- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Consolidated Book Publishers; 1st edition (1944)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002PJKD4W
- Package Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 88 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Here is Your War: America's Favorite Correspondent Tells the Story of Our Soldiers' First Big Campaign Hardcover – 1944
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1945 Hardback Edition. Dust jacket missing. Bright clean boards have light edge wear. Text is perfect, but moderately toning and fragile because of age of book and paper it was printed on. Same day shipping first class from AZ.
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Ernie Pyle’s Here is Your War, is a collection of his columns written as he was experiencing the North African Campaign during World War II. What keep me from rating this Pulitzer Prize winning collection with all five stars is a feeling that he tends to hew a little too closely to the official line. American troops are all a little too clean,. American purposes and intentions are a little too much as the official Army position would have you believe. Later columns will make it clear that he and the foot soldier has lost some of his innocence. Beyond what may be niggling on my part, Pyle’s style of reporting is masterful for its direct honestly. He achieves with reality much of what Hemmingway hoped to achieve in his sparsely designed fiction. One suspects that both worked very hard to produce what reads as simple truth. Very highly recommended for anyone wanting good war front reporting and specifically a feel for the front lines in the African Campaign.
Having previous reported World War II from London as it was being bombed, Ernie Pyle is selected to accompany the American portion of the North African invasion fleet. As such he is among the first American correspondents to cover American soldiers in World War II from the front lines. He could have travelled in command posts or covered the war from some distance from the front but he made of himself an embedded reporter.
Early he is with the Army Air warriors. He earliest reporting as a peacetime civilian had been with these same flyers. He was comfortable with them. Comfort would never what he most wanted to report. Soon he would be traveling with bare minimal gear” his bed roll, a foot soldier’s tent and his type writer. He would seek out the front. He would be in the same bomb shelters and fox holes as the troops leaped for during any incoming rounds. He would develop the foot soldiers love for and dependence on holes, hastily dug or carefully designed.
More so in the earlier part of the book, Pyle is positively impressed with too many things. Food is always good, even if the tradition is to hate it. The back of the line support is recognized and respected even as he learns the front lines disregard for those as soldiers of the second rate. One can search for a long time before reading anything, much less anything sympathetic about the troops who did the terrible but vital work of stretcher bearer. Even his defense of the Army at the defeat at Kasserine can fell at once fair and overly protective. It does not seem to be in Pyle to tell the folks at home that their Army is anything less than new at the business of war.
The business of war – This will be the theme that ties together the beginning and the end of Here is You War. America’s soldiers start North Africa as the kids, workmen and everyday people you knew growing up, where ever you grew up. By the end of the book everyone has a particular job. The new job means that they are not going to go home until killing stops being the requirement of the day.
This is as close to the truth about America experience in the North African Campaign as any of us now reading Here is Your War is likely to get. Perhaps too wide eyed and accepting in the beginning. Pyle and the soldiers are resigned to the nastiness and shouldering the violent routine at the end.
He was a folksy writer, maybe naive and with Pollyanna tendencies, sort of at the opposite end of the spectrum from A.J. Liebling. But as the war went on he grew wiser and less optimistic.
Naive maybe, but an authentic voice. He thrust himself into the war and suffered along with the troops. He was killed in combat just before Japan surrendered. He was a famous part of World War II and deserves attention for that reason alone. On top of which, his prose is still pleasant to read.