Friday, March 8, 2013

{Book Review} Back from Tobruk by Croswell Bowen

Back from Tobruk
by Croswell Bowen
Publisher: Potomac Books
Released: November 1st 2012
Genre: Non-Fiction: Memoirs, WWII
How I got it: received a copy from author
Note: This is a guest review written by my husband David

In 1941 photographer Croswell Bowen joined American Field Service volunteer ambulance drivers and served alongside the British Eighth Army during World War II. As the war continued to escalate, he would have his mental, emotional, and physical well-being tested beyond anything he ever imagined. "Back from Tobruk" is the remarkable account of one man s journey across a world torn apart, with only his camera and his moral convictions to guide him. As Bowen watched the number of wounded and dying soldiers grow, he struggled to understand the very nature of war itself. A lifelong Catholic and devoted pacifist, he tried to reconcile his commitment to nonviolence with his growing belief that the end of this war would finally bring peace to the world. As he spent time in hospitals and field dressing stations as both a caregiver and a patient, he witnessed soldiers reaching out to their former battlefield enemies, showing grace and compassion in a world seemingly bereft of both. When the great leaders sit down at the peace table, he wrote of his fellow servicemen, they might take a lesson from those men. Later a successful journalist and author, Bowen never forgot what he had witnessed during his time in Africa and the Middle East. "Back from Tobruk" documents the brutality of war and the resilience of the human spirit.

Review: Back From Tobruk was an interesting story of Croswell Bowen's time in north Africa during the great war. Mr. Bowen A  photographer, Decides to join the American field service volunteer ambulance service. Taking photos on behalf of Colliers magazine he intends To show the public the real realities of the war . His journey from NY city , then aboard a troop transport taking British troops across the Atlantic., his arrival on the shores of Africa, and eventually the desert front. The story keeps the reader interested and at times you can almost picture yourself in the desert along side the boys. The only criticism I would throw was that a multitude of different characters were introduced and at times it was hard to keep them straight. I realize the reason for this is that this was a real life account of people he met so fleshing out each characters back-story wasn’t possible. That aside I quite enjoyed the book , and nearly finished it in one sitting.

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