A moving tribute to fallen soldiers and their survivors.

BURIED ON THE BATTLEFIELD: NOT MY BOY

THE RETURN OF THE DEAD FROM WORLD WAR TWO

Beigel tells the story of the American government’s efforts to bring home the country’s World War II dead in this nonfiction debut.

Of all the nations that participated in World War II, only the United States repatriated its war dead. This is now commonplace, but at the time, it was an unprecedented logistical feat, intended to bring closure to the families of those who lost their lives in overseas conflicts: “In many cases, the recovery and return of the remains happened five years or more after their deaths,” writes Beigel in a preface, adding that “The time, effort, and national treasure spent to repatriate the war dead of the United States…is utterly unique in the annals of global history.” Beigel is a professional researcher who’s investigated the deaths and burials of over 2,000 American service members on behalf of their relatives, and in this book, he tells the largely unknown story of how the “Return of the World War II Dead Program” came about. He includes excerpts from the letters of grief-stricken mothers and contemporary newspaper reports that show the growing public demand for bringing the soldiers’ bodies home. In the book’s second half, Beigel goes into the stories of individual soldiers, describing how they were killed, the feelings of their families, and the struggles of military officials to deliver on their promises. Beigel’s prose is clean and concise throughout. His tone is often quite sentimental, but he still manages to tell soldiers’ stories with poise: “He was buried on the twelfth of July in a very small cemetery located on the road from St. Croce, Camerina, northwest one-half mile. Sergeant Drullinger was laid to rest between two of his fellow soldiers from F Company, both, by chance, small-town Oklahomans.” The words of the parents themselves are even more affecting; for example, here’s the father of Sgt. David Wilson, who feared that the Army hadn’t kept track of his son: “We realize that he was just a common G.I. and rated very low with the army. But he was very dear to us and our only son, so you can see how we would appreciate some detailed information.” Overall, the book provides a clear window into an operation that most Americans will likely know little about. Readers will also be left with a great feeling of respect for the importance of ritual when dealing with the deceased. One particularly difficult situation involved Maj. Frederick Koebig and 1st Lt. Anthony Kuhn, two bomber crewmen who survived the crash of their plane only to be captured by the Japanese in the South Pacific. They were killed when their prison camp was unintentionally bombed during an Allied raid, then cremated by the Japanese and placed in a box along with the ashes of 27 other American and Australian prisoners. Nevertheless, the U.S. military found a way to bring them home in a manner that was respectful to all the men with whom they were interred.

A moving tribute to fallen soldiers and their survivors.

Pub Date: May 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-73361-250-0

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Midnight to 1 Am

Review Posted Online: Aug. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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