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Brothers in arms : the epic story of the 761st tank battalion, WWII's forgotten
Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem
Adult Nonfiction D769.306 761st .A24 2004

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The six-time NBA most valuable player teams up with Mississippi author Walton, who coauthored Al Sharpton's Go and Tell Pharaoh. Their chronicle of Patton's Third Army stalwarts takes in the all-black tank battalion's 183 days on the front lines of the Battle of the Bulge, with casualty rates of almost 50%, an almost impossible supply situation, sometimes inept leadership and chronic racism that inflected nearly every move they made. The third-person narrative reflects the intimacy Jabbar has with Leonard "Smitty" Smith, the loader on a 761st tank crew, with episodes and anecdotes that feel immediate and a wealth of visual and tactical detail about what it was like to work, and often live, on the inside of a tank. The authors widen the scope repeatedly to give a nuanced account of the 676 enlisted men and 36 officers of the battalion and its place in the Third Army. While it will leave aficionados satisfied, this is military history that will prove compelling to anyone with an interest in black men's experience during the 20th century. The group's liberation of Mauthausen concentration camp is covered in a few pages, but its heroism is on display throughout. 6-city author tour. Jabbar's agent: Frank Weimann at The Literary Group; Walton's agent: Sloan Harris at ICM. (On sale May 4) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Moved to tell a story he thought should be widely known, basketball great Abdul-Jabbar adds this variation on his Black Profiles in Courage (1996) to his writing r?sum?. He and coauthor Walton follow a different band of brothers during World War II-the heroic black 761st Tank Battalion that formed five companies in U.S. Gen. George Patton's Third Army. Told with broad social commentary and poignant personal focus on three soldiers, this revealing and insightful story tells of blacks' struggle even to fight in the war, battling the racism of segregated America and its armed forces at home and abroad. Abdul-Jabbar details the 761st's battlefield exploits as the nation's first black armored unit in combat on foreign soil and one of the first black units to fight side by side with white U.S. troops. Courage, honor, and integrity form Abdul-Jabbar and Walton's refrain as they move through the context and conditions of the 761st's service in liberating several Nazi concentration camps in 1945. This engaging read will enlighten many and nicely complement Joe Wilson Jr.'s illustrated history, The 761st "Black Panther" Tank Battalion in World War II, and Kathryn Browne Pfeifer's 761st Tank Battalion, as well as broader works on blacks bearing arms in America's wars. Highly recommended for African American, military, and U.S. history collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/03.]-Thomas J. Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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