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The fierce, bloody battles of Bataan and Corregidor in the Philippines are legendary in the annals of World War II. Those who survived faced the horrors of life as prisoners of
In Conduct Under Fire, John A. Glusman chronicles these events through the eyes of his father, Murray, and three fellow navy doctors captured on Corregidor in May 1942. Here are the dramatic stories of the fall of Bataan, the siege of “the Rock,” and the daily struggles to tend the sick, wounded, and dying during some of the heaviest bombardments of World War II. Here also is the desperate war doctors and corpsmen waged against disease and starvation amid an enemy that viewed surrender as a disgrace. To survive, the POWs functioned as a family. But the ties that bind couldn’t protect them from a ruthless counteroffensive waged by American submarines or from the B-29 raids that burned Japan’s major cities to the ground. Based on extensive interviews with American, British, Australian, and Japanese veterans, as well as diaries, letters, and war crimes testimony, this is a harrowing account of a brutal clash of cultures, of a race war that escalated into total war.
Like Flags of Our Fathers and Ghost Soldiers, Conduct Under Fire is a story of bravery on the battlefield and ingenuity behind barbed wire, one that reveals the long shadow the war cast on the lives of those who fought it.
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Glusman takes us on an extraordinary journey through the battles of the Pacific, and then into the horror of the Japanese POW camps, via the story of his father and three fellow doctors. There are moments of courage and cowardice, caring and cruelty, as these four physicians struggle under severe circumstances to preserve the bodies and heal the souls of their fellow men."
—Jerome E. Groopman, M.D., author of The Anatomy of Hope and Dina and Raphael Recanati Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
"This is a real page turner and a delight from beginning to end. Glusman has truly done a masterful job not only researching and detailing a largely neglected story, but also putting it all in the proper context. It is beautifully written and a fitting tribute not only to his father and his father’s comrades, but to all the POWs who shared their singular and horrific experience."
—Jan K. Herman, Editor of Navy Medicine and Resident Historian, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
"CONDUCT UNDER FIRE is an intimate and meticulous account of cruelty, courage, and extraordinary human resilience in the hell holes of Japan's WWII prison camps and more. Glusman also introduces the little-known deaths of over ten thousand American POWs by "friendly fire," and ends his story with the massive rain of firebombs that brought the war home to the Japanese. He has, indeed, cast an unflinching gaze on the "fire" of hell on earth."
—John W. Dower, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II and War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War
John A. Glusman is editor in chief of Farrar, Straus & Giroux. He has been a contributing editor to the Paris Review and has written for numerous publications, including The Economist, The Washington Post Book World, The Christian Science Monitor, and Rolling Stone.
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