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During World War II, thousands of Americans read Ernie Pyle's accounts of the war; he was sent overseas with only one assignment: to write a story every day on whatever he could find. What came from that assignment was a best loved column that gave people an insiders view on the GI's fighting in Europe and later, the Pacific. Deciding to actually live the same life as the soldiers, he made beach-invasions with them, including Normanday and Iwo Jima, saw their battles and lived at their camps. He raised morale, supported the men he was working with and provided information in a time when he was sorely needed. After his death in the Pacific, he was mourned alongside Roosevelt. One of the greatest journalists, and one that laid the groundwork for later war correspondents, this engaging work on a little-known figure engrosses and informs, providing a window of light into the history of war media. 319 pages, indexed.
WINNER OF A NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
Ernie Pyle, better than any other World War II journalist, conveyed the triumphs and tribulations of the common soldier trying to survive a brutal conflict. From North Africa and Normandy, Anzio and Okinawa -- where he died -- Pyle brought the war home to America. James Tobin's "superbly documented and compassionate account" (Publishers Weekly) is a classic biography of an American icon.
James Tobin is a prizewinning reporter for the Detroit News. A Pulitzer Prize nominee, he earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
"This is the portrait of a complex, enormously gifted but tortured writer . . . but it is much more: few books about combat journalism have so vividly depicted the fascinating interactions between war correspondents, soldiers and folks back home. . . . World War II was quintessentially Ernie Pyle's war, and Mr. Tobin brilliantly explains why." -- The New York Times Book Review
"James Tobin's magnificent new biography of Pyle should do much to renew the luster of his name and revive interest in his extraordinary work. . . . This clear-eyed, unsentimental, beautifully written biography is a classic worthy of the man it celebrates." -- The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"What makes this biography so fascinating . . . is the story of Pyle himself, a man seemingly driven by demons and nagged by self-doubt who accomplished so much. . . . Anyone with an interest in the power of the written word will be intrigued -- and will lament that Pyle was the sort of character unlikely to be seen again." -- The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Barely a half century ago Ernie Pyle was one of the most famous people in America . . . both the chronicler of the common man and its embodiment. Now, five decades after his death from Japanese fire on a small island in the Pacific, Pyle has had the good fortune to fall under the scrutiny of a sympathetic, unsentimental and scrupulous biographer. . . . The result is a thorough, revealing book." -- The Washington Post Book World