Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War Paperback – Apr 12 2002
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'One of the few truly great memoirs of the Second World War . . . a superb account of the Americans' Pacific island battle against the Japanese threat will become a classic . . . a marvellous book, searingly readable, graphic, thoughtful, rich with atmposphere and feeling, haunted by awful nostalgia and longing, brutally honest, angry and sad, utterly free of false heroics.' (Sunday Express )
'Manchester has done for that greatest of conflicts what Siegfried Sassoon did for the First World War . . . It is a gripping, haunting book.' (William S. Shirer )
'One of the most powerful and disturbing books to come out of World War II.' (Irwin Shaw ) --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
About the Author
William Manchester was a hugely successful popular historian and biographer whose books include The Last Lion, Volumes 1 and 2, Goodbye Darkness, A World Lit Only by Fire, The Glory and the Dream, The Arms of Krupp, American Caesar, The Death of the President, and assorted works of journalism.
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Top Customer Reviews
Manchester comes to grips with the ferocity of his enemy, the Japanese solider. One can sense both a sense of admiration and enmity as Manchester talks about those he fought so long ago. Underlying this hate is the seed of racism as seen in the Japanese who took no prisoners to the Marines who mounted the severed heads of their enemy on their tanks. It was brutal. Both sides saw the other as inferior human beings; thus, it was killed or be killed with very few prisoners taken. Yet, the reader senses Manchester admiration of his enemy, the courage of the Japanese solider who fought with interior weapons, weakened by disease and who was often on the verge of starvation. In the end, however, the authors observes, We were better soldiers.
I have read this book three, maybe four times over the years, and I am due to read it again. It is that good.
As much as I appreciated the likes of "Saving Private Ryan" and "Band of Brothers" among other books and films on WWII, no book on the subject has touched my soul like William Manchester's "Goodbye Darkness." Through the book, Manchester returns to the Pacific and visits the islands that were the sites of the greatest carnage of WWII. He comments on what he sees during his visit in 1978 or so, but is continually drawn back in time to the events that occurred there that ultimately led to the defeat of the Japanese Empire. Noticeably, Manchester rarely uses the word "Japenese," rather he refers to "Japs" and "Nips." In today's politically correct environment, Manchester's references would be considered totally unacceptable. However, as you read his recollections of the engagements he and thousands of other Marines participated in, and you tally up the tremendous loss of human life in the process, you will excuse him for him political incorrectness. Manchester makes the most convincing case to justify the deployment of the atom bomb to bring an end to the conflict.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Probably the best account of WW2 from a human perspective that I have read.Published 13 months ago by griffray
Not the typical WW2 memoir. Comes at things a little sideways, but the writing is suberb. One of the finest memoirs I have ever read, and I've read a ton of them. Read morePublished on July 13 2004 by David Kanzler
This is an excellent book, though, if you're like me and lack an advanced education, many of the literary and foreign language references are baffling. Read morePublished on June 12 2004 by Chad Brown
About one fourth of this book is dull biography, one-fourth is a mundane travelogue of World War II sites in the Pacific, and one fourth is an interesting history of the Pacific... Read morePublished on May 24 2004 by Smallchief
I believe this book to be a classic, and it is definitely a personal favorite. Manchester wrote that he joined the United States Marine Corps during World War 2 after the fall of... Read morePublished on May 11 2004 by Hollis O. Blakesley
At first, I wasn't quite sure what to make of the style--part memoir, part history, part travelogue--but after a few pages into it, I was hooked. Read morePublished on April 8 2004 by Yalensian
Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War by William Manchester is a personal story of the Pacific War and its effect on an individual marine. Read morePublished on April 4 2004 by Fred M. Blum
I couldn't even finish this boring garbage (& I tried several times!). There was so much time wasted on his sexual problems which are both sick & out of place here. Read morePublished on March 31 2004
This memoir grabbed me by the stacking swivel harder than any other book I have ever read with the possible exception of Remarque's "All Quiet on the Western Front". Read morePublished on March 7 2004 by Tom Veatch
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