- Taschenbuch: 616 Seiten
- Verlag: U S Naval Inst Pr (Mai 2002)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1557509980
- ISBN-13: 978-1557509987
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 22,7 x 15,2 x 3,4 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 568.648 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Big E: The Story of the USS Enterprise (Classics of Naval Literature) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – Mai 2002
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The author was erroneously cited in the February R&R as Paul Stillwell. He wrote the introduction to this reprint of the 1962 Random House original. Our thanks to T.L. of New Hampshire State Library for this correction. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
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That said, "The Big E" is without peer, as both a history of the World War II-era carrier Enterprise, and as a record of what carrier warfare in the '40's was like. Stafford's prose is both elegant and -- given the records he had available in 1960 -- accurate. His descriptions are vivid: you can feel the decks whip violently at Santa Cruz, you can see the vibrant green of the Philippines at Leyte Gulf, you can sense the tension in the ready rooms at Midway. Her men are not just names on a page, but tangible characters: bold, fast-thinking, humble, optimistic, but sometimes very worried about their prospects.
There are a couple points about the book which the prospective reader should be aware of. Stafford's focus is primarily on the ship's squadrons, and less so on efforts of her crew. Originally published over 40 years ago, some of the language is a bit dated, though, again, overall the writing is superb.
The fact, however, that a 40-year old book about a ship that was decommissioned in 1947 is deemed fit to reprint in 2002 should tell you two things. The book is not a throwaway, but a genuine work of literature. And Enterprise was not just a warship, but a unique bonding of man and machine, that came through for her country when she was needed most.
One last thing. Commander Stafford also wrote Little Ship, Big War: the Saga of the U.S.S. Abercrombie DE343. This is a history/memoir of the destroyer he served on during the war. This too is recommended. He basically accomplished for the Navy what Stephen Ambrose did so admirably for the Army; he told the story of the average Citizen Sailor who rode the small ships to victory in the war.
It is one of those rare works of history that manages to be factual, straightforward, and still read like a novel. The writing is crisp, the imagery moving, and the detail satisfying. I admit to being biased -- don't we all have fond memories of books read when we were young? -- but I cannot think of any flaws.
Here's a historical nugget I first recognized reading "The Big E." Only two US fleet carriers survived WWII. The first was the Saratoga, which survived by being heavily damaged seemingly everytime she left port, and spent the war safely in drydock being repaired. The second was the Enterprise, which was engaged in nearly every major battle in the Pacific, and was arguably the "luckiest" large ship in the Navy.
Given the resurgence of interest in WWII (see Stephen Ambrose and Tom Hanks) I cannot imagine why someone does not reprint this book. If you can find a copy, buy it. If you live in western Washington I might loan you my copy, but you have to promise to take good care of it and return it promptly.
My father was a plank owner of the BIG "E" and loved the ship with a special love that only someone who have faced death and servived can feel. It was a disgrace to have her scrapped and after readin Cdr Stafford's incredible story, I believe that everyone would agree she(and more importantly the men who seved on her) were and are national treasures
The writing is at times more like poetry than prose, the description's vivid and clear, something that anyone who served on ships at that time can recognize from their own experince. Stafford's work ranks with the best of historical novelists like Bruce Catton or Shelby Foote, who painted such clear pictures of the American Civil War.
Every high school student would gain much for his understanding of life from knowing the deeds that those men and that ship performed. And they would see a clear example of what great writing and prose are meant to be.