A Time of War: Remembering Guadalcanal, a Battle Without Maps

William H. Whyte, Author, James C. Bradford, Introduction by Fordham University Press $50 (145p) ISBN 978-0-8232-2007-6
Better known for his groundbreaking The Organization Man (1956) and The Exploding Metropolis (1958), Whyte, who died last year at 81, served in the United States Marine Corps during WWII and penned this brief, previously unpublished memoir of his four months on Guadalcanal in 1942. Whyte volunteered for duty in October 1941 and became a lieutenant specializing in intelligence. He spends much of this perceptive memoir detailing his introduction to combat against the Japanese, with whom the Marines were battling for control of the island during America's first Pacific offensive. Plagued with inaccurate maps and little knowledge of jungle fighting, the Marines on Guadalcanal were exposed to incessant Japanese attacks; Whyte chronicles vividly the brief but savage battles as the U.S. force repelled them. His analysis of captured enemy papers and diaries reveals the overconfidence of the Japanese army and the problems encountered by their sometimes inept commanders. American marine and naval officers also come under Whyte's scrutiny, and several do not escape unscathed. Included in the book are two lengthy articles Whyte wrote for the Marine Corps Gazette, in which he described part of the campaign from the Japanese point of view. Those interested in Whyte's intellectual development will find the book fascinating, while those with less of an investment in the author will still find it an interesting period piece. Photos and maps. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/03/2000
Release date: 01/01/2000
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 145 pages - 978-0-8232-2008-3
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