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5.0 out of 5 stars Touching and Fascinating
Young Andy Rooney was not always the acerbic commentator that television viewers know best from SIXTY MINUTES. After reading this memoir, MY WAR, written by him, it is easy to see that he grew up in the best traditions of 19th and 20th Century America. As a result of this upbringing, the young Rooney viewed life through a prism of morality and right and wrong...
Published on Jan. 12 2003 by HeyJudy

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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, narrow-minded at times
This is an interesting book to read, for the tangential impressions of life in London, and with the Allied invasion of Europe, and even brief stays in India and China, during World War II by former Stars and Stripes reporter Andy Rooney.
The title, "My War," does not indicate possession as another reviewer thought, but indicates that this is a memoir. The book is...
Published on April 2 2002 by Frank


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4.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected..., Dec 1 2003
By 
nto62 (Corona, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: My War (Paperback)
Andy Rooney has never been more to me than the nagging, faintly humorous, mildly eccentric curmudgeon that caps each 60 Minutes program. I've seen his newspaper column, but never read it. Indeed, had I not seen this book at a closeout bookseller, I wouldn't own it. But, the bargain price and my interest in WWII convinced me to give it a chance. I'm glad I did.
An enlisted reporter for The Stars and Stripes during the war, Rooney flew missions over Germany, accompanied the allies shortly after D-Day, and continued reporting until victory. In the contemporary catalog of WWII books, his vantage point as a reporter is unique, insightful, and conducive to extended durations of page turning pleasure.
As the title announces, this isn't a book about "the" war. It's about "his" war, his experiences, his opinion. And, in a departure from his 60 Minutes routine, he manages to avoid complaints about matters of trifling importance. Perhaps, this is because there is little of trifling importance associated with WWII. Nevertheless, Rooney faithfully relates the awe of having witnessed, first-hand, an epic period in human history.
In the end, I put down the book and realized, after all these years, that I like Andy Rooney. I like his honesty and I like his pragmatism, (even though I doubt this is the effect he was aiming for). I was also thankful that, like author's before him, Rooney introduced the general reader to many Americans who didn't come home.
His was a generation of sacrifice unlike anything those who came after are likely to see. Rooney believes them not special, but people involved in special circumstances. This provides hope that every generation will rise with comparable bravery and commitment whenever liberty is seriously threatened. 4 stars.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Andy Rooney In World War II, Jan. 18 2003
By 
This review is from: My War (Paperback)
Didya ever wonder how the US Army -- that bureaucratic bungle of millions that made recruits do things they wouldn't do in peacetime, retained some officers who were jerks, took four days of paperwork to release men from the service at the end of the war and stupidly assigned a private whose only prior journalistic experience was a few weeks work on his high school yearbook to the post of reporter at "Stars and Stripes" -- didyaever wonder how these guys won the war?
They were fighting other country's armies, that's how.
Ok, enough of my attempt to parody Andy Rooney's style above. The guy who lampoons makers of personal care products for a few minutes ever Sunday night does sometimes lend his "what kind of idiot would do this" attitude toward the US Army, WWII version. In those moments, this book sometimes grates -- the same voice that illuminates follies with instant cereal advertising and electric tooth brushes sounds somewhat tinny applied against what was a great undertaking.
Fortunately for this book, those moments are few enough that an interesting picture of the war as seen through Rooney's eyes is not subsumed with his sarcasm and general crankiness. In fact, he keeps those traits generally in check in what reads like an honest look at his service as a front line reporter during the war in Europe.
Rooney's book "My War" is a collection of anecdotes. Fortunately, his travels over German skies in American B-17's, with advancing armor and infantry in France and Germany and to newly (as in a few hours ago) liberated nazi work and concentration camps makes for fascinating anecdotes.
A sergeant in rank, Rooney was afforded the opportunity to meet with personalities and troops of all ranks as he covered the war for what I am sure was the largest circulation American daily newspaper during the early 1940's. His travel made great anecdotes and good stories.
Rooney is poignant in this book. He has a great reverence for lives lost and is very honest about himself and his changing appreciation for war as a sometimes necessary thing (he entered the war with the words "any peace is better than any war" from a college professor ringing in his ears and came to learn after reflecting upon Nazi warfare that "any peace is not better than any war"). This book is somewhat a chronicle of Rooney's maturation as well as his war stories.
The stories are for the most part entertaining and worth reading. His assignment as a reporter gave him a somewhat Zelig-like ability to be near many major events in the war. The reader benefits from these interesting first person accounts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Touching and Fascinating, Jan. 12 2003
By 
HeyJudy "heyjudy" (East Hampton, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: My War (Paperback)
Young Andy Rooney was not always the acerbic commentator that television viewers know best from SIXTY MINUTES. After reading this memoir, MY WAR, written by him, it is easy to see that he grew up in the best traditions of 19th and 20th Century America. As a result of this upbringing, the young Rooney viewed life through a prism of morality and right and wrong.
After he was inducted as a soldier in World War II, he was lucky enough to be assigned, for reasons that make little sense, to the famous Armed Forces newspaper, the STARS & STRIPES. Without a doubt, had he not ended up on the staff of this newspaper, he would not have had his subsequent civilian career as a reporter.
A consequence of this Army assignment, in his role of reporter, Rooney was a witness to some of the most significant actions of this war, including the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.
Very aptly titled, this memoir is the story of World War II as observed from Rooney's unexpected bird's eye view. It is a personal history, written in his own inimitable and riveting style. The report he gives readers of "his" war is fascinating and touching.
This book should not be missed by anyone with a serious interest in this most pivotal event of the 20th Century.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Andy Rooney In World War II, Dec 30 2002
By 
This review is from: My War (Paperback)
Didya ever wonder how the US Army -- that bureaucratic bungle of millions that made recruits do things they wouldn't do in peacetime, retained some officers who were jerks, took four days of paperwork to release men from the service at the end of the war and stupidly assigned a private whose only prior journalistic experience was a few weeks work on his high school yearbook to the post of reporter at "Stars and Stripes" -- didyaever wonder how these guys won the war?
They were fighting other country's armies, that's how.
Ok, enough of my attempt to parody Andy Rooney's style above. The guy who lampoons makers of personal care products for a few minutes ever Sunday night does sometimes lend his "what kind of idiot would do this" attitude toward the US Army, WWII version. In those moments, this book sometimes grates -- the same voice that illuminates follies with instant cereal advertising and electric tooth brushes sounds somewhat tinny applied against what was a great undertaking.
Fortunately for this book, those moments are few enough that an interesting picture of the war as seen through Rooney's eyes is not subsumed with his sarcasm and general crankiness. In fact, he keeps those traits generally in check in what reads like an honest look at his service as a front line reporter during the war in Europe.
Rooney's book "My War" is a collection of anecdotes. Fortunately, his travels over German skies in American B-17's, with advancing armor and infantry in France and Germany and to newly (as in a few hours ago) liberated nazi work and concentration camps makes for fascinating anecdotes.
A sergeant in rank, Rooney was afforded the opportunity to meet with personalities and troops of all ranks as he covered the war for what I am sure was the largest circulation American daily newspaper during the early 1940's. His travel made great anecdotes and good stories.
Rooney is poignant in this book. He has a great reverence for lives lost and is very honest about himself and his changing appreciation for war as a sometimes necessary thing (he entered the war with the words "any peace is better than any war" from a college professor ringing in his ears and came to learn after reflecting upon Nazi warfare that "any peace is not better than any war"). This book is somewhat a chronicle of Rooney's maturation as well as his war stories.
The stories are for the most part entertaining and worth reading. His assignment as a reporter gave him a somewhat Zelig-like ability to be near many major events in the war. The reader benefits from these interesting first person accounts.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Andy�s Account, Dec 29 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: My War (Paperback)
I have long been an Andy Rooney fan and this was an interesting look at his war time experience. As others have said, Andy had a unique perspective in the Army by being assigned to the Stars and Stripes. His primary assignments were England covering the 8th Air force then Western Europe after the invasion. I find it strange that people would disparage him because he was "only" a reporter. The fact of the matter is that the majority of veterans, past and present, were/are rarely in harms way. Andy in no way embellishes his experience and pays due respect to those who fought and died in the war. His observations of the sometimes pettiness of military life ring true even to this 80s peace time vet.
Note this book does read more like a column or a series of essays and Andy is not afraid of blatantly revealing his own opinion. Keep it up Andy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic look back at WW2, Dec 22 2002
By 
M. Griffith (Seattle, WA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: My War (Paperback)
Reading this book is like having the last 5 minute segment of 60 minutes go on for hours. You can hear Andy Rooney with every page you read. The phrasing, the sarcasm. The wry sardonic observations, which after you read them seem obvious. I found this book an enjoyable read of a first hand account of the air war in London, the land war, taking of Paris and Germany and final observations from India and China. The book is more Andy's narrative of what he saw over there, versus a history. He does little to fill in the story around his experience. I suspect that I enjoyed it more having read several other history books on the subject.
As always Andy is opinionated, however to his credit he largely acknowledges when they border on prejudice. This is balanced by a lot more opportunity than 5 of the 60 minutes to round out his overall view. On 60 minutes all you get is his sarcasm in this book you have much well rounded view.
...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Personal Account, April 19 2002
By 
John G. Hilliard (Toronto Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: My War (Hardcover)
I think the vast majority of the people interested in this book and author are because of his fame from the TV and not as an author. I know this is how I approached this book, I was hopping for the biting humor from his appearances on 60 Minutes but concerned that it would not come through in the written word. What I found when reading the book is that he was representing a different person then the one on TV. He was providing the reader with his experiences during World War 2 in Europe and I found that the writing seemed to come from a much younger and more innocent mind then the current TV personality.
Due to this writing style I found that the book was more enjoyable then I expected. The author gives us some very good stories written in a comfortable way that seems more like holding a conversation with a close friend. This book is not for he person looking for page after page of combat action, just the interesting person story of a war reporter that sees a little bit of everything in the European theater.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, narrow-minded at times, April 2 2002
By 
Frank (Stockton CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: My War (Hardcover)
This is an interesting book to read, for the tangential impressions of life in London, and with the Allied invasion of Europe, and even brief stays in India and China, during World War II by former Stars and Stripes reporter Andy Rooney.
The title, "My War," does not indicate possession as another reviewer thought, but indicates that this is a memoir. The book is full of anecdotal, and broader, observations of the war effort and those involved in it.
However, Rooney's opinion seems a bit too self-important at times, considering his own personal judgment of a situation or person as the final and authoritative word on the subject. He tends to paint those he meets and hears about as totally "good" or "bad."
It could be that, in print, Rooney can't convey the wry "just kidding" tone he verbally communicates in his TV commentaries. Rooney's inability to convey tone leaves the reader puzzled after reading such truly bizarre Rooney statements as "Let me assure you the state of the helicopter art, even the best there is, to this day is primitive. The big Sikorsky, for instance, had that small propeller mounted on the tail.... This small mechanical necessity alone leaves helicopters in the class of Mickey Mouse inventions."
You'll find this an interesting, and somewhat quick, read, but not on your "must read" list.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This would make a great movie, March 25 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: My War (Hardcover)
This is how W.W.II was for Mr. Andy Rooney. This is HIS personal experiences and HIS thoughts on same.
Stars and Stripes reporters by the very nature of their jobs probably saw more of the war than anyone else. So not only are we treated to a view of the the war from a different perspective other than the soldier's but a view broader in scope and content. He was there when many historical events were unfolding. He met and interviewed many many people, big and small. He went into the concentration camps hours after they were liberated. Buchenwald and Thekla.
"Buchenwald represented the worst of everything in all the Nazi extermination camps. The dead and dying were still everywhere. The camp was unchanged, still the way it had been for all
those terrible months except that there were cameramen there now, documenting the horror of it for all time."
"The burned and blackened bodies of about sixty men were hanging in contorted positions from needle-point barbs of the wire. ...When the SS troops realized U.S. soldiers were going to
arrive in Thekla within hours, they herded 300 prisoners into one of the barracks. They threw pails of gasoline over the barracks and onto some of the prisoners and then tossed
incendiary grenades into the building."
" Walking the same road a day or so after a tank had passed through, I would often come upon the gruesome sight of the whole halves of four or five men, and four or five halves of what
had been men, mashed into the dirt and mud by the grinding tracks of a ten-ton tank." He's talking about our tanks here rolling over our dead.
Mr. Rooney puts W.W.II into more of a human ground level perspective. He shows you details, such as the many animal who suffered. Cows wandering the fields with painful utters
swollen with milk and no one there to milk them..... Horses and mules mowed down in battle. Abandoned pets.
I learned a few things here. I'm happy I read the book. Mr. R is up-front and honest and that's all that counts. He's not afraid to speak his mind like most people, thank god! I love him
(his opinions 99% of the time are mine).
This would make a great movie. I envy his life. Hell, as he scrambled behind a French farmers stone wall to avoid heavy German artillery fire he found himself in the company of Ernest
Hemingway! Just him and Ernie out there. Ernie telling Rooney where the other danger points were ahead of them.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Telling it like he saw it, Jan. 4 2002
By 
John Bowes (Oxford, MA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: My War (Hardcover)
The book reads like Andy sounds on tv. Unafraid to give opinions and unashamed to describe himself, sometimes unflatteringly, this is a useful addition to one's knowledge of the events of WWII.
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My War
My War by Andy Rooney (Paperback - Oct. 17 2002)
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