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Bringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Dale Maharidge

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12. März 2013
Sergeant Steve Maharidge returned from World War II an angry man. The only evidence that he'd served in the Marines was a photograph of himself and a buddy tacked to the basement wall. On one terrifyingly memorable occasion his teenage son, Dale, witnessed Steve screaming at the photograph: "They said I killed him! But I didn't kill him! It wasn't my fault!" After Steve died, Dale Maharidge began a twelve-year quest to face down his father's wartime ghosts. He found more than two dozen members of Love Company, the Marine unit in which his father had served. Many of them, now in their eighties, finally began talking about the war. They'd never spoken so openly and emotionally, even to their families. Through them, Maharidge brilliantly re-creates Love Company's battles and the war that followed them home. In addition, Maharidge traveled to Okinawa to experience where the man in his father's picture died and meet the families connected to his father's wartime souvenirs. The survivors Dale met on both sides of the Pacific Ocean demonstrate that wars do not end when the guns go quiet--the scars and demons remain for decades. Bringing Mulligan Home is a story of fathers and sons, war and postwar, silence and cries in the dark. Most of all it is a tribute to soldiers of all wars--past and present--and the secret burdens they, and their families, must often bear.


Mehr über den Autor

Dale Maharidge ist der Autor einer Vielzahl von Büchern, darunter And Their Children After Them, für das er 1990 den Pulitzer-Preis in Sachliteratur erhielt, sowie Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass. Letzterer Titel diente Bruce Springsteen als Inspiration zu seinem Lied Youngstown. Maharidge ist Professor im Journalistikprogramm der Columbia University in New York. Emporkömmlinge ist sein erster veröffentlichter Roman.



Helen Benedict, author of The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq and Sand Queen "Through deep and sensitive interviewing, Dale Maharidge has achieved what many have previously thought impossible: he has opened up the "silent generation" of World War Two veterans and enabled them to tell their stories. These veterans, US marines and Japanese who met as enemies in the Pacific, are no mythologized heroes or villains, but flesh-and-blood humans describing the true horror that has always been, and always will be, war. Maharidge enables these survivors to speak of the war with such honesty that they strip away all its glamour, break your heart and win it all at once. Part memoir, part vivid history, part a searing examination of war trauma, Bringing Mulligan Home gives us an entirely fresh look at "The Good War" that may well change our view of it forever." Kirkus "A moving memoir...A powerful narrative of the dark side of American combat in the Pacific theater and the persistence of resulting injuries decades after the war ended." Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes "Gripping and unforgettable-a son's search for his father in the shattered ruins of the Pacific War" New York Post"A scrupulous and heartfelt analysis of what it was like to be "a cog in the biggest battle in the Pacific." Minneapolis Star Tribune"Mulligan is that rare thing: a book propelled into being by heartfelt urgency and prodigious skill, a mission truly accomplished." Wall Street Journal"Bringing Mulligan Home offers bracing eyewitness and some fine writing." Cleveland Plain Dealer"Unexpectedly uplifting" Huntington News"A wonderful story. The author brings to the art of non-fiction the rhythm and suspense of a tall tale. Masterfully written." Sea Classics Magazine"Wrenching, powerful...This is a reflective work that will prove of great interest to all war veterans, their families, and others interested in them."

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Dale Maharidge has been teaching at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University since 2001. Before that he was a visiting professor at Stanford University for ten years and spent fifteen years as a newspaperman. Several of his books are illustrated with the work of photographer Michael S. Williamson. The first book, Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass (1985), later inspired Bruce Springsteen to write two songs; it was reissued in 1996 with an introduction by Springsteen. His second book, And Their Children After Them, won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction in 1990.

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5.0 von 5 Sternen For those who didn't have such a "good war"... 17. März 2013
Von Jill Meyer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
We've all seen references in books about WW2 of servicemen who were said to have had a "good war". The term seems to imply those soldiers - mostly officers - who spent their war years in either London or Washington, staying out of the line-of-fire and having a good time while doing so. Those are not the men who returned to their families carrying horrific images of friends being blown to pieces on beaches, the cold-blooded murder of civilians - including women and children - and bearing other traumas of war duty. These men, who suffered from what we later called "PTSD", were sent home with little or no psychological help. These are the men - and families - who Dale Maharidge looks at in his new book, "Bringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War".

In examining these soldiers, Maharidge begins with his own father. Steve Maharidge, from an immigrant Russian family living in Cleveland, joined the Marines at 19 and after training at Parris Island, was sent to fight in the Pacific Theater. Specifically, on Guam, Guadalcanal, and, most importantly, Okinawa. He was one of the Marines sent in the invasion force on the Japanese island in the late Spring of 1945. Once on the island, as a part of "Love Company", Maharidge and his men were sent to move north on the long, skinny island, fighting Japanese soldiers for every mile. And along the battle lines were native Okinawans, civilians who were forced to leave their homes and hide in caves and hills, often being fatally displaced by Japanese soldiers. The plan was to use Okinawa as a "staging area" for the Allied invasion of the Japanese home islands, scheduled to begin on November 1, 1945.

Steve Maharidge was injured by a blast in a local tomb building. He was badly concussed - sustaining Traumatic Brain Injuries - and the effects were to change his life forever. Maharidge returned from his war-time duty a changed man. He married and had three children and spent most of his life beset by emotional rages, scaring his wife and family. He had not had these rages before he went away for training. It was the war-time "silent" wounds that affected his mind, forever.

Along with the wartime injuries, Steve Maharidge returned with war-time souvenirs, including pictures and documents seemingly taken off Japanese soldiers. And he brought home a picture of himself and a Marine buddy. His name was Herman Walter Mulligan and he was a young Marine from North Carolina. Mulligan was killed at about the same time Maharidge was injured and Steve Maharidge appeared to his son to feel accountable in some way for Mulligan's death. But since Steve Maharidge rarely talked about his war-time experiences, son Dale could only guess at his father's feelings about Mulligan. After Steve Maharidge died, Dale set out to investigate both his father's war and Herman Mulligan's death and burial on Okinawa.

Dale Maharidge spent ten or so years tracking down and interviewing the still-living members of "Love Company". He spoke - often repeatedly - to about 30 retired Marines, but chose to include only ten or so in the book. From these men - present on Okinawa - Maharidge was able to piece-together the details of the horrors these soldiers went through in Spring and Summer 1945, as they edged closer to the planned invasion of the Japanese home islands. After interviewing his father's fellow Marines, he traveled to Okinawa to see where his father had fought. Though the island is much different than it was in 1945, enough remained that Dale was able to piece together bits of his father's service. He visited the place his father was concussed. He also found Okinawan civilians who had lived in the area. With both the American Marines and the Okinawan civilians, he asked how they felt now - 65 years later - about the war and the "other side". The answers were often surprising and always moving. Dale Maharidge also writes briefly about the wisdom of the American Naval war planners in the PTO. He comes to some interesting conclusions about Douglas MacArthur and Chester Nimitz and their prosecution of the Pacific war.

Dale Maharidge has not written a conventional memoir about his father. Instead, it is a look at all those soldiers who, like his father, were damaged by their wartime service. And the families who were wounded along with them. An excellent book. (Oh, and he has used the term "Good War" in a different way than I did, but both are applicable to the story.)
23 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A compelling first-person history lesson 15. März 2013
Von Jim Sciaretta - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I am a son of the "Greatest Generation". I am also a son of a front line Pacific War vet who served in four major campaigns, including Okinawa. Dale Maharidge has painstakingly researched his father's story of front line service and in telling that story he has told me a piece of my father's story. For that, I am grateful. My father served in the 77TH Infantry Division and only a handful of his original company survived the war. Like most veterans of WWII, he came home, raised a family, worked hard and never spoke of his experiences in the Pacific. He died many years ago and brought his untold story to his grave. I have been on a ten year journey trying to uncover my father's history and Mr. Maharidge has filled in many of the blank areas. Although Dale Maharidge and I would probably disagree about some of the issues surrounding America's role in the world and the idea of "just war", we do agree that there can never be a "good" war, that the realities of combat are much more brutal and dehumanizing than ever imagined by the uninitiated, that good people can be driven to do unspeakable evil and that all those who actually experience combat are wounded to their core. This is an important story that needs to be read.
23 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Bring It Home 12. März 2013
Von Ronald T. Roseborough - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is one man's journey to honor his father's memory and that of his father's friend lost on a battlefield in the Pacific. At the same time the author is attempting to find the reasons for his father's periods of rage and his inability to communicate with his family, what he had witnessed on those war ravaged islands. If you know a veteran who has returned from war, any war, and refuses to talk about his experiences, you should read this book. If you have any illusions about war being good, or honorable, or just, you should read this book. If you think of the cost of war only in terms of dollars and cents or material items, you should read this book. If you think war ends when when a piece of paper is signed or the last bullets stop whizzing over the battlefield, you should read this book. The cost of war is not only measured by the casualties lying on the battlefield. It continues to be measured by countless veterans and their families who must deal with the trauma and destruction forced upon their lives by senseless and often unimaginable violence. Be prepared for some raw language and descriptions of war in it's stark and brutal reality. The descriptions of the violence, by men who stood toe to toe with the horror of it, is not a pretty thing. The necessity for these men to relieve themselves of the burdens they have carried from the battlefields is real and needed. This is a deeply moving book that cuts to the bone. Book provided for review by the well read folks at Library Thing and the publisher, Public Affairs.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen It will make you feel 25. Februar 2013
Von William C. Hagen - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This book may not make you feel good but it will make you feel. It will make you feel the love felt for a father; love expressed in the unrelenting quest to exorcise the demons that possessed his father's mind since the day on Okinawa when a friend, Mulligan, died. It will make you feel the fear, the anguish, the despair and helplessness of young marines fighting for their lives and blindly following the orders of leaders not fully qualified to lead. And the guilt or psychotic lack of remorse for deeds committed because there seemed to be no alternatives. You will almost hear the tapping as the enemy soldiers arm their grenades and the twang as an empty clip is ejected from an M-1 Garand. It will make you feel the emotions of old men who were once the young marines stripped of innocence on far off Pacific islands. You will almost feel their memories emerge after being dulled by alcohol, dementia, obsessive emersion in career or, all too seldom, the over-riding love of family. It will make you feel the brutality of war and make you a believer in the adage that the only good war is one that is over.
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Dale Maharidge has written a masterpiece. With his pen, he has pierced a festering wound and released a torrent of puss and blood and maggots. In the first part, he recounts memories of his father, memories of explosive rage mixed with camping trips, the rumble of metal working tools and pleasant times. Always in the background was a picture tacked on the wall of his father's shop of he and a marine friend taken long ago. With the help of clues hidden away in a box of souvenirs and the angry and uncontrolled outbursts of his father, the author pieced together the identity of the other man, Mulligan, and the origin of his father's intemperance--a feeling of guilt about Mulligan's death.
After his father died, Maharidge resolved to uncover the facts of Mulligan's death and bring closure in the form of repentance or atonement--absolution--for his father. He searched for and found almost thirty survivors who had served in his father's company of marines fighting on Okinawa. (Ironically, it was "L" Company, or in the parlance of the times: "Love" Company.) The stories of twelve are recounted in the second part. The collective image that is evoked is of a band of boys marching into a grove of tangled vines and emerging on the far side as haggard shadows, more zombie-like than flesh and blood warriors. Maharidge pieces together the memories of the twelve of that day when the hand grenade was thrown into a burial tomb believed to shelter Japanese soldiers but held a cache of high explosives instead. (The men were warned beforehand that some tombs were used for that purpose.) The ensuing explosion resulted in the death of Mulligan and caused the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that defined his father's life forever after. No conclusive evidence pointed to the person who threw the grenade but the author, perhaps wishfully, concludes that it was Mulligan himself. The body of Mulligan was not recovered but, if it was, the burial site not recorded. Mulligan dissolves into Everyman and symbolizes all that we wish to forget.
In the last part, the author recounts his journey to Okinawa to walk in the steps of his father and the men of Love Company. He finds a measure of peace in the graciousness of the people there and is able to find the place where Mulligan died. He leaves a memorial in the custom of the Okinawans to appease the spirits yet restless there.
If you liked the probing of consciousness in Joyce's "Portrait of an Artist", Steinbeck's recounting of family dynamics, the pathos but not the humor of Willie and Joe, the sensitivity and subject matter of Ernie Pyle and Bernard Fall, you will like this book.
10 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen THANKS - I NEEDED THIS 18. April 2013
Von Peggy McCulloch - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I'm glad and grateful that Dale Maharidge persevered in writing this tribute to his father. My dad left for the South Pacific as a Seabee when I was a baby. He was returned mentally damaged early on and spent the rest of his life in VA hospitals. As a teen, I read a lot about the war and watched movies. Maharidge's book focuses on the personalness, the humanness of the experience in a way that I've found very meaningful. Finally.
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