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Fighting for America: Black Soldiers--the Unsung Heroes of World War II Hardcover – December 28, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: One World/Ballantine; First Edition edition (December 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345459601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345459602
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,613,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Allied victory in WWII was a triumph of logistics as well as combat power. Moore (Jubilee: The Emergence of African American Culture) looks deeply and broadly into those efforts and comes up with a major addition to the literature. He finds African-American units building the lion's share of the logistical infrastructure in Europe and the Pacific, as well as transporting everything from artillery pieces to bottles of plasma. Among combat units, the familiar Tuskegee Airmen and the Black Panthers of the 761st Tank Battalion are here, but so are the 93rd Infantry Division, which never fought as a unit in the Pacific, and the 92nd Infantry, much maligned for one failure in an otherwise respectable record in Italy. African-American WACS saved the European theater's mail system from total chaos. A great many black Americans who served endured incidents of racial discrimination; Moore vividly depicts their coping strategies. The son of two WWII veterans who met in Europe, Moore contributes a somewhat rambling essay on the development of his own racial identity, but scores of letters and photographs counterbalance that minor deficiency.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Moore's painstaking research and personal history (his parents met while serving in the military in World War II) add enormously to this tribute to the contributions of black soldiers during that war. Moore focuses on the reluctance, and even resistance, to send black troops into military service, based on the myth of their incompetence and cowardice. Thus, black soldiers fought the war on two fronts--at home and abroad. When the war effort required the deployment of black troops, they were originally assigned only support roles of preparing roads and getting supplies to advancing troops, but they proved themselves to be brave fighters as their roles evolved into combat. Moore highlights individuals who distinguished themselves in the war, drawing on previously unpublished materials from individual soldiers and black platoons. Moore chronicles the bravery of the troops as well as their struggles for equality at home, where they continued to be treated as second-class citizens. Photos, newspaper clippings, and letters add to the rich portrayal of the heroic service by black soldiers during World War II. Vernon Ford
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Memphis RAWSISTAZ on July 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Chris Moore's chronicle of black patriotism from Colonial times through World War II is nothing short of an excellent walk through history. As a history buff I found myself eager to turn each page. I would sit with highlighter in hand marking special passages as though I was still a college student studying for an exam. Moore has a special way of transporting the reader back in time, allowing one to almost hear the voices of those who wrote the letters featured in the book. I never realized just how much we as a people contributed to the early Colonial battles that set America as a country free.

Even though black Americans have fought and died in every war this country has faced, only the heroes of recent history get recognition. Yes, we grew up with a knowledge of Crispus Attucks, but what about heroes like Seaman Doris 'Dorrie' Miller and Pfc Robert H. Brooks. Miller was aboard the USS West Virginia, when she was attacked December 7, 1941 by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. Miller, a naval messman, managed to save several lives when he shot down four enemy planes with a .50-caliber anti-aircraft gun he'd never been trained to use. Miller was later presented the Navy Cross for his efforts. I was never taught in school about Pfc Robert H. Brooks was the first soldier to die at Fort Stotenbugh in the Phillipines, when the Japanese attacked December 8, 1941.

There was also airmen Eugene Bullard, who was not allowed to fly combat missions for America. Bullard was however, welcomed by the French army and became an ace pilot during World War I. Bullard flew more than twenty missions against the Germans and was credited with shooting down at least five enemy aircraft. Moore introduces us to black female heroes like pilot Willa Beatrice Brown.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Grand-daughter of a Soldier on December 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
To anyone with any common sense, it should come as no surprise that African American soldiers carried the load, literally, during the Second World War. FIGHTING FOR AMERICA does a superb and meticulous job in detailing all of the many ways which black soldiers helped to win the war. It is simply a national shame that most black soldiers who fought in WWII have gone to their graves without any recognition for their bravery and heroism. This book is loaded with bonafide heroes who are worthy of our applause and any monument which can be erected in their honor. I recommend this book highly.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on May 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
What an interesting subject, presented with historical perspective in Fighting for America, written by Moore to honor his GI Joe Mom and Dad.

I found myself saying out loud, "I didn't know that" as I got a history lesson about the role African-Americans played in fighting for America since they became "Americans."

Even in a movie like "Saving Private Ryan," the important role of several hundred black soldiers at Utah and Omaha Beach on D-Day was not shown. Throughout the book that focuses on World War II, we learn about heroism, camaraderie, segregation, exclusion, demoralization, prejudice -- and patriotism.

Often black men were sent on the most difficult missions - ands then their efforts were greatly downplayed or excluded from history (both when it happened) and in written-down history.

Black women also served as nurses and with other support units. The 6,888th Central Postal Direction Battalion, an all-black unit, assigned some 80 black women to handle mail sorting at a base in Birmingham, England. Those women were the first black people many English had seen, and they helped to shatter stereotypes.

Many of us have heard of the Tuskegee Airmen and all they accomplished. Other black soldiers, trained as paratroopers, were sent to the West Coast of the United States and became firefighters. Their job was to jump into remote forested area and put out fires caused by airborne incendiary bombs sent aloft by the Japanese.

Also, a third of the 10,500 soldiers who built the Alcan Highway (from Canada through roughest Alaska) were black. This major construction project was rushed to ensure that America had a way to get supplies to northward to defend our borders if the enemy blocked our supply ships.

The book was filled with such interesting facts that any history buff will love it. And if you just like to read good stories about good people, it will meet that requirement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alegna Kay on January 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you are a fan of history or not this is wonderful book. Having read a several other history books on WWII in college, this is the first book that has captured me. The journey the reader takes through the life of the author's family and through other soldier's personal experiences allows the reader to relate to the war rather then simply read about it. If history books in school were written like this one, history class would not have been dreaded.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is full of letters and stories that bring the war to life.

There is no doubt that the out come of WW2 would have been DIFFRENT without AM participation.
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