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The Island: A History of the First Marine Division on Guadalcanal (America Reads: Rediscovered Fiction and Nonfiction from Key Periods in American History) Paperback


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The Island: A History of the First Marine Division on Guadalcanal (America Reads: Rediscovered Fiction and Nonfiction from Key Periods in American History) + With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa
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Product Details

  • Series: America Reads: Rediscovered Fiction and Nonfiction from Key Periods in American History
  • Paperback: 283 pages
  • Publisher: Westholme Publishing; 2 edition (April 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594161135
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594161131
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #532,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

HERBERT LAING MERILLAT was educated at the University of Arizona and Yale University and is author of Guadalcanal Remembered.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David M Harland on July 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book was written by a Marine Corps information officer who was present. As the subtitle says, it is a history of the First Marine Division on Guadalcanal. The island was assaulted by the marines in early August 1942 and the air field constructed by the Japanese was captured. The operation turned into a war of attrition on the ground, in the air and at sea which neither side could afford to lose. After four months the Division handed the fight over to new units, and in early 1943 the Japanese evacuated their troops. Published in 1944, the book provides a better sense of the "big picture" than accounts by war correspondents who spent time on the island. However, like many military histories, the writing style is rather dry in that it details the movements of units down to company level, only occasionally relating the acts of individual marines engaged in the fighting. It lacks the sense of drama of books derived from contemporary interviews, an excellent example of which is 'Guadalcanal Diary' by Richard Tregaskis, who was present for the first seven weeks of the fighting and published in 1943. And of course, being published during the war, none of these books were able to provide the Japanese side of the story.
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