Bringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War, by Dale Maharidge

indyreadrosa's review against another edition

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This is both a memoir of a son trying to understand his father and the stories of number of marines who were thrown into war and were left to deal with the repercussions. Both sections are well written. The chapters on the Marines read like a New Yorker profile. The author had to deal with the fall out from the war and his discovery of the battles his father fought can be emotional but the writing is good enough that the emotion feels earned. Personally I knew only the barest of outlines of the War in the Pacific and this book has set me off on a WWII memoir reading odyssey. I highly recommend the book.

tanyarobinson's review against another edition

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I have read many many WWII histories/memoirs, and this is NOT one of the better ones. Maharidge starts out with questions about his deceased father's war experience, and tracks down and interviews men from his unit who are now in their late 80's. Bringing Mulligan Home trails together these different versions of a few battles in Guam and Okinawa. There is very little sense of cohesion or sequence, but just flashes of varied memory, with the common theme being the bad side of the "good war." I've never completely believed that the greatest generation's soldiers were all honorable men (while the Germans, Russians, and Japanese were monsters), and Maharidge gives some proof of this. Marines he spoke with admitted to shooting surrendering soldiers in the back, killing babies, and knowing of a rape that was perpetuated by someone in their unit. And many of them came home with severe PTSD, though it was not understood or treated in the 1940's.

Not only did I not particularly enjoy this book, but I didn't think it was well organized or written. Barely 3 stars.