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The Deserters by Charles Glass
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The Deserters

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The Deserters by Charles Glass
Jun 13, 2013 | ISBN 9781101617816

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  • Jun 13, 2013 | ISBN 9781101617816

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Powerful and often startlingThe Deserters offers a provokingly fresh angle on this most studied of conflicts… This is a stripped down, unromanticized, intimate history of battle in all of its confusion, chaos, terror, and moral ambiguity. Intricately structured — the author deftly juggles three narrative strands — and beautifully paced to build suspense, this tightly focused account, which draws on memoirs, archives, police files, psychiatric records, is neither reverent nor disapproving.” The Boston Globe

“Glass is to be commended for his take on WWII through the eyes of those who ran away from it… Glass’s history might be one of the best ways of relaying the experience of war: through the eyes of the young men who charged into the line of fire, gave up the ghost, and whose only reward was living to tell the tale.” Publishers Weekly (STARRED REVIEW)

The Deserters: A Hidden History of World War II, by the historian and former ABC News foreign correspondent Charles Glass, thus performs a service. It’s the first book to examine at length the sensitive topic of desertions during this war, and the facts it presents are frequently revealing and heartbreaking… The Deserters has much to say about soldiers’ hearts. It underscores the truth of the following observation, made by a World War II infantry captain named Charles B. MacDonald: ‘It is always an enriching experience to write about the American soldier in adversity no less than in glittering triumph.'” –Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“A veteran correspondent in war zones, Glass is richly credentialed to write The Deserters: A Hidden History of World War II. He is qualified by talent, by the good fortune of finding surviving veterans, and by exploring their lives with diligence and, most crucially, a deep compassion… Glass tells the soldiers’ stories with novelistic vividness and a good historian’s grasp of research detail.San Francisco Chronicle

Glass brings something new to the table by going deep with desertion, an overlooked aspect of the wartime experience. The result is an impressive achievement: a boot-level take on the conflict that is fresh without being cynically revisionist… [Glass] pulled off something special here: showing respect to what the deserters endured while acknowledging that the war—gruesome and unfair and nonsensical though it was—had to be won, and that this happened because enough men somehow found the will to keep going.” The New Republic

“[Q]uite provocative… A well-written, fast-moving treatment of an issue still relevant today.” Kirkus

Sensitive and thought-provoking … As this compelling and well-researched book shows, the battlefield was not a place for heroes, but a place where young men were dehumanised and killed … Given such conditions who among us would not also have considered walking away?” Sunday Telegraph (UK)

“[These] stories of individual human beings who eventually cracked under the strain of hardly imaginable fear and misery – are wonderful, unforgettable acts of witness, something salvaged from a time already sinking into the black mud of the past.” The Guardian (UK)

Gripping … painstaking … sympathetic … Glass reveals just how inglorious war really is.” Times (UK)

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