Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Biography This Time!

Hero of the Pacific: The Life of Marine Legend John Basilone Hero of the Pacific: The Life of Marine Legend John Basilone by James Brady

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I picked up this book at the library because I've been watching The Pacific on HBO.  I was interested in finding out more John Basilone, one of the Marines about whom the Tom Hanks' series is centered.
I found the book confusing to read.  The author jumped around in the timeline, and I wasn't always clear as to who he was quoting.  I felt that the author's main purpose of the book was to sift through a lot of conflicting information about John Basilone rather than to tell his story.   Some things I did take away from the book:   John Basilone was a skilled soldier and Marine; he fought heroically, and died heroically.  The details are confusing which seems to make sense to me.  Although I have never been in battle, I can't imagine it to be anything other than horrible and confusing.  I also believe that his other biographers told his story as they believed it to have happened, out of love and admiration, not out of any other motive.  Since Basilone apparently never wrote about his experiences, and since all of his personal narrative was part of the War Bonds tour (with government oversight!), there is little primary source.  What I found fascinating is that I lived in Bridgewater Township, NJ during from 1963-1970, and I attended Bridgewater-Raritan High School (West).  Raritan was "next door". We visited Duke Island Park often, shopped at the Acme on the Somerville Circle, and I was familiar with many of the Raritan locations mentioned in the book.   I never heard of John Basilone.    Weird.

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