- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Harper (April 2, 2020)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062853856
- ISBN-13: 978-0062853851
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews:
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Unknown Valor A Story Of Family Hardcover – February 25, 2020
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“Martha MacCallum has written a wonderful book on the bravery and sacrifices of those who ‘island-hopped’ from Guadalcanal to Iwo Jima. Part family memoir, part personal history of small-town America at war, and part chronicle of Marine amphibious landings from 1942 to 1945, Unknown Valor is a beautifully written and stirring reminder to present generations that much of what we now take for granted was given to us by the sacrifices of those whom we must never forget.” (Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; author of The Second World Wars)
“Unknown Valor is at once so gripping and moving about the war in the Pacific that I lost several nights sleep, refusing to go to bed until I’d read it all. The book blends fascinating details of Martha MacCallum's family’s personal story and sacrifice, and the touching moments of hope and family life add a special flavor to the story. Even though we all know how the war ends, what we gain from the book is a deeper appreciation for the scope and scale of the patriotism, dreams, and heartache that lived on. Unknown Valor is a triumph.” (Dana Perino, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller And the Good News Is...)
“Martha is magnificent and so is this book. This is a story of love and military battle told with clarity and heart.” (Peggy Noonan, 2017 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Commentary and Wall Street Journal Columnist)
“Martha MacCallum’s Unknown Valor is an elegantly written and deeply researched history of how the U.S. Army and Marines won the Pacific theater island-hopping campaign in the Second World War. The sheer heroism of these American fighters on the battlefield is staggering. Every page soars with gritty realism and patriotic perseverance. A powerful saga about the greatest generation!” (Douglas Brinkley, author of The Boys of Pointe du Hoc: Ronald Reagan, D-Day, and the U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion)
“Martha MacCallum has written a magnificent history, at once a sweeping and fresh account of one of the most dramatic chapters in our past—and an intimate portrait of all that’s best and most heroic in the American spirit.” (Sohrab Ahmari, op-ed editor, New York Post)
“If you want your faith in America restored, you simply must read this book.” (Marc Thiessen, resident fellow, American Enterprise Institute )
About the Author
Martha MacCallum is anchor and executive editor of The Story with Martha MacCallum, seen Monday through Friday on Fox News. She is also co-anchor of Fox News Election coverage, moderating town halls and debates with the presidential candidates, alongside Bret Baier and Chris Wallace. Prior to becoming anchor of The Story, MacCallum anchored, “The First 100 Days,” reporting nightly on the first months of the Trump administration and interviewing the President on his 100th Day. She has covered presidential and mid-term elections for Fox News since 2004, as well as extensive reporting from the field on the primary races across the country. MacCallum has reported from Normandy, France during the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, and from Iwo Jima’s “Reunion of Honor.” Prior to Fox News, MacCallum was an award winning reporter for CNBC, covering homeland security and the US economy, and a reporter/producer for Wall Street Journal Television.
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It begins with Pearl Harbor and the jubilant sailors enjoying liberty at a big band style competition...This was my first indication of the imagery that would be portrayed throughout this book. 7 DEC 1941....'Tora, Tora, Tora' and the Japanese have managed to complete this act of war on the US. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's complete speech to the House of Representatives is included. We are familiar with some of his words but seeing it in its entirety is sobering.
Descriptions are detailed and in depth, as well, and the incident with the sailors entrapped in the air bubble for such a length of time will give the reader goose bumps. Vivid and heart rendering. Major battles are covered in detail; letters home are mentioned; memories of survivors from Iwo Jima are recounted. Winston Churchill's visit with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in December of 1941 is recalled, as well. Interesting to read about this meeting. I would be remiss if I didn't mention LCOL Doolittle and the B-25's. Another feat that was unheard of in this era.
As a reader, this book is so well balanced with both the war actions in both Europe and the Pacific that it stands head and shoulders above any other I have read previously. I love the fact that the members of the US Marine Corps are depicted as the warriors they are. love of country, love of their comrades in arms and life long commitment to the Corps. Semper Fi...
Poignant and powerful read for me. Just imagine being able to write about your Uncle Harry and his Marine Corps buddies. Sacrifice, heroism, and love of country... A must read for those interested in WW II from the beginning to the end.
Most highly recommended.
The reason the rendering of this event which claimed almost seven-thousand Marines their lives… as well as wounding twenty-two-thousand others… over a thirty-six day period… and was surely… (Though not proven biblically)… thirty-six days where hell truly opened up on earth…. is truly worth reading is because of how the author… TV commentator, Martha MacCallum… has accomplished… the rare feat of not only telling her families story… our countries story… the world’s story… but consistently… and very nearly… totally seamlessly… linking all of them together… with the reader being the beneficiary… of true heartfelt feelings and emotions… broad brush… and amazingly… simultaneously… down to the feeling of a single aching heart beat… in the loss of an individual.
The historical research and reporting from before Pearl Harbor till the end of the war… is worthy of any educational pursuit… but Martha sharing her families story… which includes an Uncle dying early pre-war… and another Uncle trying to fill his brother-in-laws responsibilities as a Father… while still being a Father to his own family. In the middle of… and intertwined with other millions of families’ patriotic plight is the nephew Harry Gray aching every second of his life… to become old enough to enlist and go fight the “J-ps”. Pearl Harbor “had stoked the fire of revenge in the hearts of Americans. It was Japanese pilots who had dropped the bombs, and Japan must pay the price.” “I’m going to kill J-ps” “That was the cry of the boys on the recruiting lines and the fervent goal of the President who had declared that the day of the Pearl harbor attack was a day of infamy and that victory over Japan was the only option.”
From a little girls favorite time of having whip cream put on her hot chocolate at a restaurant being interrupted when the world as we knew it changed on December 7, 1941… to the Raping of Nanking… where over one-thousand woman a day were raped... and when “a Marine named Sid Philips remembers being sent with other troops to recover the bodies of U.S. troops on Guadalcanal. When they found them “they had been beheaded, their genitals stuck in their mouths.” “After that, says Philips, shaking his head, “we never took another prisoner.”
In the midst of this there are letters home to family members… teenage infatuation… women joining the manufacturing force… to assuredly help win the war… where “at Ford, massively converted assembly lines build B-24 Liberator bombers, turning out one very sixty-three minutes.” Martha eloquently reminds us that it was a time when forty-one year old movie star Clark Gable enlisted. “He enlisted in secret to avoid the crush of fans that swarmed his buddy Jimmy Stewart when he enlisted. Gable says about being a man and a soldier, “He must be ready to choose death before dishonor without making too much song and dance about it. That’s all there is to it.”
As I am an Honorably Discharged Viet Nam Era Veteran… I also look and study with respect… my military brothers and sisters that came before… during… and after me. The true patriotic service and sacrifice… that came before… (As described in this book) was truly… in my heart and mind… a better… more special time. Martha does such a wonderful… touching tribute… to the total sacrifice… commitment… horror… and ultimate victory… not only at Iwo Jima… but in the soul of America at perhaps its greatest time!
First, there is the military/diplomatic historical background of relations between the United States and Japan. As such, it's a very useful guide to highlights of the Pacific war (1941 - 1945)--and before.
The second element delves into the lives of a few American families whose young men took up arms in defense of their country. Their stories are heartwarming and heartbreaking. On a number of occasions while reading, I simply cried many tears. This seems odd because in the mountains of Viet Nam I never shed a tear, nor felt a strong emotion, when a fellow trooper was killed in action. Yet, MacCallum's book had me literally sobbing--for the dead, and the effects on family.
Despite many decades of published material describing the fighting in exposed and confined spaces on Pacific islands, this book still has the power to evoke awe in the mind of the reader, for the sacrifices and accomplishments of our fighting men during the war against Japan.