Paper $17.00 ISBN: 9780226180939 Will Publish October 2014
E-book $17.00 Available for pre-order. ISBN: 9780226181097 Will Publish October 2014

WWII

A Chronicle of Soldiering

James Jones

James Jones

240 pages | 11 halftones, 3 maps, 1 line drawing | 6 x 9 | © 1975
Paper $17.00 ISBN: 9780226180939 Will Publish October 2014
E-book $17.00 ISBN: 9780226181097 Will Publish October 2014
In 1975, James Jones—the American author whose novels From Here to Eternity and The Thin Red Line had made him the preeminent voice of the enlisted man in World War II—was chosen to write the text for an oversized coffee table book edited by former Yank magazine art director Art Weithas and featuring visual art from World War II. The book was a best seller, praised for both its images and for Jones’s text, but in subsequent decades the artwork made it impossible for the book to be reproduced in its original form, and it fell out of print and was forgotten. This edition of WWII makes available for the first time in more than twenty years Jones’s stunning text, his only extended nonfiction writing on the war that defined his generation.

Moving chronologically and thematically through the complex history of the conflict, Jones interweaves his own vivid memories of soldiering in the Pacific—from the look on a Japanese fighter pilot’s face as he bombed Pearl Harbor, so close that Jones could see him smile and wave, to hitting the beach under fire in Guadalcanal—while always returning to resounding larger themes. Much of WWII can be read as a tribute to the commitment of American soldiers, but Jones also pulls no punches, bluntly chronicling resentment at the privilege of the officers, questionable strategic choices, wartime suffering, disorganization, the needless loss of life, and the brutal realization that a single soldier is ultimately nothing but a replaceable cog in a heartless machine. As the generation that fought and won World War II leaves the stage, James Jones’s book reminds us of what they accomplished—and what they sacrificed to do so.
Joseph Heller
“The most stirring and lucid account of World War II that I have ever read.”
James Michener
“Anytime he writes of war you can smell the gunsmoke. A book like this was needed to remind us what it was like. . . . A remarkable achievement.”
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt | New York Times
“[Jones] overcomes the vastness of the event by emphasizing his personal experience of it, thus giving the reader a foothold in the text that is far more satisfying than gliding across a glossy overview. He overcomes his limited viewpoint of the war by symbolizing it in the experience of the common infantryman and locating in that experience a unique significance.”
Robert Gottlieb | New York Review of Books
“A remarkable history. . . .This was a substantial effort—[Jones] had both the long view and the personal one, having not only experienced the war but having thought long and hard about it.”
Alfred C. Ames | Chicago Tribune
“Jones is a man of experience and memories. . . . [He] has written WWII with passion, projected in accounts of actions he never saw no less than of actions in which he participated. . . . Anyone can salute WWII as providing vivid vicarious experiences, a mind-bending extension into new territory of whatever one knew before, not only about war but about human nature.”
San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle
“An expert, eloquent personal remembrance of battles past, what it felt like to live each day as possibly one’s last, what it felt like to go into battle, and finally what it felt like to get hit. . . written by one of the best combat novelists of our time.”
National Observer
“Spectacular and revealing.”
Cleveland Press
“Amazing . . . . With his inimitable bent for realism, his perception and his combat infantry experiences in the South Pacific, [Jones] has managed to write about the whole war, in all its far-flung theaters, and with its entire cast of combatants. . . . . Should be required reading.”
New York Daily News
“Combat, as it appeared to the GIs who dodged bullets and watched their comrades die, is brilliantly portrayed . . . . An antidote to the hundreds of books about the war which have been written by generals and politicians.”
Providence Journal
“Anyone who truly wants to understand [our] civilization ought to read it.”
Philadelphia Bulletin
“Superb. . . the sights, the sounds and smells of the war as well as the feelings of the men who fought it. . . . WWII will bring the memories flooding back; for the student of that global conflict and for the general reader . . . a vivid, highly instructive capsule course in what happened during those dramatic 44-plus months.”
New Haven Register
“This may be Jones’s great contribution to the history of war.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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