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on September 30, 2012
This is an important and fascinating part of WW ll history which every American should know and appreciate. It helps you understand the way Indians were treated in America, "The Land of the Free" and this incredible role they played in the war. The code was brilliant. If you grew up as I did playing cowboys and Indians this will help you to appreciate the heroes thay were during the war.
The book is written from a personal perspective making it come to life. It is totally engrossing..Japan planned to make America part of the Japanese Enpire established in the 4th century. They felt it was their destiny and were a warrior race. The whole philosophy is something I did not understand and the value they placed on human life was tied in to this belief. I am learning and understanding so much.
The Navajos who had been so mistreated and were a peaceful people were recruited for this extraordinary mission undertaken by the Marines in the Pacific and surely were responsible for our victory in the Pacific.
If I had my way, every person in our country would read this book. It takes a lot for me to recommend a book this highly.
Thank you Amazon for suggesting it.
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on June 12, 2014
I believe it was President JFK who stated: "Think not of what your country can do for you; instead, think of what you can do for your country." The venerable Chester Nez embodied the spirit of this quote before this quote even existed. He looked death in the eyes and fought for this land at a time when Native Americans were not even considered full American citizens (Chester was not allowed to vote even after he came back from WWII, after serving the country so valiantly). It is so hard for our pampered generation to imagine how he chose to serve in the military after all the injustices him and his people suffered, perpetrated time and time again by the U.S. government. But in reading his memoir, I gained a full understanding of his heroism and motivations. He was a true American in spirit first and let his actions do the talking, instead of waiting for the government to recognize him as so. I was incredibly moved by everything he had been through and done in his life. I can't thank him enough for all his services and setting an example for future generations of Americans. I can only hope to achieve a fraction of what he did for this country.
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on November 21, 2013
Great book. There are dozens of books written about this subject, with this one easily being one of the better ones. Goes beyond just the war experiences and shows what life on the reservations were as well. A very historical book that could be classified into several categories: military history, Native American studies, ethnic studies, combat history or biography. A very well written book, this is the definitive book on Navajo Code Talkers
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on June 12, 2014
I read "Code Talker" after reading Sally McClain's Navajo Weapon, a good sequence to follow. This book gives the experiences of one of the original 29 Navajos who developed the secret code for front-line communications during WWII that the Japanese could not break. It is a fascinating narrative of Chester Nez's experiences from the Navajo reservation, through the development of the code (which is actually shown), his experiences during his Pacific battles, and his return home. The style of writing is that of an Anglo, but the story is clearly his, and it is incredibly interesting. I was very impressed by the dignity with which he and the others conducted themselves and were generally given by their fellow soldiers. They honored the secrecy of the code until it was declassified in 1968 even though their lives at home were hardly any different than before. By sheer coincidence, Chester died as I was finishing the last pages of his book.
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on April 14, 2013
Chester Nez was a code talker. A marine, an American, a Navajo who even though he could not cast a single vote for his country served valiantly in the Pacific Islands during WWII. One of the very first code talkers, a group of Navajo men who were asked to work out a code in their language, a code that proved unbreakable by the Japanese and was a major factor in their defeat.
A well-written memoir of this brave young man, who along with the other code-talkers, had to serve constantly. An Island taken, the Japanese pushed back, the other soldiers were allowed to take a small rest, a bit of R&R in Australia or elsewhere, but not the code talkers. They were moved on to the next battleground and the next and the next. Probably their strength rooted in their value system of living close to nature, the practice of self-control, and duty to family all in a rugged environment gave them the will and the stamina and the courage to keep moving ahead, to keep doing their duty in the job for which they had trained constantly and diligently, to stay sharp and in control, for they knew lives depended on them.
Chester Nez came back from the war, but he was not allowed to speak of being a code talker and his contribution and that of the other code talkers stayed a secret for many years.
Eunice Boeve, author of Crossed Trails
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on November 30, 2016
This was better than I expected and Chester is a true American gem. He lived through poverty and prejudice yet answered the call to defend this country, his country. He suffered through losing three children, divorce, war and losing both his legs to diabetes yet he looks back and says he had a wonderful life. What a wonderful man and fantastic story. I recommend this to anyone period no matter what you like to read this will make you feel good about being human.
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on May 12, 2012
The movie on this subject was so bad that my wife and I walked out after 20 minutes. The part of the the movie we saw was untrue, so bad it didn't deserve making.

The book was well written. Factually correct. Easily read. It was especially interesting about the treatment of the Navajos prior to WW2. Lots of irony there but then there was plenty to go around during the WW2--incarceration of Japanese citizens for instance.

Glad the author put this material into print so it can be followed in future years. Since I went to the University of Kanasas, was entirely familiar with Haskell University(now a 4 yr. school) I found some of the references quite familiar.

The book is a GEM, a real contribution to WW2 history as well as Native American History. An important addition to 20th Century History. I have recomended this book to several who have read it. I read it on Kindle but told them to get hard back from Amazon so it could be passed around and to date have received several thank yous for such a recommendation.

Robert S. Mosser, M.D.
Kansas A.B. 1948, M.D 1952
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on September 12, 2012
Originally I thought this would be an indepth history of the "Code Talkers". I had heard about them before but never bothered to investigate. Good reason, as I think this is one of, if not the best accouting of how the code came to be and the people behind it. I did not expect the detailed history of the Navajo Indians and life on various reservations. It was interesting but depressing as to how the US government treated them. I could go on and on about the subject but that's for another day. Amazing how dedicated the "29" were with the chore of developing and implementing the code. If you are into the secrete codes and machines like the Enigma machine, the Germans had, this is a book for you. Chester Nez is unbelievably humble in the retelling of the what he and the almost 400 other code talkers went through durning their time in the South Pacific. Chester and the rest of the Code Talkers were truely Marines in every sense. Be forwarned, there is a lot of the history of growing up a Navajo and Chesters life after his service to his country. This is not a polished read from an accomplished author. It is an account of a man who gave his all for a country he believed in. A Kindle downside is the lack of photos, mentioned as included in the hard cover book.
Still a worthy read.
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The story of the code talkers is one of brave men who, though considered second class citizens, rose to the occasion, entered the service and helped win WW2 by creating a code in Navajo that no enemy could break. Forget the movie Windtalkers. Mostly balderdash. Read this interesting piece of world war 2 history instead.
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on September 22, 2012
This book is the story of a man late in his life. He's over 80 and he and his fellow original code talkers (32 he insists) were hero's during WWII but they did not get recognition until the late 1960s. It was a joy to read about the code making and the aspects of the Navajo language that allows one to see the language as part of a great oral culture and tradition. It violated many long-held stereotypes that oral languages are primitive and simple. Navajo is anything but. It contains so many unique sounds and vocalizations that if one is not born in the culture, it is very difficult to pick it up -- even if you reach the Navajo Nation by age 4. You have missed too much. The book reveals a lot about the family that Chester had grown up in. That aspect alone made it a great read. I'm not really a war person, even though that was a large part of the book. But even in those parts his Navajo beliefs and thoughts came through. The Navajo language, culture, beliefs and the men it produced were a wonderful addition to the US military apparatus. They helped to win the war.

 Where are we? & How did we get here?: Wanted: Honest and Straight Talk about the Transatlantic Slave Trade
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