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Nations at war
Gamble, Bruce. Black Sheep One: The Life of Gregory "Pappy" Boyington. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 2000
Acknowledgments; Prologue; maps; photos; Epilogue; Sources; Index
Appendix: Roster of Boyington's Black Sheep
Bruce Gamble has written a sympathetic biography, but one that pulls no punches, about a larger-than-life hero with tragic flaws. In the process, Gamble has created a masterpiece that simultaneously immerses the reader in a carefully reconstructed life, frees Boyington from self-inflicted lies and distortions, and manages to reveal much about the human condition in the microcosm of one Marine's existence.
Despite our predilection for books about global diplomacy, grand strategy, and operational histories, this is one of the best books reviewed here in years. Although mostly told against the backdrop of fighter combat and a world at war, Black Sheep One is more than anything the story of one man's self-destructive battle with his own inner demons, and the book so transcends the military genre that even readers with no interest in Boyington, or no interest in World War II, will be moved by Gamble's flawless telling of this remarkable and tragic life.
Read this book.
Available from online booksellers, local bookshops, or directly from Presidio Press.
Thanks to Presidio for providing this review copy.
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Reviewed 15 April 2001
Copyright © 2001 by Bill Stone
May not be reproduced in any form without written permission of Stone & Stone