Publication Date: April 2001
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Europe was in the throes of World War II, and when America joined the fighting, Ernie Pyle went along. Long before television beamed daily images of combat into our living rooms, Pyle’s on-the-spot reporting gave the American public a firsthand view of what war was like for the boys on the front. Pyle followed the soldiers into the trenches, battlefields, field hospitals, and beleaguered cities of Europe. What he witnessed he described with a clarity, sympathy, and grit that gave the public back home an immediate sense of the foot soldier’s experience. There were really two wars, John Steinbeck wrote in Time magazine: one of maps and logistics, campaigns, ballistics, divisions, and regiments and the other a "war of the homesick, weary, funny, violent, common men who wash their socks in their helmets, complain about the food, whistle at Arab girls, or any girls for that matter, and bring themselves through as dirty a business as the world has ever seen and do it with humor and dignity and courage—and that is Ernie Pyle’s war." This collection of Pyle’s columns detailing the fighting in Europe in 1943–44 brings that war—and the living, and dying, moments of history—home to us once again.
Ernie Pyle worked as managing editor of the Washington News and later became a roving journalist for Scripps Howard Newspapers. After many years following the fighting in Europe, Pyle traveled to the South Pacific, where a sniper's bullet took his life in 1945. G. Kurt Piehler is an assistant professor of history at the University of Tennessee and the author of Remembering War the American Way.
"Brave Men is a collection of journalist Pyle''s newspaper columns from 1943 and 1944, in which he details the fighting in Europe primarily from the perspective of the common U.S. G.I. This angle of reporting brought the front-line war back to the families of those serving in the armed forces and endeared Pyle to the troops. An essential piece of Americana for all collections."—Library Journal
"In his fine introduction to this new edition, G. Kurt Piehler (History/Univ. of Tennessee at Knoxville) celebrates Pyle''s ''dense, descriptive style'' and his unusual feel for the quotidian GI experience—a personal and human side to war left out of reporting on generals and their strategies. . . . Kirkus, at the time [of the original edition in 1944], noted the hoopla over Pyle (Pulitzer, hugely popular syndicated column, BOMC hype) and decided it was all worth it: ''the book doesn''t let the reader down.'' Pyle, of course, captures ''the human qualities'' of men in combat, but he also provides ''an extraordinary sense of the scope of the European war fronts, the variety of services involved, the men and their officers.'' . . . [A] classic of modern journalism."—Kirkus Reviews