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“Eugene Sledge became more than a legend with his memoir, With The Old Breed. He became a chronicler, a historian, a storyteller who turns the extremes of the war in the Pacific—the terror, the camaraderie, the banal and the extraordinary—into terms we mortals can grasp.”—Tom Hanks

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In The Wall Street Journal, Victor Davis Hanson named With the Old Breed one of the top five books on epic twentieth-century battles. Studs Terkel interviewed the author for his definitive oral history, The Good War. Now E. B. Sledge’s acclaimed first-person account of fighting at Peleliu and Okinawa returns to thrill, edify, and inspire a new generation.

An Alabama boy steeped in American history and enamored of such heroes as George Washington and Daniel Boone, Eugene B. Sledge became part of the war’s famous 1st Marine Division—3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. Even after intense training, he was shocked to be thrown into the battle of Peleliu, where “the world was a nightmare of flashes, explosions, and snapping bullets.” By the time Sledge hit the hell of Okinawa, he was a combat vet, still filled with fear but no longer with panic.

Based on notes Sledge secretly kept in a copy of the New Testament, With the Old Breed captures with utter simplicity and searing honesty the experience of a soldier in the fierce Pacific Theater. Here is what saved, threatened, and changed his life. Here, too, is the story of how he learned to hate and kill—and came to love—his fellow man.

“In all the literature on the Second World War, there is not a more honest, realistic or moving memoir than Eugene Sledge’s. This is the real deal, the real war: unvarnished, brutal, without a shred of sentimentality or false patriotism, a profound primer on what it actually was like to be in that war. It is a classic that will outlive all the armchair generals’ safe accounts of—not the ‘good war’—but the worst war ever.”—Ken Burns


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published: Random House Publishing Group an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on Dec 18, 2008
ISBN: 9780307549587
List price: $7.99
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A broad chasm separates those of us who have not served in the armed forces or served in times of peace from the combat veteran. We can only intellectualize what he has experienced: the fear of immediate death; the horror of obliteration of flesh, bones, and sinew; the dehumanization of conscience; the numbing constancy of endless combat; the inevitable realization that the longer a combat soldier survives the greater are the odds that he will perish. E. B. Sledge's narration of his World War II marine experiences on Peleliu and Okinawa communicate all of this vividly.There are those in public office that refuse to stand at the edge of this separation of experience, that view Americans in uniform as expendable instruments of ideological, unilateralist policy. Standing with them too often are the malevolent, the deluded, and the disinterested. Apart from them are the rest of us. We must heed our veterans' experiences and makes our voices heard.read more
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This is a must read for anyone who fancies themselves knowledgeable about World War II, or war itself, for that matter. Eugene Sledge was in two of the most famous battles of the island hopping campaign that helped end the war against the Japanese. He fought on Peleliu (the main island in the battle named for the island group, Pelau), and Okinawa. His honesty is refreshing. There's no false bravado here. He writes of his terror under shelling and his biggest fear of all, the fear of fear. He was terrified he would fold under attack and let his buddies down. In telling this story he grinds no axes and he speaks from the heart at all times. There's none of the whitewashing you find in most first person accounts of battle, so this book is not for the squeamish. I've read dozens and dozens of books on this subject, but this one sometimes made me feel I might get sick. You begin to realize what he's describing as their daily environment must have been similar to a thousand other battlefields through history, but in this case you have someone unafraid to spell it out. My fascination with the subject isn't squashed, but I'll never picture a battlefield in the same way again. Highly recommended.read more
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To me this book is for the pacific theater what Ambrose's 'Citizen Soldiers' is for the european theater. It makes you feel like you know what it was like to be there, and makes you want to shake the hand of a vet and say 'Thank you'.read more
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A broad chasm separates those of us who have not served in the armed forces or served in times of peace from the combat veteran. We can only intellectualize what he has experienced: the fear of immediate death; the horror of obliteration of flesh, bones, and sinew; the dehumanization of conscience; the numbing constancy of endless combat; the inevitable realization that the longer a combat soldier survives the greater are the odds that he will perish. E. B. Sledge's narration of his World War II marine experiences on Peleliu and Okinawa communicate all of this vividly.There are those in public office that refuse to stand at the edge of this separation of experience, that view Americans in uniform as expendable instruments of ideological, unilateralist policy. Standing with them too often are the malevolent, the deluded, and the disinterested. Apart from them are the rest of us. We must heed our veterans' experiences and makes our voices heard.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a must read for anyone who fancies themselves knowledgeable about World War II, or war itself, for that matter. Eugene Sledge was in two of the most famous battles of the island hopping campaign that helped end the war against the Japanese. He fought on Peleliu (the main island in the battle named for the island group, Pelau), and Okinawa. His honesty is refreshing. There's no false bravado here. He writes of his terror under shelling and his biggest fear of all, the fear of fear. He was terrified he would fold under attack and let his buddies down. In telling this story he grinds no axes and he speaks from the heart at all times. There's none of the whitewashing you find in most first person accounts of battle, so this book is not for the squeamish. I've read dozens and dozens of books on this subject, but this one sometimes made me feel I might get sick. You begin to realize what he's describing as their daily environment must have been similar to a thousand other battlefields through history, but in this case you have someone unafraid to spell it out. My fascination with the subject isn't squashed, but I'll never picture a battlefield in the same way again. Highly recommended.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
To me this book is for the pacific theater what Ambrose's 'Citizen Soldiers' is for the european theater. It makes you feel like you know what it was like to be there, and makes you want to shake the hand of a vet and say 'Thank you'.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
An incredible first hand account from a true American hero. The way he describes the emotions on the battlefield will give you a new respect for the greatest generation. Just a fantastic book!
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With the Old Breed was a really good book and it involve war and peoples story in the war and what they went through. I really liked it and i would recomend it to anyone who likes action books.
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With the Old Breed takes place in 1943, and it is about a young man named Eugene Sledge from Mobile, Alabama, wanting to join the Marines and fight for his country during World War 2. He wanted to join the Marines during the outbreak of the war with Japan in December of 1941, but due to a heart murmer, he isn't physically eledgable to become a recruit for the Marines. However, in 1943, during a medical test, Eugene's heart murmer suddenly disapears, and he join the Marines the same day. The next part of the story is about how the Marines putting him and hundreds of others through Basic Training. He learns to shoot a rifle properly, and is put through mortar training. Due to hard work, and extreme dedication, he is accepted, and turned into a Marine. After becoming a true Marine, he is shipped out to a small island in the Pacific called Pavuvu. On the island, he is given the special Marine treatment, and given the job to clean oil drums and cleaning out the "Stalls". He is given his last briefing, and rifle training, and sent out to a small island called Peleliu with hundreds of other Marines in one of the bloodiest battles of the entire war. The story goes on about how he fights and becomes friends with many who later die on the island. After the battle of Peleliu, Eugene is sent back to Pavuvu. After a very short stay, Eugene is sent to Okinawa. In Okinawa, his battlion is almost staying on Okinawa, enemy resistance was almost one to none. This luxery doesn't last long, and his battlion is sent down into Southern Okinawa, and spends almost 6 months in some of the heaviest fighting seen in the war in the Pacific. After the battle, the story goes on about how the United States Air Corp. drop the Atomic bomb on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They win the war, and the battle on Okinawa. Eugene returns home, and finds civilian life very strange. Eugene often questions why he didn't die, and why so many of his friends did. I think that this story is a great book. If you love reading about World War 2, this is a deffinate pick up. I found Eugene's story easy to connect with, and a very moving story about his experiences during World War 2.
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