Synopses & Reviews
Forrest Pogue (1912-1996) was undoubtedly one of the greatest World War II combat historians. Born and educated in Kentucky, he is perhaps best known for his definitive four-volume biography of General George C. Marshall. But, as Pogue's War makes clear, he was also a pioneer in the development of oral history in the twentieth century, as well as an impressive interviewer with an ability to relate to people at all levels, from the private in the trenches to the general carrying four stars. Pogue's War is drawn from Forrest Pogue's handwritten pocket notebooks, carried with him throughout the war, long regarded as unreadable because of his often atrocious handwriting. Pogue himself began expanding the diaries a few short years after the war, with the intent of eventual publication. At last this work is being published. Supplemented with carefully deciphered and transcribed selections from his diaries, the heart of the book is straight from the field. Much of the material has never before seen print. From D-Day to VE-Day, Pogue experienced and documented combat on the front lines, describing action on Omaha Beach, in the Huertgen Forest, and on other infamous fields of conflict. He not only graphically?yet also often poetically???recounts the extreme circumstances of battle, but he also notes his fellow soldiers? innermost thoughts, feelings, opinions, and attitudes about the cruelty of war. As a trained historian, Pogue describes how he went about his work and how the Army's history program functioned in the European Theater of Operations. His entries from his time at the history headquarters in Paris show the city in the early days after the liberation in a unique light. Pogue's War hasan immediacy that much official history lacks, and is a remarkable addition to any World War II bookshelf.