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The Great Raid Paperback – May 22, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax (May 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078688780X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786887804
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #417,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William B. Breuer is the acclaimed and award-winning author of thirty-four books, focusing on World War II, the CIA, and the FBI, as well as the Korean War. Fourteen of his books have been selections of the Military Book Club. He lives in Cleveland, Tennessee.

General Barry McCaffrey as a combat officer has twice received the Distinguished Service Cross and has been awarded three Purple Heart medals. A retired four-star general, he has served as director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and is now a national security analyst for NBC News.


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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
Unfortunately, behind the weak writing lurk bigger flaws.
A. Ross
The book exemplifies the bravery these men did for the country and the injustice they are enduring today.
Bhong
HOUR OF REDEMPTION by Forrest Bryant Johnson is a thousand times the book that Breuer's is.
lou

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bhong on August 17, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A powerful moving book detailing the experience of Filipino and American soldiers' struggle to free POWs in Cabanatuan, Philippines. As a Filipino-American, whose ancestor were directly affected by WWII, I found the book to be inspirational seeing both my beloved homelands unite to fight for the greater good.
The book gives life to a time in history of great importance, that Americans lack awareness-in and in dept to pay tribute to both Filipinos and Americans who fought for their country.
After reading the book, one is left with sheer amazement, pride, appreciation, and yet saddened by the lack of tribute lacking for these veterans, and The Great Insult America has bestowed upon Filipinos who fought and died for America and America's soldiers.
In July 14, 1941, when the Philippines was still a colony of the U.S., 140,000 Filipino soldiers was call to active service by then President Franklin Roosevelt to fight in WWII along side the Americans under the U.S. flag
Their brave service under the U.S. flag was snubbed when in 1946 Congress sign into law the Rescission Act of 1946, which affectively denied them their right to receive the same right given to other WWII U.S veterans.
Today there are only 12,000 surviving Filipino American veterans in the U.S and 35,000 Filipino veterans in the Philippines.
The book exemplifies the bravery these men did for the country and the injustice they are enduring today.
Marimax is currently filming a movie based on this book.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a slight work by a military ... writer who quite obviously rushed this book into paperback reissue to capitalize on the extraordinary success and critical acclaim of the bestselling masterpiece, GHOST SOLDIERS. Mr. Breuer has written 30-some odd military books and is clearly the kind of writer who believes in quantity over quality, and it shows in this sloppy work. Mr. Breuer retells dozens of stories that were orginally reported in the book, HOUR OF REDEMPTION, by military historian Forrest Johnson, but Mr. Breuer neglects to cite or even acknowledge the existence of Mr. Johnsons's book, the first work ever written on Cabanatuan camp, published back in the 1970s. Johnson's book is infinitely better researched and has the integrity of someone who invested heart and soul into his subject. And the extraordinary GHOST SOLDIERS speaks for itself. Altogether, Breuer's thin research, treacly prose, and obvious haste make this book a disappointing read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ignatious Valve on April 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
As an American missionary working in the Philippines, this bit of history was very interesting for me. The history is truly amazing- the brutality of the Japanese, the response of the American government, the personality and strategy of General Douglas MacArthur, and the reaction of the Filipinos themselves were all fascinating. The author based his book on many interviews he did with survivors, and this made the recollection of history much more interesting and also much more personal. The story is told through the lives of actual individuals and their memories- this enhances the story. The author has a political point to make in his book, and it is a political point that I happen to believe has truth to it. I will quote him from page 232, "Who was to blame for America's monumental debacle in the Philippines and at Pearl Harbor?....the culprits were the people of the United States and shortsighted politicians in Washington who held fast to the belief that the way to keep America out of war was to remain militarily weak..."

I enjoyed the book, but I believe it was written poorly. There was an obvious bias against the Japanese. No doubt the Japanese committed numerous atrocities, but everything in the book was shaded with an honest dislike for their race. I found this frustrating. Though Filipinos were often exalted in the book, the author writes in a way that shows his favoritism (maybe racist favoritism) for Americans. The Filipinos are portrayed as the cute `little brown brothers', which actually are the words of a former US President. In the book, vulgarity, machismo, and plain stupidity of American soldiers is exaggerated and exalted.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
Like many people, I read and generally enjoyed the 2001 bestseller Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission. What I didn't realize when I picked up this earlier book, was that it covers almost the exact same material, but in a much less engaging way. (It should be noted that both books owe a huge debt to Forrest Johnson's 1978 book Hour of Redemption: The Heroic WW II Saga of America's Most Daring POW Rescue, a debt acknowledged in Ghost Soldiers but not by this book.) Here, Breuer provides a workmanlike account of the post-Pearl Harbor political and military context that led to the U.S. "abandonment" of the Philippines, its subsequent fall to Japan, and the horrific fate of the US and Filipino soldiers taken prisoner. He similarly sketches out the spy network that operated under Japanese occupation, the regrouping of U.S. forces as the war in Europe wound down, and the planning and execution of the titular raid to free 511 POWs.

This material all more or less overlaps with Ghost Soldiers but isn't nearly as well written. Breuer has a penchant for trite melodramatic phrasing, and tends to repeat information over and over and over as if his reader has no memory. It also doesn't help that instead of simply writing "three Rangers did X", he writes, "John Q. Doe of Springfield, IL, James R. Doe of Anywhere, WY, and Jesse T. Doe of Plainview, MI did X." I certainly understand his desire to honor every solider he can by naming them, but it makes for very awkward reading.
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