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The Jersey Brothers Audiobook

The Jersey Brothers: A Missing Naval Officer in the Pacific and His Family's Quest to Bring Him Home

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Publisher's Summary

The extraordinary real-life adventure of three brothers at the center of the most dramatic turning points of World War II and their mad race to change history - and save one of their own.

They are three brothers, all navy men, who end up coincidentally and extraordinarily at the epicenter of three of the war's most crucial moments. Bill is picked by Roosevelt to run his first map room in Washington. Benny is the gunnery and antiaircraft officer on the USS Enterprise, one of the only carriers to escape Pearl Harbor and by the end of 1942 the last one left in the Pacific to defend against the Japanese. Barton, the youngest and least distinguished of the three, is shuffled off to the Navy Supply Corps because his mother wants him out of harm's way. But this protection plan backfires when Barton is sent to the Philippines and listed as missing in action after a Japanese attack. Now it is up to Bill and Benny to find and rescue him.

Based on 10 years of research drawn from archives around the world, interviews with fellow shipmates and POWs, and primary sources including diaries, unpublished memoirs, and letters half forgotten in basements, The Jersey Brothers is a remarkable story of agony and triumph - from the home front to Roosevelt's White House and Pearl Harbor to Midway and Bataan. It is the story, written with intimate, novelistic detail, of an ordinary young man who shows extraordinary courage as the Japanese do everything short of killing him. And it is, above all, a story of brotherly love: of three men finding their loyalty to each other tested under the tortures of war - and knowing that their success or failure to save their youngest brother will shape their family forever.

©2017 Sally Mott Freeman (P)2017 S&S Audio

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    16/06/2017
    16/06/2017 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
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    Story
    "A truly gripping true story of brothers in wartime"

    I heard the author being interviewed on the history of world war two podcast by Ray Harris Jr. Her story sounded very interesting. The author brings you on a fascinating journey through the Pacific theatre, explaining how 3 brothers experienced the war, at almost every level. It's beautifully written, and the research is magnificent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • B.J.
    Minneapolis, MN, United States
    31/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is the story of one family's endurance"

    I finished this book on Memorial Day. It was fitting and relevant. Our family dinner a few hours later included a 92-year-old WWII veteran - a navy man. I had a new awareness of what he might have seen and what he knew. Our conversation that day had far more depth than anything I would have previously imagined. Simply for this spark and understanding, the book is worthy of its 5-star rating.

    This isn't a perfect book, but I don't think that would be possible. It's a personal story about one family's experience. By keeping it honest, it lost out on the gloss that fiction might have provided. It is a poignant reminder of all the ways families have been touched by war -- and that's not pretty. There's also an underlying story of family culture and the way harsh experiences get layered.

    No, it's not an easy listen. But two days later, I'm still thinking about it and sorting out what remains. It's that kind of book.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Jack@NYC
    30/05/17
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    Story
    "Band of Brothers Meets Unbroken-a Remarkable Book"

    This is one of the most amazing stories I have ever read, rendered all the more amazing because it is pure fact, not fiction. Anyone who has any interest in the WWII action in the Pacific theater must put this on his/her reading list. As others have noted, it has echoes of "Unbroken", but not only does it cover the territory (and confirm) that book's recounting of the unspeakable horrors suffered by prisoners of war at the hands of the Japanese, it covers so many other aspects of the war in the Pacific, from Pearl Harbor to Bataan and the Philippines to the great land and sea battles including Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Leyte Gulf, the Coral Sea - all told from first hand accounts of the three brothers who were there and who could comment not only on the battles but on the commanders who ran them - MacArthur, Halsey, Nimitz, Turner and others. In addition, one of the brothers - the father of the author by the way - witnessed the early years of the war from the inner circle of the White House. He ran (actually, created) FDR's vaunted strategic "map room" and there interacted daily with the president and his war staff (as well as first lady Eleanor) before he, too, shipped out to join the war at sea. To have these three brothers all as first-hand witnesses to some of the major events of the war is itself astounding, and as you would expect, leads to some equally amazing - and heart-wrenching - tales from their home front, focusing on their indomitable mother, Helen. The author spent ten years researching this material not only from family archives but from sources scattered all over the world. She pulls it together beautifully. I couldn't put this book down. I walked extra miles just so I could keep listening and it left me in tears and emotionally drained at the end. Please read or listen to it; it is unforgettable. Brava Sally Mott Freeman!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Daditude
    29/05/17
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    "Wonderful read of a families attempt to bring one on theirs home."

    With a book of this nature it is very hard to know where to start. However, it is best to start by strongly recommending that anyone considering reading it, you should and quickly. It is an inspirational read about three
    dedicated brothers who did what most young men of the time did, which was to enlist in support of the United States of America. Navy men all, they attended the Naval Academy, became officers in the navy & served the country with excellence. This book chronicles then taking of one of them as s POW and the effort of the others to find and liberate him. This effort went on from December of 1941 to the end of the war in mid to late 1945. The book is written by the grand niece of the POW Barton Cross. She writes with amazing emotion, having done as much research one could do during the time in history and with the limitations during the time in history. I was honored to have been given the chance to glimpse the inside of their family and the pain they had to endure during this ordeal. It made me realize that we that never had to endure the struggle these men did have little to complain about in our lives. Thank you so very much Sally Mott Freeman and thank you so very much for allowing me the honor of reading about Barton, Bill and Bennie, they certainly honored the Cross and Mott names. I loved your book!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jamie Williams
    14/06/17
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    "Riveting, inspiring, devastating, beautiful"

    A patchwork of firsthand accounts, the result of painstaking effort to tell the hard-won truth of a missing Sailor and beloved family member. It puts the tragedy of the American military's unprepared response to the Japanese invasion under a microscope; I spent half of the book shaking my head in anger and disappointment, other portions longing help those imprisoned or killed in battle, the rest with pride swelling in my chest hearing the accounts of sheer bravery our military men exhibited. The events described in this book sparked a change across the world- from how each branch conducts business to the global standards of conducting war. It is a treasure among combat tales; this book devoured me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gillian
    Austin, TX, United States
    12/05/17
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    Story
    "Brothers Unbroken"

    While "The Jersey Brothers" isn't a perfect book, I couldn't stand the thought of a 4-star rating bringing it down when it's a story that deserves to be heard. It's kind of what I'd hoped "The Matthews Men" would be: a bit like "Unbroken" but with brothers to root for, to care mightily about.
    Benny, on The Enterprise, is in the thick of some of the most amazing action, but he has heartache and a broken family life to bear. Bill, the forgotten brother who now is the right-hand man of many individuals noted for their fame and courage, does all he can, to the point of having his flawed eye-sight waived, and his ulcers ignored, just so he can be in true action rather than just in the map room. And Barton, the youngest and favored son, finds that he is actually a man of true strength and courage: not the one who takes but the one who gives.
    And then there's Helen--the mom of all moms, helpless but determined and with a pen that spews poison at times. She'll do all she can to save her son(s).
    Chronicled are battles, strategic actions, the cruelty of Japanese captors and everything in between. The action is close and immediate, the details stunning in their ability to capture essences--of true humanity, of horrific war, of gruesome crimes and punishment.
    I was totally carried away by the story, and Cassandra Campbell is a truly talented narrator carrying off action, the many voices of the many characters, the heartbreaking and heartfelt emotion of the situations.
    Really: just an awesome, awesome story by Mott Freeman. I would be just as proud as she to have such human frailty, such heroism, in my family tree.

    13 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • elizabeth gerdes
    29/05/17
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    Performance
    Story
    "Lots of details, average book, not bad, not great"
    Any additional comments?

    I felt the author had a story to tell, had a lot of details, and wanted to share those details. I think because she is a family member, it reads like a diary at times. Just facts listed without a specific direction. The story didn't always blend well together and at times I felt like I was listening to a history text book being read, not a story about three brothers. There were plenty of facts. I don't mind that. But I prefer that they tie in together better. I think it is an average to good book. It's not bad by any means. Just long and drawn out and repetitive at times. It did give me insight on a few pieces of history, but it skims over others. I barely realized the war had come to an end, for instance, as that wasn't played up as well as other things like invasions or POW camps. The transitions were just odd. Narrator was fine, not great. It was monotonous at times. But overall, the story is heartbreaking and deserves to be told. I applaud the author the research and information she uncovered.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Tara Millard
    28/07/17
    Overall
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    Story
    "READ LIKE A HISTORY BOOK"
    What disappointed you about The Jersey Brothers?

    This book completely lacked human connection. I love WWII books and always end up so attached to the characters but I felt Nothing for the individual characters in this book. I felt an overall sadness for everyone going through this terrible time, but did not feel connected to the main characters whatsoever. I finished it, but it was not easy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kindle Customer
    Indianapolis, IN, US
    21/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book on ww2"

    I enjoyed the perspective of a ww2 pow's family on the war in the Pacific theater.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • DMW
    19/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very interesting story - performance is a distraction"

    What an incredibly detailed story of a family who gave so much to our country and yet lost so much in doing so. The time and research that the author put into this book is quite evident and it sometimes gets "into the weeds". But overall, it's a great book.

    The narration left a lot to be desired - especially in the beginning. She repeatedly mispronounced words, especially Corregidor (calling it Corredigor over and over), and this was very off-putting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lace
    15/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent!"

    Jersey Brothers was a excellent book! Amazingly well researched. A stunning view into history from the top of allied command to POWs first hand accounts. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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