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Edson's Raiders: The 1st Marine Raider Battalion in World War II By Joseph H. Alexander

Jacket: Hardcover
Pages: 332 pages
Publisher: United States Naval Inst.; 1st edition (August 1, 2000)
Genre: Military
ISBN: 1557500207

Comments about the author: Joseph H. Alexander was the Naval Institute's 1997 Author of the Year for his award-winning book Utmost Savagery: Three Days of Tarawa He is also the author of Storm Landings: Epic Amphibious Battles of the Central Pacific. and coauthor of Sea Soldiers in the Cold War: Amphibious Warfare, 1945-1991. Alexander served for twenty-eight years in the Marine Corps before retiring as a colonel and starting a writing career. He serves as the chief historian and scriptwriter of history TV documentaries for Lou Reda Productions that are aired on the History Channel of the Arts and Entertainment network.


Review: From the very first page of EDSON’S RAIDERS, you will be hard pressed to put this book down until you finish the very last page. Even after you have completed the book, you won’t soon forget the images of the men described by author Joseph Alexander. Being a retired member of the military myself, Alexander easily got my patriotic blood moving with his descriptions of the battle scenes. While my military background helped me visualize many of the scenarios that the author writes about, the reader does not need a military background to feel pride while reading this book. This book will give you a respectable look at the sacrifice made by the military, and most especially the Marine Raiders, to preserve the American way of life.

Readers may know that the Marines are the oldest branch of the United States Armed Forces. With all the history surrounding the Marines, arguably the most remembered aspect of Marine history is the 1st Marine Raiders. Alexander tracks the complete history of the Marine Raiders, from conception to demise, and artfully, uses first hand accounts from surviving Raiders. You will feel what it was like to be on the front lines at Guadalcanal from the standpoint of a young Marine hitting the beach for the first time. You will almost hear the artillery and mortar fire as you are hunkered down in bushes in the blackest of night. You will also get to read what it was like to be the commander of these brave Marines through the eyes of the creator of the Marine Raiders, Merritt “Red” Edson. The heroics of the Raiders certainly saved many American lives and helped bring a faster end to World War II. You will learn why the 1st Marine Raiders are the most decorated unit in Marine history – and deservedly so. Uncommon valor was all too common in the Marine Raiders.

This book will bring you through a myriad of emotions, but will leave you with a great sense of pride. This is a great read for all. I highly recommend this book.

— Reviewed by: Bob Morse
Senior Systems Programmer
Brown University
Robert_Morse@brown.edu

 
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