Friday, February 24, 2012

Left for Dead

Left for Dead: A Young Man's Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis. Pete Nelson. With a preface by Hunter Scott. 2002. Random House. 224 pages.

From the preface: I was standing in front of my history fair project, surrounded by a cluster of men in their mid-seventies and eighties. Their families, children, and grandchildren were also gathered around. These men had one thing in common: They were all survivors of the USS Indianapolis. I had developed a special appreciation for these men and what they had done in World War II. I had learned to appreciate these veterans who had sacrificed so much to ensure that a generation that had not been alive when they served could enjoy liberty.

From chapter one: The sailor finds himself swimming in the open ocean, wondering in shock how it came to this so suddenly. 

I am so glad I went outside my comfort zone and read this book!!! It was so compelling, so addicting. It wasn't always an easy (emotional) read. Especially chapter seven which details the time--at least four days--the men spent in shark-infested water, in the ocean, waiting, hoping, praying for rescue. But the book is so very good at detailing everything--the events leading up to the tragedy, the sinking of the ship itself, the time the survivors spent in the water, the rescue, the return back home to the United States, the court-martial of the ship's captain, etc. Probably half the book is devoted to Hunter Scott's mission for justice, to see the ship captain's name and reputation restored, to "prove" that the court martial against him was absurd and unjust. There are several chapters discussing how he got important people to pay attention to the new facts and work together to bring this before the House and Senate and pass legislation that would help restore the truth.

I enjoyed this one. It was just a fascinating read!

Read Left for Dead
  • If you're interested in history; if you're looking for proof that historical research is important
  • If you're looking to read a good human-interest story
  • If you're interested in World War II
  • If you're looking for a compelling nonfiction read

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Annette said...

You are not going to believe this.
2 things.
1. Last night on the Military channel there was a special story about the sinking of the Indianapolis and those those few that survived in the water.
2. A very dear friend of mine, Thelma, her first husband was presumed dead after the sinking of the Indianapolis. She was told later he survived the sinking, was on a life raft, but got separated and they never saw him again. Thelma was my mothers friend from way back in the early 1940's. Then after my mother died Thelma and I became good friends. She recently wrote me her testimony about what happened. She was a widow at 18. She was mad at God for a long time. It took her years to get past this.