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Give Us This Day Paperback – April 17, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

Review

An impressive and moving book. --

His is no ordinary prisoner-of-war story; better written than most, it contains no tales of swashbuckling defiance. . . . The force of this book is its testimony to the indomitable strength of the human spirit. -- Manchester Guardian

It is one of the most harrowing and debilitating chronicles that I have read. . . . He describes the ordeal brilliantly; he harbors no resentments apparently, and he has emerged from an inferno of bestiality with utter serenity. -- Maxwell Geismar, Saturday Review

Sidney Stewart's composed narrative is one of the most noble documents ever penned by a prisoner of war. The companions he writes about remained men to the end, until at last only one man remained; he survived to write this unforgettable, this magnificent story. -- George Slocombe, New York Herald Tribune [Paris]

The plain narrative of this story would by itself have been fascinating, but this book is far more than a story, it is a work of art. -- Andr Siegfried, Academie Francaise

About the Author

Sidney Stewart lived in Europe for many years. He died in Paris in 1998.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Revised edition (April 17, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393319210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393319217
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #843,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
I first read this book over 30 years ago and still remembered it quite well. Having read the book again when re-published it fascinated me in much the same way it did when I was a teenager. This amazing account of Stewart's experiences as a prisoner of the Japanese during virtually the entire period of our involvement in the war is am incredible testimony to the will of one person to survive. In the begining of the book it is quite clear that our forces were woefuuly unprepared for war, making it inevitable that the Philippines where Stewart was stationed would fall to the Japanese. Although conditions were never good during Stewart's confinement they became unbearable toward the end of the war. His accounting of the slow loss of his friends to the rigor's of confimement and of his own perseverance to survive make this one of the very best books of its kind. It should be read by evey American so a truer picture of the horrors of war can be fully appreciated by all.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By David Hutton on August 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is truly a heartbreaking book. Mr. Stewart straightforwardly and unemotionally retells his personal story of survival through the Bataan Death March and subsequent captivity, in which he (and his fellow prisoners) experienced extremes of treatment and torture that you and I should be thankful we will never have to endure, an experience every bit as brutal and dehumanizing, as sad and desperate as any experience of World War II (including the brutality of the Holocaust). On top of barbarous treatment by the Japanese they were even bombed (accidentally) by American bombers while being transported in a Japanese warship to a new prison location as the war was drawing to a close. I cannot think of another book I have ever read that humbled me as much as this book and its recounted experiences of Mr. Stewart and his fellow prisoners. If some of these described incidents were given a fictional treatment, I would probably have laughed at their unlikeness (particularly the incident that gave the book its title--one of the most amazing things I have ever read), and yet it is all true. Truth really is stranger than fiction. I really encourage you to read this so we don't forget what the men who fought this war this in sacrifice for their country. I don't think anyone sacrificed more than the men who were captured at Bataan did. All of us should never forget how much they gave for us.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Steve Iaco on January 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a classic book pointing up the capacity of humans to persevere in the face of unconscionable deprivation. Sydney Stewart was one of the gallant American soldiers trapped on the Philippine Islands at the outset of World War II. Under-manned, under-armed and under-fed, Stewart and his friends fall into the hands of the conquering Japanese. He survives the Bataan Death March, but his long, arduous odyssey as a prisoner of war is just beginning.
Stewart is an eloquent writer and he presents a heart-rending account of his horrific ordeal. That he survived at all is a miracle; that he survived well enough to produced for posterity such a powerful memior is astonishing. Highly recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By rjbindy on June 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
I first read this book about 35 years ago when I found in my summer camp's library. Turns out my father, who survived Bataan and spent the rest of the war as a POW, knew the author while imprisoned. He said it was as accurate a portrayal as he had seen.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Long on November 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
I cannot recommend this book more highly if, for no other reason, than to help us value freedom and recognize what has been..and is being...lost to preserve it. This is an astounding story.

Mr. Stewart describes his experiences after the fall of Bataan in prose that I could not. He was...calm, objective, fair. The torture, starvation, suffering, and gross and endless inhumanity were beyond my capacity for such rational treatment.

When you read a chapter, you go, "My God, that was unbelievable." Then the next chapter exceeds the previous. This goes on throughout the book and that is why I could not put it down.

I didn't get the sense Mr. Stewart had any agenda in writing this book, but there are very powerful lessons to be learned. First, de-emphasize your problems and consider yourself very blessed - it's a matter of perspective and if you don't get it from this book, you never will. Second, freedom is not free and the price becomes infinite if you wait for the bad guys to act first.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jim davis on January 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
In 1967 a friend gave me a worn out copy of this book. The front page was missing and it was falling apart. It was several months before I picked it up and started reading it. If found out that you cannot judge a book by a missing cover. (The first two chapters starts off slow,... but WOW, after that you cannot put it down!) I have since read this book over five times. I'm a shift captain on Winter Haven Fire Department and I let everyone on my shift read it. When I think I have a bad day,...I think of Sidney Stewart. It also has a Christian theme that is very powerful. My prayer for Sidney Stewart and all those on this horrendous event: I PRAY THAT SOMEONE WILL ENCOURAGE GEORGE LUCUS TO MAKE A MOVIE ON THIS BOOK!!!!! AMERICANS NEED TO KNOW THE TRUTH AND HORRORS THAT THESE SOLDIERS ENDURED. IT WILL BE A THOUSAND TIMES BETTER "THAN SAVING PRIVATE RYAN."
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