Undefeated: America’s Heroic Fight for Bataan and Corregidor

Bill Sloan. Simon & Schuster, $28 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4391-9964-0
Sloan (The Ultimate Battle: Okinawa 1945) adds to his reputation as a chronicler of the mid-century American military experience with this account of the service men and women who fought the battles of Bataan and Corregidor in the half-year after Pearl Harbor. His perspective is unusual. The defense of the Philippines has been condemned, in the words of one poet, as “a wasted hope and a sure defeat.” Sloan tells the entire story—of military defeat but human triumph—relying heavily on participants’ interviews and accounts to describe the fighting, the surrender, and the Bataan death march. He carries the story through the squalid POW camps, the mass deportation to Japan for slave labor, and the guerrilla war fought by the few successful escapees. He concluded that survivors desperately faced mass murder as Japan confronted defeat. Yet this is not a narrative of survival. Sloan presents a story of sustained heroism under unimaginable conditions, of indomitable spirit that brought order to the chaos of prison camps and held together the human cargoes of “hell ships,” deliberately left unidentified and attacked by American submarines. Sloan demonstrates that if captivity is a state of being, defeat is only a state of mind. 16 pages of b&w photos, 4 maps. Agent: Jim Donovan, Jim Donovan Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/2012
Release date: 04/24/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
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Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4391-9966-4
Paperback - 401 pages - 978-1-4391-9965-7
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