Battle Cry – Leon Uris

battle cryBattle Cry, based on the author’s experiences with the 6th Marine Regiment in World War II at Guadalcanal and Tarawa, was Uris’s first book.  It’s the story of one squad of Marines, narrated by Mac, a tough sergeant who has seen a lot of war and turned a lot of boys into men. There are several characters from different backgrounds:  Danny Forrester the all-American; Andy the Swede; Levin from Brooklyn; and Shining Light-Tower the Navajo.  It begins with the characters at home, follows them through boot camp, and on into war, culminating with an all-out battle with the Japanese in the Pacific which ends with some of them dead. Uris does not neglect the wives and girlfriends at home.  Unlike other books that focus on the officers, this one explores the experiences of the common man.  At times the narrative is very melodramatic.  At times it reads like a recruitment ad for the U.S. Marines. Uris’s novels, Exodus, Mila 18, QB VII and The Haj are better written.  Yet, Battle Cry, with its multitude of relatable characters remains my favorite!

 

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