- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (February 2, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312611447
- ISBN-13: 978-0312611446
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 129 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I'm Staying with My Boys: The Heroic Life of Sgt. John Basilone, USMC Paperback – February 2, 2010
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“Everyone should read this book, the story of a true American Hero. I served with John Basilone and I can hear his voice in every page.” ―Thomas O. Nass, 5th Marine Division, WWII
“This book about the legendary John Basilone is presented in such a personal style that one would believe that "Manila John" is still alive. Not since William Manchester authored his memoir GOODBYE DARKNESS twenty-five years ago has a book been written about one man that seems so authentic.” ―Col. Ken Jordan, USMC, ret.
“A lot has been written about my brother in the war, but it's important to know his whole story. This book tells the story of John as a boy, a teenager, and a man. Every student should study and learn from it.” ―Carlo Basilone, John's brother
About the Author
Jim Proser is a writer and film producer. He lives in California.
Jerry Cutter is the nephew of Sgt. John Basilone. His current projects are the documentary and feature film versions of his uncle's story. He lives in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
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A real in the trenches story, masterfully told.
The first half of the book deals almost exclusively with his life before joining the Marines. It includes his early years in Raritan, New Jersey and through his Army career, part of which was served in the Philippines where he was known as "Manila John". This part of the book is somewhat tedious as it depicts a confused young man desperately trying to find his path in life. Many will relate to his fallibility and humanity as Basilone struggles with the competing impulses within him to find himself and settle down or continue to wander carefree and aimlessly through life.
The book picks up steam in the second half as he finally finds the meaningfulness in his life as a United States Marine. The many battles on Guadalcanal are capably described in this section along with the utter depravity and ghastly conditions on the battlefield. The author needed to do better research so he would know the difference between "The Slot" and "Ironbottom Sound".
Basilone resorts to his aimless and restless ways when transferred back to the States on a War Bond Drive tour and had to leverage his celebrity with senior Marine brass to wangle a training assignment back to the "fleet" with the newly formed 5th Marine Division. That assignment leads him ultimately to his untimely death on the black sulfur sands of Iwo Jima. While this book was at times both difficult and unsettling to read, it by no means detracts from the heroism and devotion to duty and to country that was the hallmark of Sgt. John Basilone.
John E. Nevola
Author of The Last Jump - A Novel of World War II