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From the respected author of one of the best books on World War II combat, comes an equally captivating saga of battle recovery, healing, and homecoming.
China Marine is the long-awaited sequel to E. B. Sledge’s critically acclaimed memoir, With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa. Picking up where his previous memoir leaves off, Sledge, a young marine in the First Division, traces his company’s movements and charts his own difficult passage to peace following his horrific experiences in the Pacific. He reflects on his duty in the ancient city of Peiping (now Beijing) and recounts the difficulty of returning to his hometown of Mobile, Alabama, and resuming civilian life haunted by the shadows of close combat.
Distinguished historians have praised Sledge’s first book as the definitive rifleman’s account of World War II, ranking it with the Civil War’s Red Badge of Courage and World War I’s All Quiet on the Western Front. Although With the Old Breed ends with the surrender of Japan, marines in the Pacific were still faced with the mission of disarming the immense Japanese forces on the Asian mainland and reestablishing order. For infantrymen so long engaged in the savage and surreal world of close combat, there remained the personal tasks of regaining normalcy and dealing with suppressed memories, fears, and guilt.
In China Marine, E. B. Sledge completes his story and provides emotional closure to the searing events detailed in his first memoir. He speaks frankly about the real costs of war, emotional and psychological as well as physical, and explains the lifetime loyalties that develop between men who face fear, loss, and horror together. That bond becomes one of the newfound treasures of life after battle.
With his hallmark style of simplicity, directness, and lack of sentimentality, "Sledgehammer" has given us yet another great document of war literature.
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Eugene Bondurant Sledge was a US marine, professor of biology at the University of Montevallo, and author of With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa. His life and work were used as source material for Ken Burns's PBS documentary, “The War.”
The author of the classic World War II memoir With the Old Breed (1981) returns at last to relate the conclusion of his marine career. After the fighting stopped, Sledge went to China, where everybody and his faction from Szechwan was struggling to fill the power vacuum left by the Japanese surrender, and where armed Japanese awaiting repatriation were frequently vital to keeping order. Sledge's regiment was the first marine unit to return to Beijing, and he saw the last of the old China as well as the vanguard of the Communists. His local acquaintances were more numerous than the average marine's and included middle-class professionals, his houseboy, and a Belgian priest. While on duty he rescued Chinese staff from dogs and tried to rescue fellow marines from their alcoholism. He was finally released to go home, long after many rear-echelon types. He wraps up this book, a quite satisfactory conclusion to its thoroughly satisfactory predecessor, with a brief summary of his homecoming and postwar career as a professor of biology. Roland Green
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Book Description University Alabama Press, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New! Cover has minor shelf rubbings. Your Satisfaction Guaranteed. We ship daily. Expedited shipping available. Seller Inventory # D4E190626011
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