Men of War: The American Soldier in Combat at Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima

Alexander Rose. Random, $30 (496p) ISBN 978-0-553-80518-5
Inspired by the experience of the British soldier in John Keegan's The Face of Battle, a classic work of military history, Rose (The American Rifle) looks at three iconic battles in American military history—Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima—through the American soldier's perspective, mining an immense database of secondary and primary sources to relate the experience of battle largely in the words of the soldier participants. Rose takes the reader into the firing line with the smoke and horror of combat. One consistent theme that he illuminates is the constant danger of infantry combat: the risk of death or injury is high, and the wounds, both fatal and non-fatal, are often gruesome. The detailed descriptions of the state of medical support for wounded soldiers is another important focus, and Rose makes the point that medical science, even in the relatively modern battle of Iwo Jima in 1945, was strained by the needs of the wounded. The physiological impact on the survivors of battle is also stressed throughout. Rose's grim, unadorned, yet immensely readable look at battle is a dose of what real war is like, and a good balance to the more common sanitized military history fare. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/22/2015
Release date: 06/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-0-553-38439-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-5113-7275-6
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