Easy Company Soldier: The Legendary Battles of a Sergeant from World War II's "Band of Brothers" (Anglais) Broché – 8 juin 2009
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"First of all, you're going to love this book . . . together, we were the best (not bragging). In training and in combat, we never had any problems. We've been friends for life, over sixty-five years. He's my hero." --William "Wild Bill" Guarnere, member of Easy Company and coauthor of the "New York Times" bestseller "Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends
""Don Malarkey is a staunch patriot who truly understands the principles for which we fought. He contributed his all in building the reputation of the 101st Airborne as a great fighting unit. His life today epitomizes the standards to which all good Americans should strive to emulate." --Lt. Lynn "Buck" Compton, member of Easy Company and author of "Call of Duty"
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Il s'y trouve des photos qui crédibilisent ses souvenirs et ses témoignages.
Tout son livre est une ode à ses frères d'arme tombés en Europe et au courage de la Easy Company.
A lire pour comprendre pourquoi un homme s'est engagé dans la première troupe aéroportée de l'armée américaine.
c'est toujours bon de ce replonger dans l'histoire de la easy.
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Most of us probably know Don Malarkey by the character portrayed by actor Scott Grimes in the popular HBO mini-series. Images of the carefree mischievous red-haired Irish kid from Washington State, who foolishly risked his own life to retrieve a German Lugar, and efforts to keep a stolen motorcycle with side-car hidden from the much hated Captain Sobel, immediately come to mind. These events were true. Yet Malarkey takes his readers into the turbulent emotions of a young man who, on the surface enjoyed English literature, recited poetry from memory, yet inwardly was forever changed by his experiences in combat. The film only scratched the surface of Don Malarkey; the book takes us to the inner depths.
The awkward scene where Grimes goes to pick up his uniforms from the British laundress, and silently pays for all the bundles belonging to his dead comrades killed in Normandy, is what this book is all about. Malarkey took the deaths of all his fellow Easy Company men hard, but none harder that the death of his closest friend, Warren "Skip" Muck. After Skip's death, Malarkey exchanged letters with Skip's fiance promising to visit her after the war, but couldn't bring himself to keep that promise. When she showed up at an Easy Company reunion in the mid-1990s, Malarkey embraced her and allowed fifty years worth of tears to flow.
The film showed Malarkey fidgeting with his coveted Lugar in the frozen woods outside Bastogne, but could not adequately convey that Malarkey was a hare's frozen breath from committing suicide. His undying belief that "a Malarkey never gives up" kept him from putting the pistol to his head and pulling the trigger. "Never give up," clearly provides the underlining message of the book. Another reason Malarkey did not take his own life that night at Bastogne was the memory of a promise he had made to his aging grandmother (who died in her sleep the night of June 6, 1944), that he would return home unharmed. Physically, Malarkey kept his promise to her, yet mentally and emotionally, he carried wounds that would plague him for decades.
Malarkey offers a most important fundamental message: no matter what trials and tribulations life throws at you, never give up! He also underscores the downside of World War II's silent "greatest generation:" keeping the memory of traumatic experiences bottled up inside of you will be your undoing. For those expecting just another Easy Company vet's perspective on events portrayed in the book and movie, this memoir will not disappoint. But Malarkey's underlying message on coping with the memories of war and getting on with your life is the true gift in this beautifully written autobiography. This should be required reading for any returning war veteran!
If you're looking for just a war memoir, too, you're only going to read half this book. This is a life memoir, and some of the best parts are at the beginning, when he and writer Bob Welch bring to life Astoria, Oregon, and life in the Depression; and the postwar period, when after the ticker-tape and champagne of victory faded, too many young men wondered who they were and what they would do with the horrible memories they kept, and too many young women wondered what happened to the sweethearts they had promised themselves to. The imagery and landscape of the Northwest recur over and over again, throughout the book, even as Malarkey bares his family history and the things you'd think a person would never say. The climax of the book is as emotional as anything I've ever read.
Of all the books written by and about Easy Company, 506th, 101st Abn., this is the one that deserves, and should win, the widest audience. Thanks, Don; you're the one, and you're still here.
Don Malarkey's autobiography poignantly tells how the legacy of the first World War, the devastating impact of the Great Depression on his father and his family, and other events molded his character and provided the drive and discipline that took a young man from a small town at the mouth of the Columbia River to become a decorated war hero.
It is a tale of honor, courage and loyalty to his comrades, love challenged by the isolation of war and the toll of battle and its scars, invisible yet no less haunting.
Co-author, longtime Oregon newspaper columnist and author Bob Welch, does a fine job of crafting Malarkey's journey through war and remembrance. A remarkable cache of Malarkey's wartime letters to his family and a girlfriend he left behind, discovered during the writing of the book and quoted extensively, take the reader to the frontlines with Easy Company.
Malarkey's love of his home state Oregon is an ever present theme conveyed through vivid description providing the reader with a shared sense of place with the author. The reader will gain an insight and understanding of the mindset of a young soldier, far away from his home and family, and the motivations and drive to survive to return to the people and place he loves best.
As a member of Easy Company, experiencing the highest number of days on the front line in the company, Malarkey tells not only the battlefield events in fine detail, and there are many, but also the war as seen through the eyes of a compassionate comrade. He revels in his deep bonds with those Easy Company members whose heroism was not included in previous books. The loss of best friend Skip Muck looms large.
As one of Malarkey's own heroes, Winston Churchill said "...never, never, never, never give up"; the reader will readily understand that Malarkey never did. This book will serve as an inspiration to many. After reading it, I realized that no challenge I will probably ever face be as great or horrific as those encountered by Easy Company in battle or Don Malarkey in life.
When you open this book, be prepared for a long read; I found it impossible to put down until the final page.
First, whether you've seen the miniseries or not, this book is worth reading; it is easy to follow and lucidly written. There are some discrepancies however, which should be re-edited for clarity as they may be confusing to some. For instance on page 140, Mr Malarkey writes that Norman Dike joined Easy Company as a replacement for "Moose" Heyliger in Holland. On page 186 however, he writes that 'Captain' Norman Dike joined Easy Company as Buck Compton's replacement.
Second, more of a disappointment than a critique, I was looking forward to an insider and detailed account of the taking of Berchtesgaden (Eagle's nest), but my understanding is he missed that event as a result of hospitalization due to illness.
Lastly, I was surprised by his open dislike of David Webster, which doesn't really add anything worthwhile to the story, and was even more surprised by his critique of Ambrose and the miniseries and how he comments: "I wish Ambrose had included a handful of guys he ignored, instead of dwelling so much on a bit player like Webster"(p.246). Naturally, it's his book and he can write whatever he pleases (he's certainly earned that right) but even assuming Webster could be categorized as a "bad" soldier, or a "bit player", the military's micro representation of society means it takes the good with the bad as long as they pass the training and play by the rules thereafter. Similarly, having a book or movie that includes individuals with obviously differing personalities is where others have failed and precisely what gives this show, the book, and the character development in both, some of its 'truer to life' strengths.
Overall, the book is an interesting personal account with plenty of pre and post-war coverage discussing the emotional and personality changes one goes through. This further grounds the story and shows the anguish endured by those who survive combat and return home to a place where most will never know or understand what it was like. If you've seen the miniseries, the book provides a (more realistic) view from a different camera angle, and fills in some of the blanks left out by the series; you'll certainly have a hard time stopping your mind's eye from seeing the actors and events from the miniseries as the story progresses.
If you're a fan of the show, you'll enjoy his comments in the Epilogue and Afterword, the most surprising of which was "Nobody I've talked to from Easy Company remembers being at that Jewish concentration camp at Landsberg". Yet Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends and Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters mention such a liberation. Regardless, the author's comments leave the reader wondering if the event took place at all, and if it did, why he wouldn't correct the location/event and expand on his feelings/experiences in that situation (though he may still have been in hospital at the time?).
The product itself: the book (paperback) is of good quality binding, paper and clear printing with average sized letters causing no eye strain. Amazon lists it as 304 pages, but the story (and epilogue) go to 257.
Don was my guest in Eindhoven for a couple of nights and I enjoyed talking with him very much.
Reading the book now it feels like hearing his voice while he is telling me the stories.
He is a great friend. Not only because he was one of those who liberated us after almost five years of German occupation but most of all as a human being. I sure hope Don will be in Eindhoven again in the nearby future.
My house is his house. Don thank you for sharing your life story with us.
I know for sure your Irene is proud of you, watching you from above together with your buddies.
Peter van de Wal
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