Conduct under fire : four American doctors and their fight for life as prisoners of the Japanese, 1941-1945 / John Glusman ; [maps by Jeffrey L. Ward].
Booklist Reviews 2005 May #1
Glusman's big, thoroughly absorbing narrative centers on his father and three fellow navy physicians, who spent World War II as Japanese POWs. Refusing to allow "a clash of cultures" to excuse the Japanese for their largely barbarous treatment of Western POWs, Glusman exposes the horrors of the four doctors' experience in vivid and sometimes sickening detail. He benefits from access to much recent research into racial aspects of the war that generated much of its brutality and incomprehension and led to the total nature of the war, which eventually endangered a good many Allied POWs on Japanese prison ships and in Japan during Allied saturation bombing raids. Dr. Glusman's status as an educated and trained observer also spurred his son's insights, including those offered here on what determined the difference between survival and death among the POWs, and on what decisions led to humane conduct by Japanese guards. A very notable addition to the literature on its harrowing subject. ((Reviewed May 1, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2005 May #1
Though they came from disparate backgrounds, Murray Glusman (the author's father), John Bookman, George Ferguson, and Fred Berley were all dedicated doctors stationed with the navy in the Philippine Islands just as the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor prompted America's engagement in World War II. They were captured at the fall of Corregidor in May 1942 and suffered three horrifying years as prisoners of war in the hands of the Japanese. As first-time author Glusman tells it, this is much more than the story of four POWs; it is the brutal account of the cultural clash between the East and the West. Their captors paid no attention to the Geneva Convention and considered surrender a disgrace. Interviews with veterans from the Australian, British, American, and Japanese forces, coupled with the use of diaries, letters, and war crimes testimony, make this essential for all libraries.-David Lee Poremba, Detroit P.L. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
PW Reviews 2005 March #3
Four American doctors were captured by the Japanese when Corregidor surrendered in May 1942. George Ferguson came from Kansas City, Mo., and cleaned beer vats to help pay his way through college. John Bookman was the scion of a New York Jewish family that had been part of America's medical elite for generations. Fred Berley was from Chicago's West Side. Murray Glusman was the son of a New York City pharmacist. John Glusman is his son, and an editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Consulting a wide range of archival and printed sources and complementing them with interviews of American, British and Australian survivors of Japanese prison camps, and the guards and administrators who ran them, Glusman has written a compelling account of courage and sacrifice from the perspective of the doctors who sought to keep their fellow captives alive under conditions that amounted to a mass sentence of death. He vividly shows Navy doctors working to exhaustion mending broken bodies, nursing a variety of exotic illnesses, treating spiritual as well as physical pain over three and a half years, deprived of bandages, instruments and the simplest of medicines. 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. Agent, David Black. Author tour; partial BOMC main selection; dual main selection of History Book Club; Literary Guild offering. (On sale May 9) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.