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I'm Staying with My Bo...
Jim Proser
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I'm Staying with My Boys: The Heroic Life of Sgt. John Basilone, USMC / With the Old Breed / Helmet for My Pillow

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  339 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
I'M STAYING WITH MY BOYS... is a first-hand look inside the life of one of the greatest heroes of the greatest generation. Sgt. John Basilone was lauded by General Douglas MacArthur as ...A ONE MAN ARMY and awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic defense of a vital airfield early in World War 2. It was the turning point of the war and Basilones foxhole was the site of th ...more
Published by St. Martin's Press (first published 2004)
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m Staying With My Boys: The Heroic Life of Sgt. John Basilone, USMC by Jim Proser with Jerry Cutter was a letdown. Sgt. Basilone is a great soldier and I learned a lot about him but I hated the book.

I picked up this book because it had a high rating and I knew this year, I should pay homage to my graduate advisor (Goldy). Donald Goldstein helped to write so many books about World War II. His work with Gordan Prange and Katherine V. Dillon has some of the best documented work about the World War
Max Cantor
Mar 27, 2011 Max Cantor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Max by: Richard Cantor
Shelves: owned
It's so difficult to talk or write or even think about media about war. I can't tolerate most of it; I have long believed that serious subjects are best considered with lightness and humor, but war--specifically, the story of the soldiers--has always felt different to me. Perhaps it is because any depiction of World War II that does not include the grotesque and unnerving transformation from man to warrior seems disingenuous to me. Any such portrayal puts us at risk of being entertained by war w ...more
Mar 25, 2016 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've seen the HBO series "The Pacific" (excellent!) and read other books about events during this time in World War 2, but none quite like this. The first person perspective really brought it to life for me. Highly recommend this book if you're interested in WW2.
Kristy K
May 22, 2015 Kristy K rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf, 2015
After reading 50% of this book, I decided to just skip to the last chapter. My biggest issue with I'm Staying with My Boys is that it is written in the first person even though this is not an autobiography. There is also no evidence that Basilone kept a journal or diary, which makes this (to me) read more like historical fiction than an actual biography. I was really interested in learning about Sgt. Basilone's life, specifically his time in the service and his tragic death, but unfortunately I ...more
Jan 16, 2016 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Captivating read, especially as it's told from the first perspective. Definitely refined my views on what it means not only to be a true American warrior but also a true leader—irrespective of color or creed.

I was personally struck by Basilone's compassion; his take on the Imperial Japanese while he was still in the Army:

"The news came from time to time while I was in Manila—the enemy was on the march. Then the news came about their tactics. I hadn't imagined anything about the cruelty that was
Feb 27, 2016 Dachokie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-ii
The Voice of a Long Lost Hero …

A recent re-viewing of HBO’s epic mini-series “The Pacific” made me realize that the one book I had yet to read was a book about the most decorated Marine depicted in the series: Medal of Honor recipient, Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone. Choosing the right book was not easy and I took a chance on Jim Proser’s unique first-person perspective: I’M STAYING WITH MY BOYS. I believe I made a wise choice.

While there are several books that detail the short, but full life of Bas
Mar 31, 2010 Andres rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2
Right on the cover of this book is the first warning that what you are going to read may not be completely true: "authorized biography". The second warning comes when you find that one of the authors is Basilone's nephew. The third warning comes when you start to read the book and find it written from the first-person POV of John Basilone himself.

With these facts in mind, any reader (with their critical thinking cap tightly worn) interested in learning about Basilone and his life will find this
Patrick McCoy
I'm Staying With My Boys... is a biography written by Jim Prosser with Jerry Cutter of the life of the late Marine Sargent John Basilone who died in the battle of Iwo Jima. His story was one of three featured in the HBO miniseries The Pacific. I've already read the other two, Robert Leckie's memoir Helmet For A Pillow and Eugene Sledge's memoir With The Old Breed. I understand that some incidents had to be altered for continuity, but there seems to have been a fair amount of whitewashing in real ...more
Jan 16, 2014 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Knowing that John Basilone died at Iwo Jima, made me wonder how this book could have been written in the First Person. As it turns our, Jim Proser wrote the book that way based on interviews and other books.

It is the story of Sgt. John Basilone USMC starting with his youth, to his Army days, and then to his time in the Marine Corps. His life was not all that simple or trouble free. His Army days netted him nothing but grief in the Philippine Islands other than meeting a girl that he regretted no
Nov 29, 2010 Wendy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I'm Staying with My Boys is a firsthand look inside the life of one of the greatest heroes of the Greatest Generation. Sgt. John Basilone held off 3,000 Japanese troops at Guadalcanal after his 15-member unit was reduced to three men. At Iwo-Jima he single-handedly destroyed an enemy blockhouse, allowing his unit to capture an airfield. Minutes later he was killed by an enemy artillery round. He was the only Marine in World War II to have received the Medal of Honor, the Navy Cross, and a Purple ...more
Bill Loftus
May 04, 2016 Bill Loftus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the author's use of the 1st person, especially because Sgt Baseline seemed too humble write a book of his conquests. I think it combined a lot of interviews and research with a little bit of imagination, and it truly took you back in time to experience the perils of the Pacific Theatre.

John Edwards
Basilone is one of the most famous Marines of all time. He is being featured as one of three main characters in HBO's upcoming series The Pacific. This is told through Baslione's eyes through interviews conducted by the nephew of Basilone with his family, friends, and fellow soldiers. As a result it doesn't have the immediacy or impact that E.B. Sledge's "With the Old Breed" has. It is difficult to convey accurately the thoughts, emotions, feelings, and despair of another person especially in wa ...more
Rhea Wright
Apr 13, 2010 Rhea Wright is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Its a very very wonderful heroic story about a man who gave his life for his boys. He was a simple boy with chorse and had brothers and was a normal kid. Till world war 2 started. He had a very small platoon. Only fifteen men. He was sgt of the platoon.
When we first meet John he is ready to storm the beach on D-day with his men, by his side and ready to suprise the enemy. With death in the air and mornings breakfast in the air. He is ready to go but still has a knot in his stomach. As the terri
Stephen Koreivo
Jul 19, 2012 Stephen Koreivo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story about a regular guy who tells about life as it really is in the military eventually reaching trenches during the WWII in the Pacifci where earns te Conressional Medal of Honor. He becomes torn wanting to back in the fray with his fellow Marines while raising funds in teh war bond effort to kepp the drive to win the war well funded. He eentually works his way back giving his life at Iwo Jima after training and leading young Marines back into battle. Very blunt about his feelings about ...more
Mar 05, 2010 Amber rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2 stars...What an absolutely amazing man. I had no idea that 1) he had such an impact on the Marine Corps that his story is required learning for all Marine recruits 2) that there are memorials, freeways, observance days and National days all in his name. Where have I been never to have heard about him before?? The only thing I didn't care for was in this book is the author writing in 1st worries me that he took a little too much liberty with what John Basilone was really thinkin ...more
Feb 05, 2011 Darryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Basilone has been dead for 66 years but is still reviewed in the Marine Corps for his heroic actions on Guadalcanal for which he won the Congressional Medal of Honor. I never heard of him until I watched HBO's The Pacific. The interesting part about this book was that it was written in the first person, as if Basilone was telling you his life story and his feelings about what happened on Guadalcanal and the subsequent tour to sell war bonds. It was written by his nephew and approved by his ...more
I've wanted to read John Basilone's story since driving past the exit of Basilone Blvd in Camp Pendleton, CA. This man is just that - a man, a leader, a war-hero, a friend, a patriot. John Basilone was courageous and fierce in his love of country and love for his brothers at arms. So while the book was mechanically not well written, the story of this man's life and service outshines any technical deficiencies.
I must admit, I was surprised by the narrative style; to have the book written in the first person, when the person narrating dies in the course of the book... That's not to say I didn't think it was a good book. It was interesting.

The only thing I found a bit difficult was the suddeness of characters being introduced or removed; there almost seemed to be an assumption that you would know who they were already.
Apr 14, 2014 Nick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
The overall story was interesting. But I found it strange and occasionally annoying that the author (who never personally met John Basilone considering he died in WWII) thought it was a good idea to write in a first-person narrative. It made the book feel more like an historical fiction than a WWII biography.
Casey Wheeler
Aug 03, 2012 Casey Wheeler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, world-war-ii
"This is a book about a Medal of Honor winner who was killed during WWII after he won the medal. There are a number of good leadership lessons contained within the book. Among them are - You can't lead from the back, surround yourself with a good team, react quickly to change and many more."
Fredrick Danysh
Marine Sergeant "Manila" John Basilone did a hitch in the army and worked as a civilian before joining the Corps. Awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for Guadalcanal, he volunteered to go back to combat in the Pacific following a war bond tour. Told in the first person.
Mar 20, 2010 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm having trouble with the first person point of view used in this book. I probably should have chosen a more traditional biography such as James Brady's. A great warrior and hero like Basilone deserves a great biography. This may be it for some but it misses for me.
Dec 08, 2014 Gerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military-history
Slightly disappointed in this book in the way it ended (not by being KIA but by how the author placed himself to being "John Basilone" in the book in the second person. Still, it was informative and I learned some new things of GySgt. Basilone. Semper Fidelis.
Feb 10, 2011 Q rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it, though the first person POV is a little disconcerting considering Basilone died on Guadalcanal in 1945. Other than that, however, it gives an interesting perspective on one of WWII's most famous heroes. Decidedly worth the time to read.
The only thing that kept me reading was the fact that I bought the book. This book reads like a bad novelization of a good comic book - the basic elements of the story and the superhero are there but adaptation is really, really poor.
Jul 21, 2012 Pat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd only come to know the name John Basilone recently; his story one of many of bravery beyond comprehension. The first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor; his is a story that though only recently know to me; I will never forget.
Jun 20, 2014 Hunter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very much so a page turner, although it does lose me towards the end. At around a quarter of an inch from the end of the books pages. I tended to not be as interested and I often found my mind to not be that into the book.
Rich Schiavi
Apr 10, 2010 Rich Schiavi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting approach to the story telling. More interesting than pure history, wish we read these books in school to learn about these heroic people. Hero's like Basilone are the reason we can enjoy our Starbucks and freedoms.
Heather Duda
Jun 27, 2012 Heather Duda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-own
I finished this book this morning and it has stuck with me all day. I really enjoyed the point of view of this book. It gave a lot of facts but didn't feel like a history lesson. I recommend it to any WWII buffs.
Jun 17, 2010 Rhiannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book! I loved that it was written in first person. I felt like I was right there with Sgt Basilone the whole way and even though I knew how it ended, his death at the end hit me as if I knew him personally.
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“Never fear your enemy but always respect them” 2 likes
“Sgt. Basilone in his personal humility and unwavering dedication to the men who served with him, became a true hero of the American people during World War II.” 0 likes
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