They Can't Take That Away from Me: The Odyssey of an American POW

Rentz, Ralph; Hrisko, Peter

Published by Michigan State University Press, 2003
ISBN 10: 0870136720 / ISBN 13: 9780870136726
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Cloth (hard cover) in mylar protected dust-jacket. 236 pages. First Edition ("1" on publisher's number line). This copy INSCRIBED by author Peter Hrisko, on front free endpaper. A clean, tight copy Size: Octavo. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis:

Ralph Rentz grew up in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, with one dream: to be a professional musician. Playing clarinet, saxophone, and flute in 1930s big bands, Rentz wanted no part of the looming shadow of war. At age twenty- one, he joined the National Guard to avoid being drafted. Ten days later, he was called up for active duty. Fearful of friendly fire, Rentz then signed up with the Army Air Corps, where he trained to be a radio operator. While on a secret mission in the Pacific, Rentz?s B- 17 was shot down over Malang, Java, where he and the rest of the crew became Japanese POWs. Surviving dysentery, pleurisy, dry beri-beri, tuberculosis, and slave labor, Rentz held on to his dreams of returning to music and waited for a U.S. invasion that never came. 
     They Can't Take That Away From Me recounts not only Rentz?s devastating three-and-a-half years of captivity, but also his involvement in a secret government mission that has never been revealed. Rich with the music of his youth, the book conjures up the losses, longing, sacrifices, and stolen dreams of Rentz?s imprisonment and his return to the United States. Bittersweet and evocative, They Can?t Take That Away From Me explores the irony of human resilience amidst the atrocity of war, and in that survival the unconquerable loss of a man?s most cherished dream.

About the Author:

Ralph M. Rentz lives in Fayetteville, Georgia, with his wife, Ellie. Ralph still enjoys listening to big band music; and at 85, he has already started writing another book.



Peter Hrisko was a screenwriter and author living in Los Angeles, California. He was an alumnus of Michigan State University (1987), a former MSU football player and back-up punter. He was a researcher for the documentary In the Line of Fire: Behind the Scenes with the Secret Service. Peter's first book, They Can't Take That Away From Me, The Odyssey of an American POW was published in 2003. He died on June 29, 2004, at the age of 39.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: They Can't Take That Away from Me: The ...
Publisher: Michigan State University Press
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: Cloth
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition

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