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The Marine: A Novel of War From Guadalcanal to Korea Hardcover – June 3, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (June 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312291426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312291426
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,719,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Straight-ahead prose tempered with wry humor distinguishes this latest war chronicle by Brady (The Marines of Autumn, etc.). Tracking Col. James "Oliver" Cromwell from college to retirement, the novel sometimes reads more like memoir than fiction, but marches smartly up to its dramatic high points. At Notre Dame, Cromwell learns to box well enough to go to the Berlin Olympics in 1936. In World War II, he joins Evans Carlson's famous Raiders and participates in the bold Makin Island Raid, vividly depicted as a near disaster. By 1950 he is a decorated lieutenant colonel, assigned as aide to Ambassador John Muccio in Seoul, South Korea, only days before the North Koreans storm south. Here the novel kicks into high gear, portraying one of the roughest patches in U.S. military history. Through the first summer of hostilities-"the gritty stand at Pusan, the tides at Inchon, the arrogance of demanding Seoul by a date definite"-Cromwell sticks by Muccio as his boss attempts to keep track of a South Korean government that is running away as fast as it can. MacArthur is shown as both a genius and a madman, backed by an army that must relearn the art of war. Through it all, Cromwell's steps are dogged by a former college classmate, Ben Sweet, a conceited war correspondent and novelist who becomes a kind of nagging alter ego. Brady weakens the novel's climax by letting Cromwell take a serious wound offstage, but this soldier's tale of key conflicts in two mid-century wars is a solid achievement.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

It has been 50 years since the end of the Korean War, and Brady sets his latest novel during the first 100 days of the conflict--beginning on June 25, 1950, when the North Koreans launched their surprise attack on South Korea. Our hero is marine colonel James Cromwell, a military attache to the U.S. ambassador in Seoul. Cromwell, we are informed, had served at Guadalcanal during World War II. Cromwell joins General Douglas McArthur in the invasion at Inchon and in his fiercely fought drive to reach the capital city of Seoul. Brady paints Cromwell as a true patriot who--when not fighting--reads Caesar's Gallic War in Latin. Author of Warning of War (2002), The Marines of Autumn (2000), and 12 other novels, Brady served in the Korean War. Here he mixes fact and fiction to offer readers a gripping adventure story. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

Save your money and read a comic book.
J. gibson
Brady's novels about the Corps always feature some unusual historical elements and this one has more than the others.
Bert Krages
Not so with Lieutenant Colonel Cromwell.
Larry Scantlebury

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bert Krages on June 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
James Brady is taking you back to Korea. This novel is written in a somewhat different style than "Warning of War" and "The Marines of Autumn." It somewhat more folksy with shorter chapters but reads well. It tells the story of a Marine from his formative days as a boxer at Notre Dame to serving in several roles as a lieutenant colonel during the first part of the Korean Conflict. Brady's novels about the Corps always feature some unusual historical elements and this one has more than the others. The main character faces different kinds of issues than the those in the other Brady novels. For example, while his career progresses nicely, ironically it is haunted by serving a span as a young officer in Carlson's Raiders (an elite unit viewed with suspicion by many cadre). The book gives a good feel for the various conflicts it describes and for the career of the bachelor Marine officer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hollis O. Blakesley on August 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
James Brady's novel is a good read. It follows the World War 2 to Korean War fictional career path of a U.S. Marine Colonel named James "Oliver" Cromwell. A military boxing champion, he serves with a marine raider battalion, and later serves as an ambassadors aide; many traditional marine officers view his career with envy and suspicion. Therefore, Colonel Cromwell never realizes a personal goal to command a battalion in combat. The author does not pull his punches in describing the 1942 flawed Makin Island raid by Carlson's Raiders. Brady also ignores political correctness by pointing out the dismal combat record of the Army's 24th Infantry Regiment during the Korean War, "an all black unit with mostly white officers and lousy morale." Brady does error in citing the 4 th Marines "as men who would die" during the infamous World War 2 Bataan Death March. The 4 th Marines were defending Corregidor Island at the time of the Death March. Brady also errors citing Marine paratroopers making a combat jump and "floating down" over Guadalcanal. These marines fought with great valor on Guadalcanal, but "floated in " and hit the beach by boat.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Larry Scantlebury on November 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A central issue to the novelist's tools is that you like the main character. This is nearly a responsibility more than just a style. In fiction, certainly the tale can be told with a main character you wouldn't want go on vacation with. But generally, you should feel some passion about him/her and about the struggles they endeavor to resolve. Not so with Lieutenant Colonel Cromwell.
I have enjoyed many of the Jim Brady books. I thoroughly liked the wry humor and courage and depth and loyalty of Billy Port in "Warning of War," and read the final 25 pages of "The Marines of Autumn" with a lump in my throat recognizing the pain and suffering of Tom Verity and his Marine translators during the breakout from Chosin Reservoir.
I couldn't replicate those feelings for Jim Cromwell. Here was a man about whom an epic could have been written. If there were novels about men at war that we wanted shorther, here was one we clearly wanted stretched. It had all the earmarks of an epic: New York to South Bend to Berlin to Camp Pendleton to Makin to Tarawa to Iwo, then to South Korea.
But instead, Colonel Cromwell is shallow, almost superficial. He has the feelings, he just can't express them. We're not expecting 'it was a dark and stormy night,' but in 20 years he has 3 contacts with women that last less than 2 pages, and his most insightful dialogue about the meaning of what Orwell's 'the hard men' do, is with Gunnery Sergeant Arzt, who, like Cromwell's eventual injuries, dies offstage somewhere with litle pomp nor circumstance.
Overall, it had great potential and I can't help but think it could have been longer and more substantial, instead of leaner and more sparse.
I'll still read Jim Brady; this one fell short of his own standards.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rob Manatt on January 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Brady's latest work, The Marine, is a spectacular novel. I fully enjoyed reading it the entire time. It begins as the main charachter, Lt. Col. James T. Cromwell, is heading for college at Notre Dame, and follows him through his days as a boxer, and then as a raider and as a regular marine. His charachter inspired me and fueled my interest in the Marines with his life like bravery and fearlessness. While the main charachter is quite unorthodox, Cromwell is exactly what the marines want in their men. This is a must read for any war novel buff.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
OUTSTANDING SELLER, AND ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS - SEMPER FI
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading it but do not think it was one of his best. To much a stretch in many cases but it was entertaining and as a Marine (both as a NCO and officer) who served in Korea I found it entertaining. It sure had the Army described right. If it were not for the First Marine Division the results may have ended in something different than a truce. And more like Vietnam and there would be no South Korea now. But again Brady is an interesting story teller.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Old Marine on June 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read all of Brady's Marine books (Warning of War, Marines of Autumn, The Coldest War, and this.) "The Marine" is a solid adventure yarn chronicling the career of one Lt. Col. James T. Cromwell, an Olympic boxer who "met" Hitler, a WWII Marine Raider of repute, and a frustrated babysitter of MacArthur in the opening stages of the Korean conflict. This book cements the credentials of James Brady as a military storyteller and is well worth the time and money. However, with my own Marine background, I found one aspect of the text RFI (real blank irritating). There are constant references to artillery as .105mm and .155mm etc. This is just like refering to an eight inch naval cannon as a .8 inch gun. Changes the mental image just a bit, eh? I sincerely hope that this is simply the work of an ignorant editor, but I hope for better in the future.
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More About the Author

The late JAMES BRADY commanded a Marine rifle platoon during the Korean War and was awarded a Bronze Star for valor. For more than two decades, he wrote the "In Step With" column for Parade. He also wrote a column for Forbes.com. He authored eighteen books, among them several on the Marines, including the nonfiction Why Marines Fight and the New York Times bestselling novel The Marines of Autumn.

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