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Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific…
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Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War

by William Manchester

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8101717,475 (4.1)19
A 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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This one will stick with you. The author, who would go on to a career as historian with biographies of Churchill, MacArthur, and several other works, first survived the Pacific Theater as an enlisted Marine. It is as bad as you think, if not worse. He received his 'million dollar' wound on Okinawa, with this memoir remembering his fallen colleagues, his lost self. I grate a bit at the 'greatest generation' moniker but this memoir makes a solid case for the honorific. ( )
  kcshankd | Apr 14, 2019 |
In this intensely powerful memoir, America's preeminent biographer-historian, who has written so brilliantly about World War II in his acclaimed lives of General Douglas MacArthur (American Caesar) and Winston Churchill (The Last Lion), looks back at his own early life. This memoir offers an unrivaled firsthand account of World War II in the Pacific: of what it looked like, sounded like, smelled like, and most of all, what it felt like to one who underwent all but the ultimate of its experiences. It belongs with the best war memoirs ever written. -Los Angeles Times Manchester speaks of the awesome heroism and hideous suffering of the Marines he lived with and fought with. -Baltimore Sun
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 ( )
  MasseyLibrary | Mar 22, 2018 |
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 |
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
To
Robert E. Manchester
Brother and Brother Marine
First words
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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