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Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific

Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific


Book Overview: Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific

Here is one of the most riveting first-person accounts ever to come out of World War II. Robert Leckie enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in January 1942, shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In Helmet for My Pillow we follow his odyssey, from basic training on Parris Island, South Carolina, all the way to the raging battles in the Pacific, where some of the war's fiercest fighting took place. Recounting his service with the 1st Marine Division and the brutal action on Guadalcanal, New Britain, and Peleliu, Leckie spares no detail of the horrors and sacrifices of war, painting an unvarnished portrait of how real warriors are made, fight, and often die in the defense of their country.

From the live-for-today rowdiness of marines on leave to the terrors of jungle warfare against an enemy determined to fight to the last man, Leckie describes what war is really like when victory can only be measured inch by bloody inch. Woven throughout are Leckie's hard-won, eloquent, and thoroughly unsentimental meditations on the meaning of war and why we fight. Unparalleled in its immediacy and accuracy, Helmet for My Pillow will leave no reader untouched. This is a book that brings you as close to the mud, the blood, and the experience of war as it is safe to come.

"A grand and epic prose poem . . . The purely human experience of war in the Pacific, written in the graceful imagery of a human being who--somehow--survived."--Tom Hanks

See Robert Leckie's story in the HBO miniseries The Pacific

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PublisherBantam Books
Publication Date2010-02-02
Dimensionsin x in x in
Weight lbs
Robert Leckie was an eminent American author and United States Marine Corps veteran. Born on December 18, 1920, in Philadelphia, Leckie was known for his unique portrayal of World War II through his visceral narratives. After enlisting in the Marine Corps the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, his firsthand experiences became the bedrock for his prolific career as a military historian and novelist. Leckie's military service, most notably his participation in the Guadalcanal Battle, melded with his exceptional reporting skills, which later characterized his distinct literary style. Leckie's most acclaimed work, "Helmet for My Pillow," is a compelling memoir of his military service, providing an unvarnished view of the realities of war. In his narration, Leckie skillfully weaves humor and terror, offering a profound exploration of a soldier's psyche. His creative flair further extended to over 40 works ranging from historical non-fiction, children's books, biographies, and sports writing, testifying to his versatility as a writer. Robert Leckie passed away on December 24, 2001, but left behind an impactful legacy as a celebrated author and military historian. His relatable accounts of war life continue to inspire many, contributing to our collective understanding of World War II. Even beyond his death, Leckie's unique narrative style continues to grip readers, etching his place in the pantheon of renowned war authors.

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