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Left to Die [Kindle Edition]

Dan Kurzman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $5.69
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

A Simon & Schuster eBook. Simon & Schuster has a great book for every reader.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

On November 13, 1942, during the naval battle of Guadalcanal, a Japanese submarine torpedoed the cruiser U.S.S. Juneau , killing most of its 700-plus crew. Some 150 survivors watched in dismay as the rest of the task force sailed over the horizon, its commander, Captain Gilbert C. Hoover, having decided that it was too dangerous to pick them up. Due to communications foul-ups combined with gross negligence, rescuers did not arrive until eight days later, by which time only 10 Juneau crewmen remained alive. Kurzman's skillful recounting of the nightmarish events in the water, reconstructed from interviews with five of the survivors and with relatives of the other five will not be soon forgotten by readers--especially the horrifying shark frenzies. The book reveals details of the Navy's investigation and its decision to quietly bury the tragic story with this official statement: "Let the Juneau be remembered simply as the ill-fated ship on which the celebrated Sullivan brothers courageously died fighting when it went down, bringing new glory on the U.S. Navy." The author of the acclaimed Fatal Voyage: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis has re-created another memorable disaster story.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

In 1942 the U.S. cruiser Juneau was sunk near Guadalcanal. Because of a mistaken belief that there were no survivors and several other successive errors, the 180 men who survived the sinking were reduced by thirst, wounds, and shark attack during the course of a week to only 10. Among those lost were the five Sullivan brothers, who became the best-known casualties of an otherwise little-known episode of World War II. Kurzman has pulled together just about all the material one could reasonably expect into what will likely stand as the definitive recounting of the tragedy, because most of the survivors and their next of kin are now departing the scene. Sometimes clumsily told but generally powerful, his effort deserves its place in at least larger naval and World War II collections. Roland Green

Product Details

  • File Size: 2530 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reissue edition (June 15, 2010)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0048WPO3E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,349 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing and Sad Account December 25, 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I first read this book when it came out in hardback a few years back and parts of it still stick in my mind. The author offers an interesting and truely sad account of the fate of the survivors from the USS Juneau. I have never forgotten the account of the five Sullivan brothers and the other men left to die in the sea around Guadalcanal. This is a terrible story which really reminds you that war is a horrible business. The author tells a great story and you will find it hard to put the book down once you start.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars other ships present justified in leaving. March 16, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was present and actually SAW the ship get sunk. I was aboard the USS HELENA CL50 and sitting on the fantail deck with a buddy and we were tring to figgure out where she had been hit the night before. There was a puff of smoke, a bang, and in less than 30 seconds there was nothing to see. G.Q. was sounded and before we could get to the hatch to go to aour station, about 20 feet, the smoke had cleared and there was nothing to be seen. The officers of the surviving ships did not and could not believe anyone could survive that explosion. Eugene E, Lajeunesse, USS HELENA survivor.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but has some inaccuracies July 10, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a good book. It gives one a good look at the human element of the story of the USS Juneau. In fact, notable figures in her story such as Captain Lyman Swenson, the five Sullivan brothers, and the four Rodgers brothers all have a chapter devoted to them! Other people who were part of the story of the Juneau get sketched out as well. However, this book contains some inaccuracies. Here's a partial list of them. When Kurzman depicts the Japanese air raid on the reinforcement and suppy convoy to Guadalcanal on November 12th, 1942, Kurzman writes that only one Japanese plane "is known" to have escaped being shot down. In actuality, 34 Japanese planes survived the attack to return to base. Worse, Kurzman creates a paper-and-ink phantom when he credits the Juneau with skewering the Japanese light curiser Nagara with torpedoes during the night naval battle of November 13th, 1942. He even depicts Juneau as almost colliding with the Nagara after Juneau was damaged by a torpedo during the battle. In reality, Nagara wasn't hit by a single torpedo during this battle, and escaped to fight again. Regarding the near-collison, the Juneau may have actually almost collided with the USS Helena (and may have even fired at her!) during the vicious night battle she was flung into. However, the sinking of the Juneau and the hellish ordeal her survivors endured is very well done, is eye opening (particularly as to the fate of the Sullivan brothers), and is accurate. As I said, this is a good book. Just be aware of the fact that it contains some inaccuracies.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Before the loss of the U.S.S. Indy, there was the U.S.S. Juneau.
The Navy performed in the same poor manner in regards to the
rescue of the 150 survivors, after this light cruiser blew up after being torpedoed. The result was sailors left in the water
or on rafts being seen by airmen flying over the wreckage site.
The airmen reported the siting of survivors, and reports were filed by no action resulted in the survivors being rescued. The result were 140 sailors dying due to the negligence of the U.S. Navy. Among the dead were two Rogers brothers and the five Sullivans. This was one of the U.S. Navy's worst disasters.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kurzman's other Nautical disaster July 22, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dan Kurzman followed up his excellent account of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis ("Fatal Voyage") with another tragic sinking of an American warship, this time the USS Juneau. The Juneau disaster is probably best known because among the many deaths were five brothers who had joined the navy at the start of World War Two and insisted that they be assigned to the same ship. Only one of the brothers survived the initial sinking, and he tragically succcomed to dehydration and delirium while frantically searching for his siblings on the open ocean amidst the oil and debris from the wreck. Equally compelling is the story of how the commander of The Juneau's task force made a life and death decision to leave the survivors behind in the water lest he put his other ships at risk. As a result only a mere handful of sailors ultimately survived. Their story is as haunting as anything I've read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Author Dan Kurzman has done an excellent job in describing the events leading up to and the sinking of the anti-aircraft cruiser USS Juneau. The Juneau was taking part in the great Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on the night of November 13, 1942. Designed to provide anti-aircraft protection, the Juneau was not very well equipped for ship to ship fighting. During the course of the battle, the Juneau suffered many hits from Japanese ships which resulted in a broken keel, but she was still able to manuver under her own power. However, a lurking Japanese submarine snuck in and torpedoed the hapless ship.
700 men, including the five Sullivan brothers, managed to abandon ship, but, to their surprise and ultimate dismay, the task force kept on going without stopping for survivors. The task force commander felt that it was too risky for the other ships to remain in the sub-infested waters, so the survivors were left to fend for themselves for eight days against the sun and shark attacks. In the end, only about 100 of the 700 who went in the water survived. Among the casulties were all five Sullivans.
I highly recommend this book. The author does an excellent job of describing how the Sullivans enlisted together and insisted on serving on the same ship. The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal is described in a vivid narrative that places the reader at the center of the action. I've also read several books about the sinking of the Indianapolis, and the parallels between the Juneau and Indianapolis are uncanny; both sunk under very similar circumstances, and the survivors of each ship suffered under almost identical conditions. Finally, the U.S. Navy named a destroyer after the Sullivan brothers.
Read this book and learn about the heroic Sullivans and how they made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. I would also recommend the book "Fatal Voyage" by the same author, and the movie "The Fighting Sullivans" for more information on this topic.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing true story of an American Tragedy
Amazing true story of an American Tragedy. Proof that no man left behind is a great slogan but is only assured if those not hurt feel safe to carry on. Read more
Published 1 month ago by O. Benet
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent price for and excellent book
Published 1 month ago by jon anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good but sad.
Published 1 month ago by Joy
5.0 out of 5 stars great read; a real page turner
This book is so well written I had difficulty putting it down. I made the mistake of starting it at night. I had to read the whole book in one session. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Colleenrose
4.0 out of 5 stars unfortunit tradgity
Outstanding ! review of a tradgity, i found it to be so disconcerning about how easy it was to get it wrong becouse of miss comunication. Read more
Published 4 months ago by edwardo fantastico
5.0 out of 5 stars Coverup
Wow...I do not know how to describe my feelings after reading this book. I picked it because I had an uncle who was one of the men lost aboard this ship. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Marilyn Lindell
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read. Well Researched and Well Written
I wanted to read this book because my mom had a friend who died when the Juneau went down. I was impressed with the narrative and the research that went into this book. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Terry W. Sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars Why, why, why were these men left to die
this book is a sad account of history without offering any valid reason why the men of the Juneau were not being rescued when their ship was sunk in battle. Read more
Published 7 months ago by oregonian
5.0 out of 5 stars such a trajedy!
This has been other books written bout ships sunk during world war ii but the two about the sinking of the USS Juneau and USS Indianapolis have to be some of the saddest when... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars A page turner but there are a few annoying flaws with the editing.
I could have given this book four or five stars but, the kindle edition had several problems. I had read this book before (the hard cover edition many years ago). Read more
Published 9 months ago by TomR
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