Tuesday, October 27, 2015

BUDDIES - Book Review and Giveaway

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The human-animal bond is so special that it is not just visible to the human heart, but  seems to leap out of pictures seen by the human eye.

A new book that is arriving in time for Veteran's Day on November 11, 2015 is full of such pictures. BUDDIES: Heartwarming Photos of G.I.'s and Their Dogs in WWII, by L. Douglas Keeney. Obviously, that means it's also released in time to be a holiday gift for your favorite history buff or dog lover. Keene is a best-selling author of more than a dozen books on American History. In 1992 he cofounded The History Channel which is now part of Discovery Communications.



Dogs aren't the only ones in the book with Servicemen. A variety of of Mascots appear including at least one monkey, a bird, well, you get the idea. Far and away, however dogs rule the day. 

Photos of Servicemen and their dogs gave family members at home the feeling that their guys were not quite so alone. Propaganda? Yes, but the dogs did serve an important purpose in providing diversion, comfort and unconditional love for the men who shared their rations and lavished attention on them.

Along with the pictures there's enough dialogue to explain what was happening and put names to the dogs and other mascots, even giving some information about them when it was available.  For example, a Boxer named Max was a full-fledged Paratrooper in the Army who earned his wings after 5 jumps. Hobo, a Navy dog, followed his friends when they took a beach. That's not something we usually think about and it was certainly news to me that a dog went along when a beach was taken. The book shows Servicemen and their Dogs, etc., from every Branch of the Service.

"I actually wrote this book 15 years ago -- well before I started writing full length non-fiction, said L. Dougas Keeney. "I accidentally ran across the first 40  of these photos while researching the photo well of another book. They immediately touched me -- I mean, I was sitting there in this large, neon lit research facility at the National Archives suddenly looking at photos of young men and their dogs juxtaposed against a world war. I was emotional and fascinated at the same time." Frankly, so was this reader. 

"Buddies came out 15 years ago but my new publisher saw a bigger book in it  so she contacted me and asked if I would expand it and, now, 15 years later, we finally have the book I envisioned all those many years ago. Warm. Poignant. A connection to men who are now in the 90s, seen when they were very young and very afraid but oh so brave."

It's hard to picture the young men in the pictures as they must look today but I hope many of them are alive to see themselves in this book. What a treasure it must be for their family members!


"As an author, I look for those lost voices that help today's readers understand our nations proud history," Keeney explains. "My new book on Roosevelt brings out the backroom dealings that led to the D-Day decision and through those dealings we get to know George Marshall, Winston Churchill, FDR and even Stalin in ways we never had before. Same with Buddies. Through these photos we see The Greatest Generation not as tired 90-year olds nursing a cup of coffee, but as they were -- young men pulled from their lives trying their best to survive, trying their hardest to help win this war, hoping beyond hope to do just one thing. Get home."

We owe this author a huge Thank You for bringing part of The Greatest Generation to us as they were during the war. Freedom is not free. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude and the sacred duty of keeping our country free.  Reading Buddies is a very moving experience, something read and reread and treasure as a very real part of our history.

Published by Zenith Press, it's available wherever books are sold, both online and it brick and mortar stores.  If you can't wait to read it, you can order it right now at Amazon. It retails for $19.99

Thanks to the publisher, one lucky PerPETuallySpeaking reader has the opportunity to win a copy of Buddies. Just leave a comment between now and Thursday, the 29th.  Contest open to U.S. Residents Only.

NOTE: I was not paid for this review. I received only a review copy of the book. 

12 comments:

Unknown said...

It sounds like an Award winning book to me I mean who wouldn't want a book About Service Dogs and other things I think that if it was me that I would definetley buy it and give it to My Dad as a Christmas because he knows all about the war Inconclusion I just want to say CONGRATULATIONS To You On The Book It Sounds Like A Winning Book Thank You Sherri Lawrence

Unknown said...

It sounds like an Award winning book to me I mean who wouldn't want a book About Service Dogs and other things I think that if it was me that I would definetley buy it and give it to My Dad as a Christmas because he knows all about the war Inconclusion I just want to say CONGRATULATIONS To You On The Book It Sounds Like A Winning Book Thank You Sherri Lawrence

Lisette Brodey said...

What a special book. I hope it is a big success; it deserves to be!

Unknown said...

What a heartwarming book. It made tears come to my eyes as I imagined the comfort these "buddies" brought to our servicemen and servicewomen. Thank you for sharing with us.

Unknown said...

What a heartwarming book. It made tears come to my eyes as I imagined the comfort these "buddies" brought to our servicemen and servicewomen. Thank you for sharing with us.

James Stagg said...

So very appropriate that these dogs be recognized for their wartime experience, just as humans. Morale was very important and they filled some of that need, just like the USO did. I had read Yorkie Doodle Dandy by Bill Wynne, and was so impressed with the service given by that tiny creature. I did look up this information again, and found a unique web-site listing five famous war dogs. The one who served in WWI, Stubby, blew me away. It is at
http://dogtime.com/dog-health/general/10959-five-war-dogs-for-memorial-day

Thanks for the "Heads up!" Darlene!

Gordon Brice said...

What a wonderful way to pay tribute to the way in which dogs and other animals, helped boost the morale of those (mostly young) service people during the dark days of wartime. Many of those people may have been away from home for the first time, apart from their training and were feeling both lonely and very vulnerable.
This is a great book for history buffs and those that love animals......especially dogs.
Thank you for sharing this with us, Darlene and a thank you also to all those two-legged and four-legged heroes, who fought for their country and, in many cases, made the ultimate sacrifice while doing so.

Darlene said...

Thank you for your comments, Sherri Lawrence! It's a wonderful book. I really enjoyed reading it and I loved the photographs, of course. I think you're right: it would make a great Christmas present. :-)

Darlene said...

Thank you for your comment, Lisette Brodey. I, too, hope the book does well for the author. It's wonderful to have a reminder of The Greatest Generation when so many in this generation seem like anything but.

Darlene said...

I wish I knew who "Unknown" is. Your words touched me. If you want to be in the running to win the book, how can I identify you?

Darlene said...

Thank you, James Stagg. I agree with you about Yorkie Doodle Dandy. I believe I've seen 3 of the 5 memorial to that dog. Four are in the U.S. and one is in Australia. Your words really touched me - you have an obvious understanding of what those young men were going through and how much their mascots meant to them.

Darlene said...

Thank you, Gordon Brice, for your comments. You are spot on when it comes to this book. It's a great reminder of the bravery of the young military men and how important a part animals played in their lives during the war.