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Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific…

Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War

by William Manchester

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Interesting account of William Manchester's service in the South Pacific in WW II. ( )
  Tatoosh | Apr 11, 2017 |
Brings home the misery and terror that is war. ( )
  rbanks1 | Dec 18, 2016 |
A great, memorable read about the grueling war in the Pacific. Manchester was a Marine fighting on the islands during WWII. This memoir certainly explains ground combat and all of the horrors that go with it. He takes the time to describe each island as well so the reader definitely gets a sense of place as well. My father fought in the Pacific theater so this book really brought much his day to day struggles to light for me. The sights, the sound, the smells, the emotions all come alive in this book. This honest memoir is truly a compelling and eye-opening read. ( )
  bnbookgirl | Jul 23, 2016 |
William Manchester describes his experiences in the Pacific during WWII. He does a good job educating the reader about the expansion and contraction of the Japanese empire as he also revisits his development during this time. ( )
  addunn3 | Mar 7, 2015 |
Ground warfare in the Pacific during World War II was brutal. It was fought by men who had a different sense of place and purpose in the world than what we would commonly find in our culture today. At some point in time the American's who fought during that war came to be characterized as "the greatest generation." William Manchester's war memoir, Goodbye Darkness, carries a reader a long ways toward understanding what it was that forged that generation.

Manchester wrote his memoir about 35 years after the war, as he tried to process and say good-bye to memories that have long haunted his dreams. The overall purpose is summed up as he returns to the battlefield of Tarawa: "So I have nightmare, and so I have returned to the islands to exorcise my inner darkness with the light of understanding."

Drawing on a combination of his own combat experience on Okinawa, a number of months he spent on Guadalcanal, and the combat reports of other islands, he writes a compelling account of the journey of the US Marine Corps through the island battlefields of the Pacific. In each case he weaves stories of the war with the islands as they are today, having taken a trip to visit each of them in 1978, prior to writing this book.

Manchester is an author with an accomplished track record. I have not read any of his other works but he demonstrates great skill here in weaving together threads of complex stories, showing both the micro and macro view. I highly recommend this book, both for the story told as well as to read the work of a master storyteller. ( )
  BradKautz | Jul 26, 2014 |
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Your old men shall dream dreams,
your young men shall see visions.
--Joel 2:28

War, which was cruel and glorious,
Has become cruel and sordid.
--Winston Churchill

But we . . . shall be remembered:
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition.
--Henry V, Act IV, Scene iii
Robert E. Manchester
Brother and Brother Marine
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Our Boeing 747 has been fleeing westward from darkened California, racing across the Pacific toward the sun, incandescent eye of God, but slowly, three hours later than West Coast time, twilight gathers outside, veil upon lilac veil.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316501115, Paperback)

The nightmares began for William Manchester 23 years after WW II. In his dreams he lived with the recurring image of a battle-weary youth (himself), "angrily demanding to know what had happened to the three decades since he had laid down his arms." To find out, Manchester visited those places in the Pacific where as a young Marine he fought the Japanese, and in this book examines his experiences in the line with his fellow soldiers (his "brothers"). He gives us an honest and unabashedly emotional account of his part in the war in the Pacific. "The most moving memoir of combat on WW II that I have ever read. A testimony to the fortitude of man...a gripping, haunting, book." --William L. Shirer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:18 -0400)

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e personal memoir of the author while serving in the Pacific during World War II as a foot soldier in the Marines.

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