Bringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War

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PublicAffairs, Mar 12, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 318 pages
16 Reviews
Sergeant Steve Maharidge returned from World War II an angry man. The only evidence that he'd served in the Marines was a photograph of himself and a buddy tacked to the basement wall. On one terrifyingly memorable occasion his teenage son, Dale, witnessed Steve screaming at the photograph: “They said I killed him! But I didn't kill him! It wasn't my fault!”

After Steve died, Dale Maharidge began a twelve-year quest to face down his father's wartime ghosts. He found more than two dozen members of Love Company, the Marine unit in which his father had served. Many of them, now in their eighties, finally began talking about the war. They'd never spoken so openly and emotionally, even to their families. Through them, Maharidge brilliantly re-creates Love Company's battles and the war that followed them home. In addition, Maharidge traveled to Okinawa to experience where the man in his father's picture died and meet the families connected to his father's wartime souvenirs.

The survivors Dale met on both sides of the Pacific Ocean demonstrate that wars do not end when the guns go quiet—the scars and demons remain for decades. Bringing Mulligan Home is a story of fathers and sons, war and postwar, silence and cries in the dark. Most of all it is a tribute to soldiers of all wars—past and present—and the secret burdens they, and their families, must often bear.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jimcripps - LibraryThing

Dale Maharidge felt the aftershock of the war in the Pacific for almost all of his whole life; his father Steve exploding with rage when the smallest infraction of non-conformance occur in the house ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sleahey - LibraryThing

Dale Maharidge investigated his father's war experience in Okinawa and the Marine shown in an old photograph with him. With extensive research, including time in Okinawa and countless interviews with ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Dale Maharidge has been teaching at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University since 2001. Before that he was a visiting professor at Stanford University for ten years and spent fifteen years as a newspaperman. Several of his books are illustrated with the work of photographer Michael S. Williamson. The first book, Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass (1985), later inspired Bruce Springsteen to write two songs; it was reissued in 1996 with an introduction by Springsteen. His second book, And Their Children After Them, won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction in 1990.

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