INTO THE VALLEY: A Sharmish of the Marines by John Hersey
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INTO THE VALLEY: A Sharmish of the Marines

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It is through graphic pictures of the minor incidents of the war that I find I get a more vivid sense of what it must be like than I do through books that presumably are of greater historical significance, such as Guadalcanal Diary and Battle for the Solomons. John Hersey, Time correspondent and author of Men of Bataan has recorded here with simplicity, strength and great feeling an insignificant incident in a small action on Guadalcanal, but one which exemplifies ""how war feels to men everywhere"". Few accounts have so effectively reproduced the actuality of war and the men who fight it, men who, with some fear and no elation, hide a great weariness under a camouflage of bravado, who fight regardless of the cost. This is the story of an impossible situation in which Captain Rigaud, and a small unit of Marines attempted to clear a valley of Jap snipers and force a river crossing. One shares the oppressively silent march along jungle trails, the impasse when they find themselves trapped, growing panic, the decision to withdraw. Beyond these factual essentials, it is a rounded expression of the sensations and emotions of a band of men in a valley of death. I found it profoundly moving.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1943
Publisher: Knopf