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Ernie Pyles War: America's Eyewitness to World War II

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  281 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
When a machine-gun bullet ended the life of war correspondent Ernie Pyle in the final days of World War II, Americans mourned him in the same breath as they mourned Franklin Roosevelt. To millions, the loss of this American folk hero seemed nearly as great as the loss of the wartime president.

If the hidden horrors and valor of combat persist at all in the public mind, it i
ebook, 320 pages
Published January 15th 1999 by Free Press (first published 1997)
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Carol Storm
Jan 15, 2014 Carol Storm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was in grade school I happened to read one of the TIME LIFE books on World War II and I came across Ernie Pyle's timeless and poignant writing about the wreckage-strewn beach on the morning after D DAY. It was one of the first times I really understood the power of the written word.

This biography does an amazing job of explaining who Ernie Pyle was and where he came from, plus why his writing came to mean so much to Americans both on the Home Front and in the combat zones of World War II
Oct 02, 2012 Gayle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This book has been around awhile, published in 1997, but I am an on and off WWII aficionado who will spend months reading about and/or watching movies about that war and that era. I will spend a couple of hours in my public library’s catalog searching for books and movies about “World War 1939-1945, “ and devour what I find for however long it takes me to tire of it and move on. I’ve been doing this most of my life, and have decided that either I should have majored in military history in colleg ...more
Mike  Davis
Sep 26, 2011 Mike Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in 1997, Tobin takes a long look back into war correspondence and the unique character of Ernie Pyle. The book chronicles Pyle's life and personal struggles as WWII's consummate journalist, but also examines what made Pyle different as the defining voice of the common soldier. It attempts to define what war was and is, politically, morally and practically. Tobin shows that Pyle, though not a philosopher, nevertheless struggles with the age-old questions of how soldiers convert from husba ...more
Apr 01, 2013 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, nonfiction
I read this one on summer vacation after I ran out of my own books and had to borrow something from my dad. I was 13. By the end of the summer, I had decided I was going to be a war correspondent and get myself blown up in a Cambodian mine field. Needless to say, my mother is happy that ambition passed and I'm now settled in a safe, boring career as a lawyer.

But 13-year-old Lauren was really impressed by this story of a badly damaged man who didn't let his own brokenness stop him from telling th
Feb 06, 2008 Jill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Jill by: my uncle kevin
ernie pyle is amazing. the stories that he was able to tell & the things he went through are so incredible...and he didn't have to. he did it so that we, the people back home & the decendants of the greatest generation, know what happened to ensure our happiness & freedom.
Pat evert
Feb 19, 2008 Pat evert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a crazy, strange man who touched the hearts of Americans everwhere with his columns. Be prepared to cry when his columsn are re-produced in this fascinatng story of Ernie's life!
Probably several members of the book discussion group that chose this title remember Ernie Pyle, but aside from hearing the name I knew nothing about him. Born in 1900, he was slight of stature, an Indiana farm boy, the only child of a dominant mother who embraced farming and a passive father who hated it. Ernie dreamed of the wider world. Too young for World War I, he enrolled in Indiana University to study journalism but left in the middle of his senior year to take a reporting job. He ended u ...more
Wayne S.
When I was in high school, back in the days when we actually studied history rather than “social studies,” I remember learning about Ernie Pyle, one of the foremost American newspaper correspondents during World War II. Therefore, while driving through west central Indiana last year and seeing a sign for the Ernie Pyle State Historic Site at Dana, IN, we decided to stop. I purchased this book from their gift shop to serve as a memento of our visit and to learn more about Pyle, who was born Ernes ...more
Jan 27, 2008 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only ten days after finishing the first book that I’ve read for my own enjoyment, in four years, I get to sit here at my desk and type a review of another book. This book came as a gift from my mom… a particularly wonderful and meaningful gift. I’ve long since been a fan of American history or at least moments in time within our history, and WWII is certainly one of our history’s most compelling stories. Having grown up with my mom and my grandmother, I’ve been instilled with a sense of apprecia ...more
Claudia Mundell
Sep 08, 2014 Claudia Mundell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I knew the power and precision of Ernie Pyle’s writing, but I wanted to know the man himself. So I picked up a copy of Ernie Pyle’s War: America’s Eyewitness of World War II by James. Tobin. The author takes readers back to the beginning in Dana, Indiana and shows how an only child grew up in a farming family. Pyle was an undersized but bright student who could not wait to make his way out into the world away from the Midwest.

Pyle was an excellent journalist, one worthy of studying. He began wi
Mike Prochot

I recall my elders talking about Ernie when I was a kid. I also recall snippets or quotes from his columns appearing in magazines, books and movies from the 50's and 60's. I found the book and thought it high time to find out what he was all about.

The book certainly confirms that Ernie Pyle had an instinctual or innate ability to connect with his readers - evidenced by his popularity in regards to readership, his "groupies" and the bidding war for his services, but the overall picture of Ernie t
Aug 25, 2016 7$MartyQ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Reluctant Hero

Ernie Pyle was a man who hated war. He was actually a genital soul who had a mission to fulfill. Perhaps he didn't know it, but his fame preceded him. He wasn't interested in hob mobbing with generals; he wanted to write about the common man who was thrown into war, whose life was put on hold for the duration of the war, and had a fair chance of not surviving to pick it back up once the war was over. His love of the common soldier was what set him apart from all the other war c
Patrick Nichol
Jul 30, 2011 Patrick Nichol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ernie Pyle wasn't flashy or telegenic, but he was an excellent chronicler of the average American soldier.

In fact, he was so ordinary and sympathetic that he was called "the little G.I." by his fans.

Reading this excellent biography was a pleasure. i found out a lot about what made Pyle tick, his passion for writing, his restlessness.

If you were to put him in today's terms, Pyle would be Anderson Cooper telling it like it is.

Anyone interested in the work of World War II's most celebrated correspo
Gary Daly
A man who went to war (as a journalist) because home life was a pain in the arse. Highly toxic relationships, fame and an obsession for danger and death (which he finally met with a bullet in the head at war's end on the Pacific island of Lejima). After years and years of exposing himself to bombs, bullets and frontline stress he pursued his own end because he felt the home front had no idea what it meant to go to war (they still don't) and Pyle focused on bringing the life of the combat soldier ...more
Dec 06, 2013 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a non WW2 buff with a limited familiarity of Ernie Pyle, I found this biography accessible,well- written, and informative. It felt like an honest look at an average guy who did some extraordinary reporting. It didn't seem to gloss over the negatives or hyperbolize the positives, but it did leave me with a sense of admiration for both the man and the soldiers he loved. I use excerpts of this now when I have my students read WW2 news reports.
Bryana Johnson
Jun 12, 2012 Bryana Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful biography of an exceptionally tenacious combat journalist in World War II. The book includes samples of Pyle’s most enduring columns covering the war. While the work is biographical, its most enduring integral theme is that of the conflict itself and of the spirit of humanity under the pressure of overwhelming disaster. Pyle himself had a troubled personal life and the cloud of his failed marriage does hang over the book at times.
George Martzen
Jun 22, 2013 George Martzen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I sometimes heard my father or those of his generation mention the name Ernie Pyle, whom I knew to have been a journalist. So I was happy to pick up this book and was immediately caught up in the well-researched biography.
May 25, 2014 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gawker published a tribute to Ernie Pyle on the anniversary of his death last month, and I was interested to read more. This book gives a good overview of his life, but I was hoping to read more of his actual columns.
Dan Lawrence
Jun 07, 2016 Dan Lawrence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this to get a first-hand account of the Invasion of Normandy (D-Day) before heading out on vacation with my son. Ended up reading it all. The short section on D-Day provided great fodder for describing what it must have been like. (My son thought I was so smart!)
Barbara Franklin
This beautifully written book is a page turner. Wonderful insight into a writer's life, his writing process, and World War II. If you ever wondered what is was like for soldiers & journalists during war, read this marvelous book.
The ETO of WWII from a journalist's point of view. Mr. Pyle's columns themselves are fascinating. James Tobin's style of writing is not. He tends to be a bit dry for me.
Dec 04, 2012 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great read. Pyle's writing is very enjoyable. It was nice to know the story behind those writings.
Jun 18, 2015 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best WWII correspondents. He wrote about the ordinary soldiers, those memorable infantrymen, it made America understand truly what those men were going through.
Taylor rated it really liked it
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Virgil Alexander
Virgil Alexander rated it it was amazing
Apr 26, 2012
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Mar 31, 2008
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