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In 1943 John Steinbeck was on assignment for The New York Herald Tribune, writing from Italy and North Africa, and from England in the midst of the London blitz. In his dispatches he focuses on the human-scale effect of the war, portraying everyone from the guys in a bomber crew to Bob Hope on his USO tour and even fighting alongside soldiers behind enemy lines. Taken together, these writings create an indelible portrait of life in wartime.
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By Robert Achenbach on 07-16-15
The greatest war story(ies) ever told
I have read many war biographies and accounts of WWII, including Churchill's, but none come close to bringing WWII to life like this book does. Although stripped of specific details by the censors, the stories lose nothing from the omissions for Steinbeck has done a masterful job of reaching deep into the lives of the men and women of the allied forces and giving them expression that is pure gold. I have lived as an infantry soldier and these words ring so true and deep that one wishes there were volumes of these stories somewhere. Although Ken Burns did much of this for the Civil War, the main difference is that Steinbeck brings his deep understanding and empathy for the common person to the description of events. You will not be disappointed, even if you do not care much for Steinbeck's other works.
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