Heroaudie Murphy

Charles Whiting, Author Stein and Day $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8128-3135-1
The most-decorated soldier of World War II, Murphy became a movie star in the late 1940s, squandered a fortune by gambling, was tried and acquitted for attempted murder shortly before his death in a plane crash in 1971. According to Whiting, Murphy had little personality and lived an emotionally bleak life with the exception of the 30 months he spent in combat. Whiting describes Murphy's poverty-stricken childhood in Texas, follows his blazing trail throughout the war, his failed marriages, his almost somnambulistic career in movies and his increasingly erratic behavior toward the end of his life, arguing that Murphy in postwar years displayed classic symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. In this tedious biography, the author does not explain satisfactorily what motivated the teenage Murphy to turn in to a German-slaughtering demon on repeated occasions, or why he spent the subsequent 26 years of his life in a largely passive state of boredom and crushing depression. Whiting's books include Massacre at Malmedy and other histories of World War II. Photos. (June 30)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-515-10568-1
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