Battle Cry

Leon Uris has been one of my favorite authors for years. He is best known for Exodus, the description of the modern birth of Israel after World War II. He only wrote 16 books, but they were mostly gems. It is worth noting that he is one of the many, many authors who served in WW II; Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein, Joseph Heller, Herman Wouk, James Jones, Norman Mailer, J. D. Salinger, Gore Vidal, Kurt Vonnegut, and dozens more.

Uris did his tour with the Second Battalion, Sixth Regiment, Second Marine Division as a radio operator. This story centers on what he experienced, but it is fictionalized. All characters are fictionalized as are their personal characteristics and lives. But the history is real.

Published in 1953, this is his first book. While it is not his best in some ways, it is a graphic description of the training and fighting of his battalion. He also describes the shore leave, giving us an understanding of the mindset of Marines and soldiers in general of that war.

Be prepared, it is a five hundred page book. You will pass the middle of the book before they leave to join the fighting. I have never read so much detail on the boot camp training. I have read many books about the war, but few reach the quality level of Battle Cry.

An interesting point regarding the Marine language; it was the fifties and publishers were not yet willing to print certain words. Uris found ways around that (craphead) and he created acceptable replacements, but it is not as salty as a book written today. No loss.

This is a 4.6.

Mike Lawrence

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