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Paperback I'm Staying with My Boys: The Heroic Life of Sgt. John Basilone, USMC Book

ISBN: 0312611447

ISBN13: 9780312611446

I'm Staying with My Boys: The Heroic Life of Sgt. John Basilone, USMC

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Book Overview

The true story behind the character depicted in HBO's critically acclaimed, award-winning miniseries, The PacificI'm Staying with My Boys is a firsthand look inside the life of one of the greatest heroes of the Greatest Generation. Sgt. John Basilone held off 3,000 Japanese troops at Guadalcanal after his 15-member unit was reduced to three men. At Iwo Jima he single-handedly destroyed an enemy blockhouse, allowing his unit to capture an airfield...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Shares a part of my family history I would never have known

Jim Proser and Jerry Cutter have captured an amazing part of history about a man who was a true American Hero! While it is impossible to know every moment of John Basilone's life, these authors have given as accurate a history as possible. I learned about Basilone, my Great-Uncle, after this book was written. My Great-Grandma had never spoken to me about my Uncle, maybe because I was so young when I used to spend summers with her. However, I have come to know how close she was to John, and that she collected as much information about John's time at war as possible so that his memory could be preserved. Thank goodness, my Grandfather decided to put that information to great use. To me, John is much more than a war hero. He is a our family's hero. He gives us an example to live by. After the book was published, I received a copy from my Grandfather and Mr. Proser and read it from cover. It was exhilarating. I asked to help them promote the book. I started attending USMC World War II reunions, where I met Marines who had served with my Uncle. It was eye-opening to hear stories about him and to see original photos of him. I spent many hours learning about my Uncle through conversations and photos, only to go back to the book and read it cover to cover a 2nd time. It was as if I had met a member of my family. Thanks to Jim and Jerry for publishing this book. Thanks for sharing a part of my family history that I would never have known!

Best Basilone book

Author did a great job of researching material on life of John Basilone and presenting it as if Basilone himself were speaking. Gives you a true flavor for the personality of one of the Marines' greatest heroes without adornment. You can skip all the other books about Basilone.

John Basilone, Marine-Epic American Hero.

John Basilone, Marine-Epic American Hero. Wonderful biography of a true American war hero. I like this book for what it isn't, not just what it is. It is not a story of battle, although the authors cover battle up close and personal, no, it is the story of a simple man who loved life, his family, and the Corps. It is an examination of who John Basilone really was. It is a story about "Manila John" Basilone boxer, lover, warrior, and leader of men. It is the probing biography of why a man who won the "Blue Max" (Medal of Honor) and could ride out the war on easy street, refused the cush and demanded to be sent back to be with his "boys". Yes, he loved the rush of battle and the camaraderie of the warrior, but more he enjoyed the clarity of kinship in the heat of the fight. He was a true warrior in the classical sense of that word. He epitomized General Douglas MacArthur's famous line "Duty, Honor, Country." He was a Marine's Marine in the Chesty Puller mode. He was everything honorable and good about the American fighting man. Written in the engaging first person by using insights from family members, in particular his brothers Carlo and Donald and sister Phyllis, the authors "...attempted to include every historical fact known about Sgt Basilone and many personal stories that cannot be verified." They did an admirable job of presenting just who this man known as "Manila John" really was. I found the biography to be well written and very engaging. I particularly enjoyed reading about John Basilone's early pre-military life during his formative years as a rebellious youth. It was indeed a typical Americana story of trial, tribulation, and eventual peace at finding one's true life's calling. When asked why he wanted to return to battle with his beloved Marines when he could have enjoyed a hero's life of luxury, he simply said, "I'm staying with my boys. They need me." And so Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone returned one final time to the battlefield where he died a hero's death leading his boys. Strong recommend. A must read. As a combat vet I have a great appreciation for the heroic sacrifices made by men such as John Basilone. His is a story that makes one proud to be an American.

Excellent

If you are interested in a personal story of WWII, then this is an excellent book. Rather than getting into the details of the conflicts this book focuses on the personal story of John Basilone - one of the handful of true American Heroes from WWII. Written in the first person with an ample dose of personal details from his family, this book truly brings Manilla John back to life for many. I've been studying WWII for only 10 years and have read my share of the technical assessments of the important battles in WWII. This book stands out in my mind because it puts the reader in touch with the qualities of America's best young men and women of the 1940's; selflessness, courage, a supreme sense of duty, and in Basilon's case, a supreme sense of destiny. Highly recommended for anyone with a passing interest in WWII, or for anyone who wants to learn about what made America's young people "tick" 60 years ago.

An Extraordinary Biography and Full Frontal View of War

Author and Film Producer Jim Prosser has created a richly detailed, raptly written, devastatingly powerful book about the life of American War hero John Basilone. This book is especially pungent at this time in history because it revives a lost tradition of the country's view of maritime heroism. Since the atrocities of the Vietnam mistake to the present harrowing details of a similar (or worse) war in Iraq the concept of war is now very much in a negative light. Even the words 'war hero' seem an oxymoron, so strident are the feelings about America's latest aggressions. But to appreciate this fine book requires a return to the mindset of the US during World War II when not only was Europe under the vile threat of Hitler and Mussolini, but the Japanese warriors were annihilating China, Korea, and ultimately the Philippines in the mission to own the Pacific Ocean. And even in those early years the threat seemed frightening but distant until the Japanese successfully decimate the US Pacific Fleet on December 7, 1941. That incident unified the country, creating a fighting force and support system at home that eventually resulted in the defeat of the massive evil outside the borders of the USA. Given that atmosphere of over a half century ago, author Proser has created one of the most convincing portraits of a military hero in literature. And the intensively researched and detailed approach results in a biography that fully restores the ambience of WW II. John Basilone was a nice Italian boy form Raritan, New Jersey, a lad who quit school to follow his recurring visions. He caddied for Japanese businessmen at a country club, seeing in his prophetic mind that at some day he would be at war with Japan. After trying multiple jobs he finally enlists in the Army, makes the best of boot camp by gambling and boxing, and is shipped to the Philippines where he spent time waiting, boxing (becoming a champion nicknamed Manila John), running a little bar with his Island sweetheart, and finally returning home. Frustrated once again with the boredom of work and the embarrassment of not having finished his education, Basilone finally returns to the military by signing on with the USMC, trains hard at Quantico, Cuba, and other US training camp swamps, and finally is shipped to Guadalcanal where his brilliance and dedication to his commanding officer ("Chesty" Puller) through one of the most devastating battles in the Pacific arena earned him not only the respect of his men, but also the Medal of Honor - the highest commendation offered by his country. Returning home form this mission he ride the waves of adulation form the American people, hobnobs with movies stars, sells War Bonds, and falls in love, only to be shipped out once again to the Pacific where he is killed in action in the battle for Iwo Jima. The amazing (that is, ONE of the amazing) aspect of this book is that Proser has elected to write it in the first person of John Basilone. Everything
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