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Publisher's Summary

The extraordinary real-life adventure of three brothers at the center of the most dramatic turning points of World War II and their mad race to change history - and save one of their own.
They are three brothers, all navy men, who end up coincidentally and extraordinarily at the epicenter of three of the war's most crucial moments. Bill is picked by Roosevelt to run his first map room in Washington. Benny is the gunnery and antiaircraft officer on the USS Enterprise, one of the only carriers to escape Pearl Harbor and by the end of 1942 the last one left in the Pacific to defend against the Japanese. Barton, the youngest and least distinguished of the three, is shuffled off to the Navy Supply Corps because his mother wants him out of harm's way. But this protection plan backfires when Barton is sent to the Philippines and listed as missing in action after a Japanese attack. Now it is up to Bill and Benny to find and rescue him.
Based on 10 years of research drawn from archives around the world, interviews with fellow shipmates and POWs, and primary sources including diaries, unpublished memoirs, and letters half forgotten in basements, The Jersey Brothers is a remarkable story of agony and triumph - from the home front to Roosevelt's White House and Pearl Harbor to Midway and Bataan. It is the story, written with intimate, novelistic detail, of an ordinary young man who shows extraordinary courage as the Japanese do everything short of killing him. And it is, above all, a story of brotherly love: of three men finding their loyalty to each other tested under the tortures of war - and knowing that their success or failure to save their youngest brother will shape their family forever.
©2017 Sally Mott Freeman (P)2017 S&S Audio
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By Jack@NYC on 05-30-17

Band of Brothers Meets Unbroken-a Remarkable Book

This is one of the most amazing stories I have ever read, rendered all the more amazing because it is pure fact, not fiction. Anyone who has any interest in the WWII action in the Pacific theater must put this on his/her reading list. As others have noted, it has echoes of "Unbroken", but not only does it cover the territory (and confirm) that book's recounting of the unspeakable horrors suffered by prisoners of war at the hands of the Japanese, it covers so many other aspects of the war in the Pacific, from Pearl Harbor to Bataan and the Philippines to the great land and sea battles including Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Leyte Gulf, the Coral Sea - all told from first hand accounts of the three brothers who were there and who could comment not only on the battles but on the commanders who ran them - MacArthur, Halsey, Nimitz, Turner and others. In addition, one of the brothers - the father of the author by the way - witnessed the early years of the war from the inner circle of the White House. He ran (actually, created) FDR's vaunted strategic "map room" and there interacted daily with the president and his war staff (as well as first lady Eleanor) before he, too, shipped out to join the war at sea. To have these three brothers all as first-hand witnesses to some of the major events of the war is itself astounding, and as you would expect, leads to some equally amazing - and heart-wrenching - tales from their home front, focusing on their indomitable mother, Helen. The author spent ten years researching this material not only from family archives but from sources scattered all over the world. She pulls it together beautifully. I couldn't put this book down. I walked extra miles just so I could keep listening and it left me in tears and emotionally drained at the end. Please read or listen to it; it is unforgettable. Brava Sally Mott Freeman!

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful


By Daditude on 05-29-17

Wonderful read of a families attempt to bring one on theirs home.

With a book of this nature it is very hard to know where to start. However, it is best to start by strongly recommending that anyone considering reading it, you should and quickly. It is an inspirational read about three
dedicated brothers who did what most young men of the time did, which was to enlist in support of the United States of America. Navy men all, they attended the Naval Academy, became officers in the navy & served the country with excellence. This book chronicles then taking of one of them as s POW and the effort of the others to find and liberate him. This effort went on from December of 1941 to the end of the war in mid to late 1945. The book is written by the grand niece of the POW Barton Cross. She writes with amazing emotion, having done as much research one could do during the time in history and with the limitations during the time in history. I was honored to have been given the chance to glimpse the inside of their family and the pain they had to endure during this ordeal. It made me realize that we that never had to endure the struggle these men did have little to complain about in our lives. Thank you so very much Sally Mott Freeman and thank you so very much for allowing me the honor of reading about Barton, Bill and Bennie, they certainly honored the Cross and Mott names. I loved your book!

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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By Anonymous User on 06-16-17

A truly gripping true story of brothers in wartime

I heard the author being interviewed on the history of world war two podcast by Ray Harris Jr. Her story sounded very interesting. The author brings you on a fascinating journey through the Pacific theatre, explaining how 3 brothers experienced the war, at almost every level. It's beautifully written, and the research is magnificent.

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