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Into the Valley: Marines at Guadalcanal

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  54 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
John Hersey (1914–93) was a correspondent for Time and Life magazines when in 1942 he was sent to cover Guadalcanal, the largest of the Solomon Islands in the Western Pacific. While there, Hersey observed a small battle upon which Into the Valley is based. While the battle itself was not of great significance, Hersey gives insightful details concerning the jungle environme ...more
Paperback, 164 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Bison Books (first published 1943)
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Mar 29, 2012 Andres rated it liked it
Shelves: ww2
This is a very interesting and quick read. This reporter's account of one battle in one valley on Guadalcanal, in October 1942, helps illustrate what everyone on that island went through day to day with the very specific details of this one fight.

I read this right after reading Richard Tregaskis's Guadalcanal Diary, which is fitting since Diary ends on September 26, 1942 and Valley starts just a week or two later. I like both books for what they are able to convey about the Guadalcanal campaign,
Into the Valley by John Hersey is a reporter's on-the-spot report of a battle which took place on October 8, 1942 on Guadalcanal. Hersey was a correspondent with Time-Life and was attached to Company H of the Marine Corps under the command of Captain Charles Rigaud. The heavy machine gun company was ordered into the valley at the Matanikau River with the goal of forcing the enemy back beyond the river.

As Hersey moves with the company and watches the men under fire, he realizes how much these Mar
Apr 28, 2011 Wanda rated it really liked it
Well, I now know the meaning of "military crest" and "approach fire." This was a very short book, 136 pages. Hersey attached himself to a machinegun company as it descended into a valley and attempted to cross a river as part of a wider attack. The hike down was uneventful, but as they approached the river, the company came under rifle and machinegun fire. As they attempted to bring forward and set up their own machineguns to return fire, they came under mortar fire, suffered casualties and were ...more
Sep 30, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very brief book based on 1942 magazine story for LIFE magazine. Includes a 15-page retrospective introduction from 1989. Very moving, indicative of suffering and sacrifice. The edition I read was just 90 pages; not sure of the publisher/edition.
Andrew Lubin
Dec 28, 2008 Andrew Lubin rated it it was amazing
A short story of a company of Marines fighting on Guadalcanal. Hersey is a voluteer combat correspondant, and he captures the ferocity of the fight and the dedication of the Marines to each other on the 'canal back in summer 1942. S/F!
Apr 08, 2014 Nadir rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military, ww2
A very quick enjoyable piece written during the war. Not military history per we (no maps, no orders of battle, no high-ranking officer pontificating - just a clear and honest description of men in combat.
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John Richard Hersey was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer and journalist considered one of the earliest practitioners of the so-called New Journalism, in which storytelling devices of the novel are fused with non-fiction reportage. Hersey's account of the aftermath of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, was adjudged the finest piece of journalism of the 20th century by a 36-member ...more
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