400 pages. 6 x 9 inches. 22 photographs. 9 line drawings
Paper, ISBN 0-252-06908-0.
through most booksellers or online from the University
of Illinois Press.
Tedium and Terror
A Soldier's World War II Diary, 1943-45
Sy M. Kahn
Foreword by Ronald Spector
Sy Kahn set off to serve in the Pacific during World War II, he
was a bookish, naive nineteen-year-old, the youngest in his company.
Convinced he would not survive the war, Kahn kept a meticulous record
of his experiences as his "foxhole of the mind," even
though keeping such a journal was forbidden by military regulations.
writing in tents by candlelight, in foxholes, or on board ships,
Kahn documents life during four campaigns and over three hundred
air attacks. He describes the 244th Port Company's backbreaking
work of loading and unloading ships, the suffocating heat, the debilitating
tropical diseases, and the relentless, sometimes terrifying bombings,
accidents, casualties, and deaths. A detailed record of the daily
cost of war, Kahn's journal reflects his increasing maturity and
his personal coming of age, representative of thousands of young
Americans who served in World War II. (text from the University
of Illinois Press website)
is by RONALD SPECTOR, a professor of history at George Washington
University, is the author of Eagle against the Sun: The American
War with Japan.
compelling diary of a young man from Manhattan during the Pacific
campaign--and one of the few WWII diaries published to date. . . .
Kahn makes an ideal diarist: objective, observant, with a spicy dash
of introspection. A WWII document of note."
-- Kirkus Reviews
diary marvelously captures the daily grind and abrupt excitements
of the war, and from an unusual angle. . . . The book continuously
engages as it reveals Kahn's distinctive personality and outlook."
-- Publishers Weekly