An interesting book that follows six men from one town.Their story begins with their plans as they are in high school or after graduation. Then WW II happens. It follows them as they serve their country in all parts of the world under varying degrees of danger. While all six survive, their experiences are not those of 'heroes' you find in the movies and make you feel proud of how our country regards those who go to war.
The second half of the book follows them after the war and how they adjusted to civilian life and sometimes fitted right in or found that they were left 'outside' and had to fight their way to the American dream due to local politics or race.
The second half of the book follows the men through to late 90s. I was not as interested in the second half as I was the first. In some cases, I even skimmed text. Yet the book accurately depicts what happened to America after the war---the good and bad--- during the 50s, the civil right era, Vite Nam protests, the decline of the textile industry that their town depended on, the disappearing small farms overwhelmed by suburbia, and the decline of typical American values.
Yet, through it all, the six men adjusted to the changes in America, just as they adjusted to the war and the constant presence of death.
This book is primarily the story of 6 men from Freehold, NJ. Their are two sections to the book; one covers their experiences in WWII and the other covers their post-war life. The author grew up in Freehold and he also gives a good picture of small town life prior to the war and the changes that affect the town after. One critic has written that this book is a good counterweight to Tom Brokaw's "The Greatest Generation." Since I have not read Brokaw's book, I cannot confirm that. However, I can say that this book does not depict the men as big patriots or particularly heroes. They simply did what had to be done. The men selected were all still alive at the time the book was being written. They represented the different service branches and theaters of war. It is an enjoyable book worth reading.