In Conduct Under Fire, John A. Glusman chronicles these events through the eyes of his father, Murray, and three fellow navy doctors captured on Corregidor in May 1942. Here are the dramatic stories of the fall of Bataan, the siege of "the Rock", and the daily struggles to tend the sick, wounded, and dying during some of the heaviest bombardments of World War II. Here also is the desperate war doctors and corpsmen waged against disease and starvation amid an enemy that viewed surrender as a disgrace. To survive, the POWs functioned as a family. But the ties that bind couldn't protect them from a ruthless counteroffensive waged by American submarines or from the B-29 raids that burned Japan's major cities to the ground. Based on extensive interviews with American, British, Australian, and Japanese veterans, as well as diaries, letters, and war crimes testimony, this is a harrowing account of a brutal clash of cultures, of a race war that escalated into total war.
Conduct Under Fire is a gripping chronicle of courage in captivity, of sacrifice and survival, and a son's moving tribute to his father.
©2005 John A. Glusman; (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"Glusman has written a compelling account of courage and sacrifice....Over a third of American POWs held by the Japanese died in captivity. With grace and clarity, Glusman gives a keen sense of loss to that statistic, and a heroic dignity to those who survived - a major achievement indeed." (Publishers Weekly)
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It took me twice to listen and even went to Corregidor, Philippines to really appreciate this historical narrative. My dad was also part of the death march and luckily he escaped and survived to write his experience during his escape.. then surrender to get treatment for malaria. Mr. John Glusman ( I hope to meet him sometime) is an eloguent and erudite writer and his research and knowlege of the war in the Pacific is a lasting artifact of history worth retelling. Sad that the younger generations take the lessons of history too lightly but we are so lucky to live our lives today.
The author does an excellent job of describing the role and life of the military physician in war and captivity, including their need to provide leadership and demonstrate ingenuity.
"I wanted more"
I was reading this via Audiobook, and I picked up an abridged version, so perhaps, some of my concerns would be addressed in the abridged edition. It wasn't until the very end that I saw what the book was actually about. The title speaks of 4 doctors, yet I felt them disappear often in to the larger narratives of the war, the POW at large, and really missed them. I wanted to know and understand these men, and felt like I had so few glimpses of them. This book seems really to have been written by a son of one of the doctors to make sense of it all. In the end, he speaks of the role of teacher changing hands. That is the father is the teacher of his own narrative and the son is the teacher of the broader context. I'm always challenged by these stories, because I do understand the Japanese cultural context for the brutality, yet, Japan was a signatory of the 1929 Geneva Convention. I do appreciate that the author let the brutality and the kindnesses come through on their own. It's an interesting book. It seems to me there a number of books more dramatic or more in depth.
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