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To Hell and Back Paperback – May 1, 2002
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Audie Murphy was the most decorated American soldier during World War II. He went on to a long film career, starring in The Red Badge of Courage, The Quiet American, and his own To Hell and Back. He was killed in a plane crash in 1971 at age forty-six.
Top Customer Reviews
Murphy received (every major medal, some more than once, that the army has to offer). He joined the army at age 17 to support six siblings after his mother died (his father had left the family earlier), and he doesn't talk about how the war haunted the rest of his life.
He portrays a brutal, harsh struggle to survive, where the only thing that matters is keeping oneself and one's friends alive. There are moments of great poignancy, others of humor. Once, hungry, dirty and wet, mired in their foxholes, they notice they are under a tree with ripe cherries. Not daring to stick a head up, let alone climb out of the foxhole, Murphy's buddy gets the idea of shooting down the branches with his machine gun, and soon they are delighted to have cherry branches falling on them, making the day just a little brighter.
Not once does Murphy mention his numerous awards, Clearly, Murphy believed that luck played as much a part in his survival as anything he did. He was however, the kind of person who tried to control his destiny, doing what was necessary and taking the initiative in order to get through the day. A little piece of Murphy died every time a friend was killed, and soon almost all of his friends were gone. He was delighted if they received a wound that would return them to the rear, away from battle. He sympathized and worried for the lieutenant who had been badly injured and returned voluntarily to the front only to lose his nerve under the intense shelling. It must have been horribly traumatic to develop such close bonds and to have them ripped apart.Read more ›
Audie Murphy, the most decorated American soldier of World War II, was awarded every medal for valor his country could give (The Congressional Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, The Bronze Star Medal, The Bronze Star Medal with a Bronze Service Arrowhead, the Legion of Merit, two Silver Stars, the Purple Heart...the list goes on and on), yet he tells his story in such an unassuming manner that it is hard to believe it is written by a war hero. Audie seems more content to discuss his friends and their impact on the war and on his life than to talk about himself. In his eyes, they are the heroes, and his book does a fine job of paying homage to the footsoldier of World War II.
His book is also a marvelously frank and vivid account of combat through the eyes an "everyman." A poor farm boy from Texas, Murphy is perhaps in many ways the typical hero: one who, when faced with a challenge, rises to a level beyond that which could reasonably be expected under different circumstances. Despite being rejected by the Marines and the Navy for military service ("You're too small, kid"), Audie refused to give up his quest to serve his country. Faced with the horror of war (and the deaths of close comrades), Murphy continuously and relentlessly rose to meet the challenges presented him when those of lesser mettle would surely have cowered. All the more remarkable is that Audie accomplished all this before the age of twenty!
No review could ever do this book justice. It is wonderful, sincere, sad, and true. Rest assured, you will not be disappointed. HIGHLY recommended.
Currently, the myth has been propagated that only highly trained specialists in peak physical and mental condition should engage in close infantry combat. Audi Murphy, the scrawny, orphaned teenager from Texas who was rejected by the marines and paratroopers, stands to discredit that myth. In combat, Murphy found his niche in life. With a carbine in his hands, Murphy became a real killer. Quick reflexes, common sense and a certain amount of luck gave him the edge and allowed him to survive all his original squad mates.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the true experiences of Audie Murphy at war. Yes, the shy western star of the late 40's, 50's and 60's. As a Vietnam veteran, I can appreciate what he experienced. Read morePublished 2 days ago by David E. Sherman
This is actually my second purchase of this book. I loaned it out and never got it back. It's a great read about a good man. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Wendy Slesser
The period language combined with the understated style makes for compelling reading.Published 24 days ago by Scott Holz
I had seen the movie made about Audie Murphy's life, "To Hell and Back," but had never read the book. Glad I did because it was a little more revealing than the movie.Published 1 month ago by Michael Garee
It tells the story just like you were there. All students need to read this book and just maybe more patriotism 🇺🇸Published 1 month ago by Jeri Springer