Praise for CONDUCT UNDER FIRE: Four American Doctors and their Fight for Life as Prisoners of the Japanese, 1941-1945.
||Winner of the 2007 Colby Award
for "a significant contribution to the
public's understanding of intelligence
operations, military history, or inter-
Hailed as "One of the Best Books of the Year" by the Chicago Tribune and History Book Club, and a New York Times Book Review "Editors Choice."
"Original, moving, and astonishing."
--Kenzaburo Oe, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
“Beginning in 1943 with the publication of Richard Tregaskis' Guadalcanal Diary, America's World War II battles with Japan have been the source of some of the best writing this country has produced. John A. Glusman's Conduct Under Fire adds to this rich and long tradition . . . The result is not only a must read for anyone who cares about the history of World War II but a book that, like Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz, raises the question of what it means to keep one's humanity when virtually everything that makes ordinary life worthwhile is taken away.”
--Nicolaus Mills, Chicago Tribune
"A remarkable book . . . filled with blood and horror."
--Andrew Delbanco, The New Republic
"A book with important lessons for anyone who is alive today because a parent or grandparent made it through War War II . . . No one who reads this book will ever be able to regard their sacrifice as a distant historical event."
--Claire Panosian Dunavan, Los Angeles Times Book Review (front page)
"Epic . . . A marvelously humane and beautifully rendered tribute to [Glusman's] father and the POWs who suffered and sacrificed along with him."
--Chuck Ledder, San Francisco Chronicle
"Seldom have I read a book more committed to telling the historical truth, no matter how many inflated reputations get punctured and how much gaseous rhetoric about the 'Good War' is dispelled. [Glusman] more than balances these harsh truths with the heroism of these forgotten Americans, from the doctors to the officers and men they never ceased struggling to save . . . CONDUCT UNDER FIRE is a must-read."
--Thomas Fleming, Military History Quarterly
"Moving, informative, and well-documented . . . I highly recommend this book."
--Harold D. Langley, Ph.D., The New England Journal of Medicine
"Riveting . . . reads like a novel . . . I have not been so moved by a non-fiction book since reading Flyboys."
--Commander Paul Galanti, U.S. Navy (Retired), U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings
"A masterful account of how four ordinary doctors from the heartland of America are able to survive a brutal and unforgiving enemy."
--Parameters, U.S. Army War College Quarterly
“A compelling account of courage and sacrifice . . . Over a third of American POWs of 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 that survived -- a major achievement indeed.”
--Starred review, Publishers Weekly
“A thoughtful, humane meditation on war and family history, full of myth-bursting truths.”
“Thoroughly absorbing . . . A very notable addition to the literature on its harrowing subject.”
“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.”
--Starred review, Library Journal
"The story of the fall of the Philippines and the disease-ridden men who suffered under Japanese captivity is, to a peculiar extent, a medical story. And so, what better way to view it than through the prism of four dedicated doctors who lived through it all? Driven by an urgent curiosity born of love for his father, John Glusman has crafted a heart-wrenching tale about war, survival, and the margins of medicine."
--Hampton Sides, author of Ghost Soldiers
"Conduct Under Fire is an intimate and meticulous account of cruelty, courage, and extraordinary human resilience in the hell holes of Japan’s WWII prison camps and more. Glusman also introduces the little-known deaths of over ten thousand American POWs by 'friendly fire,' and ends his story with the massive rain of firebombs that brought the war home to the Japanese. He has, indeed, cast an unflinching gaze on the 'fire' of hell on earth."
--John W. Dower, author of Embracing Defeat and War Without Mercy
"An eye-opening book . . . Conduct Under Fire strikes a fine balance, and puts Japanese wartime cruelty in a new perspective."
--Herbert P. Bix, author of Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan
"Glusman takes us on an extraordinary journey through the battles of the Pacific, and then into the horror of the Japanese POW camps, via the story of his father and three fellow doctors. There are moments of courage and cowardice, caring and cruelty, as these four physicians struggle under severe circumstances to preserve the bodies and heal the souls of their fellow men."
--Jerome E. Groopman, M.D., author of The Anatomy of Hope and Dina and Raphael Recanati Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School
"A marvelous book, a wonderful reminder, lest we forget, that medicine is not a business, not a trade, not a degree course, but a calling. These four were called and the story of how they answered, and the tale of their suffering, their courage and their heroism is humbling, inspiring, and a wonderful read. I pray our generation is never tested in this fashion, but if we are, the standard for integrity, compassion and bravery has been set."
--Abraham Verghese, author of My Own Country
"A real page-turner . . . Glusman has truly done a masterful job not only researching and detailing a largely neglected story, but also putting it all in the proper context. It is beautifully written and a fitting tribute not only to his father and his father’ comrades, but to all the POWs who shared their singular and horrific experience."
--Jan K. Herman, editor of Navy Medicine and Resident
Historian, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
"Conduct Under Fire is a triumph. John Glusman has the historical breadth and literary grace of a William Manchester, but a modern evenhandedness all his own.”
--David Haward Bain, author of Sitting in Darkness and Empire Express