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At Ease: Navy Men of World War II 05/28/11

cover art

At Ease: Navy Men of World War II by Evan Bachner has been on my wishlist as long as the book has been in print. I think I heard about the book on NPR. If not NPR, then a similar source.

After being near the start of my wishlist for six years, I decided it was time to track down a copy. I found one via Link+. I knew the book was a collection of photographs but somehow I hadn't appreciated how large the book would be.

The book contains a select subsection of the photographs collected by Captain Edward J. Steichen for the U.S. Naval Aviation Photographic Unit. The photographs show the men in all that down time that tends to get left out of the historical record of battles and skirmishes. Instead of naval battles we see young men bathing, napping, playing cards, stripped bare to avoid the heat and even cuddling.

The book is everything I hoped it would be. It helped make the stories I've heard seem more real than any movie reenactment or history book. The book brings things into perspective. The Pacific Ocean is large, hot and dull. The ships are both huge and cramped.

Five stars.

Comments (4)

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Comment #1: Wednesday, June, 1, 2011 at 14:10:48


What an interesting book. I bet it has some great pictures in it.

Comment #2: Friday, June 3, 2011 at 23:40:41


It does and those pictures really help to paint a picture of what the day to day life was like aboard ship.

Comment #3: Friday, June, 17, 2011 at 23:49:42


I love photographic histories, so this looks great. I'll link to your review on War Through the Generations.

Comment #4: Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 22:43:34


It is a great photographic history. Feel free to link to it. Thanks.

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