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Up Front Hardcover – December, 2000
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From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Truth is portrayed in humor or the humor isn't funny. Sergeant Bill Mauldin, an infantryman, barely twenty, and serving in Italy picks up a pencil and anything he can draw on, and begins to sketch two characters named Willy and Joe, two, brave, disheveled, irreverent, likeable and crusty infantry soldiers that give meaning to the names infantrymen were referred to as: ground-pounders, dogfaces, legs, and grunts. Mauldin portrays their grim and grimy existence with fatalistic pictures and captions--or grunts. One called "Breakfast in Bed" finds one of them waking up under a cow's udders, or the one where both are in a rain-filled foxhole and Willie touches Joe's shoulder saying, "Joe, yesterday ya saved my life an' I swore I'd pay ya back. Here's my last pair o' dry socks," or with rain pelting down on a scrawny dog facing the opening of their make-shift shelter, one of them says: "Let'im in. I wanna see a critter I kin feel sorry fer." My all-time favorite is a drunk German staggering toward a hidden Willie and Joe, holding a bottle of schnapps, unaware that he is wandering into American lines: "Don't startle `im, Joe. It's almost full."
These cartoons show the comradeship that soldiers developed for each other that would last a lifetime. Each man knew each other better than his own family or spouse ever would, and they could see the good and the bad in everything.Read more ›
Bill Mauldin, who died recently, was a national treasure. His characters Willy and Joe (themselves a national treasure) form the crux of his cartoons from that era, and they embodied everyman in the heroes of the war. For his work he eventually won a Pulitzer prize. Mauldin claimed to be more of a cartoonist than a writer, but the writing is, in my opinion, at least the equal of the cartoons. For people who have never been exposed to the human level, front line realities of war, this book is vital for understanding the men who fight for the freedoms we enjoy.
This is a wonderful book, and I wish that every high school student was required to read it when they studied World War Two in Europe. I am so glad to see it back in print. While I cherish the copy that my Dad gave me many years ago it is now very fragile. I am grateful to have a new copy to thumb through on my bookshelf. If you read any one book this year on World War Two, this has to be it. It will make you proud to be an American, and proud of the men who fought for freedom sixty years ago.
NOTE: The hardcover book is an offset reprint. Make sure all pages are properly inked. Two pages in the one I saw first were inked too lightly to be read.
One last note: Mauldin went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for his work in 1945 at the tender age of 23, not too shabby.
I also heartily recommend Mauldin's complete World War II cartoon collection, "Bill Mauldin's Army."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cartoonist Bill Mauldin's book, Up Front, captures the essence of World War II with cartoons and text, an unusual combination, but it works well. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Cate Coyne
The book, UP Front , is a classic in both graphic depictions and text, by Bill Mauldin. The immediacy in which Mauldin drew his cartoons and wrote his text brought the... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Carol A. Schweiker
Classic cartoon reality from WWII. If you haven't read this, you should.Published 17 months ago by Mr V
Always loved Mauldin and was very familiar with Willie and Joe but it was a delight to get reacquainted with them. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Dan Price