to Normandy, from the assembly lines to the frontlines, and from the depths of professional and personal failure to the heights that Ford Motor Company and the American military ultimately achieved in the sky.
andldquo;Wars are fought on many fronts, and A. J. Baime chronicles this little-known, but terrifically important battle to build Americaand#39;s bomber force with narrative zest and delicious detail. Put simply, itand#39;s a great read.andrdquo;andmdash;Neal Bascomb, best-selling author of The Perfect Mile
andldquo;Fast-paced . . . the story certainly entertains.andrdquo;andmdash;New York Times
About the Author
Gregory A. Freeman is an award-winning writer with more than 25 years in journalism. He is the author of Sailors to the End: The Deadly Fire on the USS Forrestal and the Heroes Who Fought It.
Table of Contents
To Us Old Men
In the Beginning
I Didnand#8217;t Raise My Boy
The Coral Sea and Midway
Waiting While Waiting . . . a Look at Europe
First War Art
The Battle of Auckland
Green and Obscene
Is History Written by the Upper Classes for the Upper Classes?
The Art Programs
The Big War
The Forgotten Year
Tarawa, Saipan, Peleliu
More on Humor: Mauldin
The Home Front
Love among the Riveters
Bloodbath at Omaha
Breakoutand#151; and the Long Haul
The Final Evolution
Philippines: First Leyte, and Then Luzon
Twilight of Some Old Gods
The Last Mile
The Last Yard
The Last Foot
Responsibility, but for What?
An End to It
Pass in Review!
What Our Readers Are Saying
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