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Book and Media Reviews
July 26, 2006


Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2006;296(4):450-455. doi:10.1001/jama.296.4.451

The stories of the men who fought in World War II have been told in many ways. Robert “Doc Joe” Franklin does it in memoir style, relying on his notes and memories to bring the reader to the front lines.

Franklin's journey through the battlefields of the European theater begins in North Africa and Sicily in 1943, continues on to the invasion of southern France in 1944, and ends in 1945 with his injury outside of Berlin (when he is evacuated to a field hospital and out of the war). In between are nearly 150 pages of back-to-back vignettes that alternate among the drudgery, exhilaration, victories, and horrors of war. This juxtaposition of wartime highs and lows experienced by Franklin and his fellow Greatest Generation soldiers in the 45th Infantry Division gives the book its character and appeal.

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