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Unsung Heroes of World War II: The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers Paperback – July 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803224567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803224568
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #967,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up-This book presents readers with a fine combination of Navajo history and culture and background information about World War II in the Pacific. In historical terms, the story of the Code Talkers is a recent one as it was kept secret for many years after the war. Durrett describes the establishment of the program from its inception through declassification and the official recognition of the Code Talkers' contributions. The well-written text examines the failures, successes, and problems that the program encountered from training the first group of Marines until the war's end. It also stresses the fact that the Navajo developed the code themselves rather than just using the language as it is normally spoken. Sidebars add interest and details to the text. Maps and vintage photos are well placed and fully documented. One minor flaw appears; the text states that President Roosevelt declared war on Japan; legally, only Congress can declare war. This title is similar to Nathan Aaseng's Navajo Code Talkers (Walker, 1992), but it focuses more on the individuals who were part of the original 29 Code Talkers while still presenting an overview of the whole subject. It's a definite purchase for World War II shelves, especially if the collection does not include Aaseng's title.
Eldon Younce, Harper Elementary School, KS
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

This volume in the Library of Native American History series couldn't be more timely. With young people's interest in World War II piqued, thanks to the film Saving Private Ryan, this strong, well-written resource about the Navajo's role in the Allied victory is a worthwhile acquisition for both its military and its cultural value. Until 1969, when the Navajo Code was officially declassified by the U.S. government, the 420 Navajo Code Talkers remained unacknowledged heroes of the war. Initially, 29 Native American marines devised the code, using the Navajo's complex, inflection-sensitive language. Their work was not only indecipherable to the enemy but also remarkably efficient. What high-tech machines did in four hours, the Code Talkers achieved in literally two minutes. Such astounding facts, as well as stirring personal accounts of battle, make for fascinating, educational reading. Endnotes; selected further reading list. Roger Leslie --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Born in Oklahoma, I grew up on a farm six miles from the town where I went to school. I expected to marry my high school sweetheart after graduation. That was the way of things in small farming communities back then. My mother, however, had different idea. By the time I realized what she was up to, I was enrolled in college and unpacking my bags at Southwestern State. Thanks to Mom, I met the man of my dreams, and after his graduation, my college guy and I set out to build a life together.

In our early years, Dan's job kept us on the move, traveling from the Canadian border to the Gulf, and from the Mississippi to the Rockies. Although I didn't know I wanted to be a writer until I was one, I started packing away memories and experience in a cerebral idea file for future use.

Years later, when the opportunity came my way to write a weekly newspaper column, I said to myself, "I can do that." The next week when I saw my work in print, it was love at first sight. I've been writing ever since. That was 1970.

I wrote the newspaper column for two and a half years, OJT while learning my craft. Highlights published my first story for children in 1972, and after that, I wrote for newspapers and magazines until I sold my first book in 1985.

By this time, our children were grown and married. But, while Dan and I were still adjusting to our empty nest, our son's marriage dissolved and he came home with a four-month-old baby. I thought I was ready to write full time, but God planned for me to take time to help our son and granddaughter while I gained some more life experience.(I recently discovered that this is called a "divine appointment.")

During the next few years, I found I could write nonfiction in stolen moments, but storywriting (fiction) would have to wait until I had hours of quiet for thinking and writing. In the next few years I published 20 nonfiction books for the library/educational market and co-authored two memoirs for grown-up readers.

After completing my obligations for the last nonfiction contract, I decided to go back to my first love, Christian romance. And so, here I am, surrounded by peace and quiet with lots of time to think and write. My time has come to follow my dream and my calling. I'm claiming the title of storywriter and my first book, THE ROGUE TRUST, is available on Kindle.

If you'd like to know more about me, please visit my Website: http://www.deannedurrett.com or my blog, ORDINARY DAYS, http://ordinarydays.deannedurrett.com/

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Shangle on March 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"Unsung Heroes of World War II: The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers" is a book I would highly recommend to anyone interested in the Marines' fight or special operations during the Pacific war. Also, this book would serve anyone well who is interested in the general history or contributions of the Navajo nation to the US war effort. In my opinion, the code talkers as well as the Navajo nation exemplify the Corps' motto of "Semper Fidelis - Always Faithful" by not only serving as Marines in a critical operation during combat but, also supporting a nation and government that had previously alienated and uprooted them from their homes and livelihood. This book skillfully depicts the history, situation, training, and critical operations of the Navajo Code Talkers during the U.S. Marine Corps' Pacific campaign in World War 2. It covers in greater detail, actions by the code talkers at Guadalcanal, Pelieu, Guam, and especially Iowa Jima.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T.B. on April 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read Chester Nez's memoir and then found myself in a Native American Studies Class in college. I wote a research paper on the code talkers and uses this book extensively.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By xy on January 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This concise history of the Navajo servicemen who provided invaluable aid during WWII in the Pacific is quite readable and fascinating.
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