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PT-109: An American Epic of War, Survival, and the Destiny of John F. Kennedy

PT-109: An American Epic of War, Survival, and the Destiny of John F. Kennedy

Written by William Doyle

Narrated by David Drummond


PT-109: An American Epic of War, Survival, and the Destiny of John F. Kennedy

Written by William Doyle

Narrated by David Drummond

ratings:
4.5/5 (3 ratings)
Length:
8 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Oct 6, 2015
ISBN:
9780062395252
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

The extraordinary World War II story of shipwreck and survival that paved John F. Kennedy's path to power – hailed as a “breathtaking account” by James Patterson, “masterfully written” by historian Douglas Brinkley, and “the finest book” ever written on the subject by Lt. Commander William Liebenow, the man who rescued JFK and the PT 109 crew in August 1943.

In the early morning darkness of August 2, 1943, during a chaotic nighttime skirmish amid the Solomon Islands, the Japanese destroyer Amagiri barreled through thick fog and struck the U.S. Navy's motor torpedo boat PT 109, splitting the craft nearly in half and killing two American sailors instantly. The sea erupted in flames as the 109's skipper, John F. Kennedy, and the ten surviving crewmen under his command desperately clung to the sinking wreckage; 1,200 feet of ink-black, shark-infested water loomed beneath. "All hands lost," came the reports back to the Americans' base: no rescue was coming for the men of PT 109. Their desperate ordeal was just beginning—so too was one of the most remarkable tales of World War II, one whose astonishing afterlife would culminate two decades later in the White House.

Drawing on original interviews with the last living links to the events, previously untapped Japanese wartime archives, and a wealth of archival documents from the Kennedy Library, including a lost first-hand account by JFK himself, bestselling author William Doyle has crafted a thrilling and definitive account of the sinking of PT 109 and its shipwrecked crew's heroics. Equally fascinating is the story's second act, in which Doyle explores in new detail how this extraordinary episode shaped Kennedy's character and fate, proving instrumental to achieving his presidential ambitions: "Without PT 109, there never would have been a President John F. Kennedy," declared JFK aide David Powers.

Featuring castaways on a deserted island, a spy network of Solomon Island natives, an Australian coast watcher hidden on the side of a volcano, an S.O.S. note carved into a coconut, and a daring rescue attempt led by Kennedy's fellow American PT boats, PT 109 is an unforgettable American epic of war and destiny.

Publisher:
Released:
Oct 6, 2015
ISBN:
9780062395252
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook


About the author

William Doyle is the award winning, New York Times bestselling author of ten nonfiction books, and has produced TV shows for HBO, the History Channel, and PBS. He is coauthor with Chris Kyle of American Gun and, with Dick Couch, of Navy SEALs. He is also author of the highly acclaimed 2015 book PT 109: An American Epic of War, Survival, and the Destiny of John F. Kennedy. Doyle is a Fulbright Scholar and the son of a US Army combat veteran who served in the Pacific theater during World War II.

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  • (4/5)
    Interesting historical take on the Hero Myth and Presidency
  • (5/5)
    In PT 109: An American Epic of War, Survival, and the Destiny of John F. Kennedy, author William Doyle convincingly posits the case that the wartime PT 109 incident shaped JFK's adult persona and world view, and framed his political candidacies, thereby leading to his presidency.Doyle's account of the events of August 1943 amidst the Pacific's Solomon Islands, when a Japanese destroyer split in two the PT 109, skippered by Kennedy, is told in heart-pounding cinematic style. Equally compelling is the immediate aftermath in which JFK's leadership and heroics ensure the miraculous survival and ultimate rescue of ten of his crew members.After the wartime death of his older brother Joseph Jr., the wealthy family patriarch Joseph Sr. anointed JFK as the son who would enter politics with the aim of eventually winning the White House. JFK, who would have preferred a career in journalism, without a possibility of defying his father, reluctantly agreed. And from there, the wartime heroics comprised the fabric of JFK's political campaigns, from the House of Representatives, to the Senate, and to President of the United States. Doyle has written the definitive story of PT 109, perhaps the key element in the career and legacy of John F. Kennedy.