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William Manchester Message Board


Robert Leibold posts on 10/23/2005 6:13:27 PM The opening pages' 1-39 of Manchester's second Churchill bio are among the most compelling I've ever read in a life devoted to reading. As a boy in Attleboro, Massachusetts, Manchester was an avid reader of Shakespeare, and in my humble estimation, Manchester himself was every bit as erudite, every bit as gifted as the legendary English bard. It might even be argued that Manchester was Shakespeare's superior at penning human drama to paper: the opening five pages of Manchester's "Goodbye, Darkness" are perhaps the most captivating words I've read outside holy scripture. Those very words might well encapsillate the thoughts of every man who went ashore at the Hagushi beachhead on "Love Day" 1945--of every WWII combatant, regardless their uniform or country. Forgotten Okinawa--not murderous Iwo Jima--was the bloodiest, most horrific battle of the Pacific War, and the horrors witnessed there were light years beyond any tragedy even the legendary Shakespeare himself might have imagined. I'll go to my own grave believing Manchester the greatest biographer-historian America has ever produced, and I'm deeply proud to have called him a friend. Imagine the literary world's loss had he been killed sixty years ago in the heat of history's greatest conflict. "One can only imagine what these talented dead might have accomplished had they lived," wrote Remarque of the dead of the Marne, Soissons, Belleau Wood. William Manchester indeed was an incandescent example of that ever-so-slender demarcation between life and death, celebrity and obscurity. Pity, thus, the gentleman saddled with the iron-heavy responsiblility of completing the Churchill trilogy in Manchester's absence. He should be awarded a medal simply for his efforts in attempting to fill the incalculably immense shoes of one of the greatest writers our world has ever witnessed. I'd give my right arm to be afforded the opportunity to pick Manchester's brilliant mind just one more time. But, for reasons unknown to us, the living, such things are not meant to be.
David Sherk posts a message on 4/15/2005 10:24:44 AM My father (Walter Sherk) was in F co, 2nd Bn, 29th marines on Okinawa. Can you recommend locations where I could get detailed info on the part F co played in the battle. Thank you. You can reply to sherk@kbs.msu.edu


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