Once There Was a War by John Steinbeck & Mark Bowden
(Penguin Classics)

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“Age can never dull this kind of writing,” writes the Chicago Tribune of John Steinbeck’s dispatches from World War II, filed for the New York Herald Tribune in 1943, which vividly captured the human side of war. Writing from England in the midst of the London blitz, North Africa, and Italy, Steinbeck focuses on the people as opposed to the battles, portraying everyone from the guys in the bomber crew to Bob Hope on his USO tour. He eats and drinks with soldiers behind enemy lines, talks with them, and fights beside them. First published in book form in 1958, these writings, now with a new introduction by Mark Bowden, create an unforgettable portrait of life in wartime that continues to resonate with truth and humanity.

About John Steinbeck & Mark Bowden

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No writer is more quintessentially American than John Steinbeck. Born in 1902 in Salinas, California, Steinbeck attended Stanford University before working at a series of mostly blue-collar jobs and embarking on his literary career. Profoundly committed to social progress, he used his writing to raise issues of labor exploitation and the plight of the common man, penning some of the greatest American novels of the twentieth century and winning such prestigious awards as the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He received the Nobel Prize in 1962, "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception." Today, more than thirty years after his death, he remains one of America's greatest writers and cultural figures.
Published August 28, 2007 by Penguin Classic. 258 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, History, War, Travel, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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Steinbeck's war dispatches were memorable, not perhaps for their historical value as a record but because of the vivid personal angle, the human bits, the vitality of capturing the feel of the war as seen on a troopship, in an airbase in England, behind the lines, and so on.

Oct 05 2011 | Read Full Review of Once There Was a War (Penguin...

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