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Publisher's Summary

From the Japanese soldiers' carefully calculated - and ultimately foiled - attempt to build a series of impregnable island forts on the ground to the tireless efforts of the Americans who struggled against a tenacious adversary and the temperature and terrain of the island itself, Robert Leckie captures the loneliness, the agony, and the heat of 24-hour-a-day fighting on Guadalcanal.
Combatants from both sides are brought to life: General Archer Vandegrift, who first assembled an amphibious strike force; Isoruku Yamamoto, the naval general whose innovative strategy was tested; the island-born Allied scout Jacob Vouza, who survived hideous torture to uncover the enemy's plans; and Saburo Sakai, the ace flier who shot down American planes with astonishing ease.
Propelling the Allies to eventual victory, Guadalcanal was truly the turning point of the war. Challenge for the Pacific is an unparalleled, authoritative account of this great fight that forever changed our world.
©1964, renewed 1993 Robert Leckie (P)2011 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"Leckie puts you in the foxhole." ( The New York Times Book Review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Randall on 01-03-18

Too much like a text book

This is my second Robert Leckie book. I enjoyed Strong Men Armed, but this book was too much like a text book. Although it had all the facts, dates and names, and was very informative, it was a dry reading. I think there are much better Guadalcanal books available. Neptune's Inferno, by James D. Hornfischer, or Hell in the Pacific, by Jim McEnery. Another Great book (from the Japanese perspective) is Japanese Destroyer Captain, by Tameichi Nishii.
They were both entertaining and informative.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Daniel on 09-27-14

An objective, but human description of Guadalcanal

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I read Leckie's "Helmet for My Pillow," a very personal account of his experience on Guadalcanal, and was interested in his more formal writing. Leckie was a sportswriter before entering the Marines, and he seems to have found his life's work in writing about war. "Helmet" is all foreground, a careening memoir of goldbricking, insubordination, miserable conditions, bacchanalia while on leave in Australia, and occasional valor. Chance and boredom and resentment of authority are mixed with fear and heroism.

"Challenge for the Pacific" has a human thread throughout, giving life to the cultures -- American, native, and Japanese -- that collided on the island, but it also provides historical context and the arc of battle. It is well-organized, researched, and written. Leckie tells an objective story here, but one remembers that he was there when he describes the emotions of the Marines when they finally left the island, a small moment that no ordinary historian could have captured.

I want to read more of Leckie.

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10 of 15 people found this review helpful

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