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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2000
I read this several years ago, being shocked that at age 40 something, I had never heard of the part the Navajos had played in the war. This book will appeal to anyone interested in languages, secret codes, World War II, or obscure history. The photographs and illustrations are a wonderful enhancement. Great subject, great book...I've mentioned it to many people over the years, most of them as unaware (and some disbelieving)as I was of these Navajo heroes.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2001
To say that the United States mistreated the Native Americans has already been established. This book shows that regardless of any mistreatment, the Navajo code talkers fulfilled their duties with honor and without question. This book shows the reader clearly how the Navajo language was used to help the United States defeat Japan during WWII. The recollections of their service to the United States are honest as well as very descriptive of the Navajo Indian's experience in WWII. This book is a must read for anyone who is interested in this often neglected chapter of WWII.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2006
For those who were not aware of the Code Talkers, this book was an excellent first source once the information was declassified in 1968. As far as accuracy, I can assure the readers that the material is very accurate, as my father was one of the major sources quoted in the book. He was with the 4th Signal Company, Headquarter Bn, 4th Marine Division, and made all four campaigns that the 4th Marine Division was engaged in. As a squad leader, he worked with quite a few of the Navajo Code Talkers. He was always impressed with their dedication to the job, even when under heavy enemy fire. Please note that the movie "Windtalkers" was very inaccurate in regard to the Code Talkers and the battle of Saipan (the Code Talkers were never guarded as in the movie, with orders that they be shot if captured - however, they often had Anglo's with them since they were often suspected as being Japanese). Hopefully the Eastwood movie coming out soon, and based on "Flags of our Fathers", will be more accurate. Enjoy the book!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2000
I read this several years ago, being shocked that at age 40 something, I had never heard of the part the Navajos had played in the war. This book will appeal to anyone interested in languages, secret codes, World War II, or obscure history. The photographs and illustrations are a wonderful enhancement. Great subject, great book...I've mentioned it to many people over the years, most of them as unaware (and some disbelieving)as I was of these Navajo heroes.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2002
If the release of the Code Talker-based movie was raised your interest in this subject, look no further than The Navajo Code Talkers by Doris A. Paul. This book was first published in 1973 and was the first, and is still the best, source of information on this subject. Learn the story behind the story. This is a must-read book. Do not accept imitations (or imitators)!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2002
I work for the publisher of this book. There aren't a lot of our books that I get a chance to read, but this one has been a best-seller for 25 years now. So, of course, I have also read and enjoyed it. I'm pleased to spread the word that this book was a resource for the upcoming MGM movie, WINDTALKERS. Of course, the movie is a story, but the book is a historical account of how the intelligent, fierce-fighting Navajos became an invaluable resource to our military during WWII. Indeed, they helped go a long way toward swinging the tide of the war in the favor of the US.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2003
I have read every book written on the subject of Navajo code talkers and while this deserves kudos as being among the first, it is without question the most poorly organized and written. Also, there is a great deal of misinformation within these pages.
Do yourself a favor, read Navajo Weapon by Sally McCain instead. It is the best on the subject...well written and very well researched.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2009
`The Navajo Code Talkers' was originally written in 1973 by Doris A. Paul. The text remains highly relevant today. As a former Marine it was very easy to relate to the transition from civilian life the Navajos experienced when entering boot camp. To make matters much worse for them, the Marine Corps way of instant willing obedience to orders and strict discipline was an extreme departure from their life on the open range of the reservation. Still, these Navajos felt a deep sense of duty to a country that had not treated their people well. Their first obligation was to protect their land and thereby their country from invasion. There were willing to put their lives on the line as Americans and proud Navajos. The concept of using the Navajo language as a secret code gave their mission a unique sense of purpose and value that all Americans should learn about and appreciate. There is no way to tell how many American lives were saved by the use of this unbreakable code.
The author's compelling research efforts received backing from countless code talkers, the officers and government leadership at the time. Many military and civilian historians supported the author's efforts to honor these men and to bring together the most detailed and complete account of their mission possible. I particularly enjoyed the many stories quoted from Navajo Code Talkers of their combat experiences. Along with the harrowing battle tales, there were snippets of humorous events that could only happen in such unique circumstances. Still, the great losses experienced during World War II left these men changed forever.
As a disabled American veteran of the Operation Iraqi Freedom war, I have a deep appreciation of the Navajo way of cleansing the spirit after returning from combat. The goal of the tribe is to completely restore the Navajo combat veteran to a normal way of life. The support these men received from the tribe is a wonderful example of how we should treat our veterans today. I'm very thankful for the author's efforts to document the history of such proud warriors as they represented our United States Marine Corps and the finest traditions of our great military. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about a great example of selfless service and sacrifice in a combat zone or about this unique mission that only the Navajo tribe could complete.
I received a complimentary copy of `The Navajo Code Talkers' by Doris A. Paul as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2011
Doris A. Paul's The Navajo Code Talkers is in its nineteenth printing of a story that just keeps attracting attention, printing after printing. It tells the heartfelt and honest story of the Navajo Native Americans who were instrumental to passing along messages that defied the code-breakers of other armies. The book tells a story of bravery and genius, both by the Navajos and the persons who trained them. I had not heard of this wonderful contribution to our history and to our freedoms. What bravery for the Navajo to enter the armed services to fight for a country that still did not recognize them as equals, able to vote and participate freely in the freedoms that we today take for granted. It also tells a story of prejudices of that time, sad prejudices, obvious from the terms that were used for codes and shorthand by the Navajo and the code writers.
It was a truly interesting book that captured my interest as it told history of people, and that is what keeps me enthralled. I highly recommend the book, regardless of one's interest in history, war, or otherwise. Thank you, Doris A. Paul for this interesting and well-written book.
I received a complimentary copy of The Navajo Code Talkers as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit dorrancebookstore.com to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.
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on February 26, 2012
Title: The Navajo Code Talkers
Author: Doris A. Paul
Year: 1973, renewed in 200
Pages: 169
Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co. Inc.
701 Smithfield Street
Pittsburg, PA 15222
[...]

Note: I received a complimentary copy of "The Navajo Code Talkers" as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit dorrancebookstore.com to learn how you can become a member of the Book review Team.
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World War II was brought about with such a striking force that to this day most people can quote what our President said in response to the Japanese strike at Pearl Harbor, "a day that will live in infamy." While this is not all that was said at this time, it is true that most know December 7, 1941, whether they know someone who fought in the war or not. As with all history there is more than what is known unless one continues to read and learn throughout life.
I was first introduced to the "Navajo code talkers" in a movie called, Wind Talker starring Nicholas Cage. In all my years of schooling, and not being a history fan then, I don't remember reading or hearing about these people. It is with sadness that only now, many years later, I learn of such brave men and their families. It is true that no one person or event single-handedly won any conflict, but it is true that when all the armed forces worked together victory was achieved. As with all conflicts there are dangers, fatalities, heroes and forgotten people.
Here is an excellent resource that brings to the forefront and introduces a new generation to those who helped bring about a code that the enemy at that time couldn't break. Never before had a program of this magnitude been undertaken to include those who were the "first" Americans. This was started by a man, Philip Johnston, who was raised with the Navajo Indians as his father was a Protestant missionary to the Navajo. Mr. Johnston learned the language and customs of the people as he grew up, beginning at age 4, while he also learned English. Mr. Johnston could fluently speak the Navajo language, which was amazing considering the level of difficulty in learning to speak it. He presented the idea for the code, wrote a plan, and waited for that plan to be accepted and begun. What was he doing before then? Mr. Johnston was a civil engineer and a very patriotic individual. He, however, was not the only patriot as you will learn how the Navajo felt about America, worked in the Marine Corp and served America with distinguishing abilities.
Included in this book are many interviews with the "code talkers", letters written and more history about these Marines. There is a bibliography included to learn more about the "code talkers" as well as how our nation finally recognized these distinguished individuals. I highly recommend reading this book to get a starting place to learn about actual historical events that took place during WWII. The readers may also be surprised as to how the Navajo nation was run at this particular time in history and may wish to research more to find out where this nation of people is today.
My rating is 5-star for the author in taking time to put historical fact to print and remind future generations of those brave men who fought for our country so we could be free today. Also, to the Navajo nation, my sincerest heartfelt thanks for your service and sacrifice for my freedom.

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