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After the fall of Manila and after MacArthur's retreat, some ramrod renegades of both the American and Philippine forces organized and coordinated guerrilla resistance in the depths of Mindanao, an island hell-hole flooded with rape-happy aps. Colonel Wendell Fertig, the real life hero of our real life WWII tale, shouts: ""Every man has to take his beating. But damn it, no man has to surrender"". His subsequent speeches are much the same. The book, carefully canvassed, cracklingly chronicled, full of pugnacious prose and stalwart, if strident, chatter, is also, at times, overlong and overproduced. And, like logistics, it is very involved. The stentorian Colonel holds off not only the horrors of the Hapons, as the enemy is ubbed, but gets saddled with sundry, sometimes savage, power struggles; the natives of the resistance, the natives of the puppet government, the Yanks of his own band, the dull boys of Washington Intelligence and the hung-up ones of the 6th Army. Almost four years of yeasty adventures pass, including the machinations of a rebel leader, a priapic primitive and his Lady Macbethish mistress; finally, terror and torture, malnutrition and malaria weathered, MacArthur returns and all the well-merited medals are bestowed. Author Keats has had success with the Cadillac complex and split-level suburbia; here he attempts a sort of hymn-singing recreation of undeservedly little-known history, which while spectacular and salutary, nevertheless too often bounces Like a Burt Lancaster bonanza. For the males in particular, and it may well go.

Publisher: Lippincott