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ワイルド・ブルー

スティーヴンE・ アンブローズ鈴木 主税

本体価格: 1900円+税


判型:四六判
ページ数:384
初版年月日:2002/05/01
ISBN:4-7572-0927-4
ASIN:4757209274

  生還率50%以下、B−24爆撃機の乗組員となり、ナチスドイツと戦った若者達を描いた感動のノンフィクション。本書の主人公として描かれている、ジョージ・マクガヴァン氏はアメリカ合衆国民主党の重鎮として、1972年には民主党の大統領候補となるが、ニクソン氏に惜敗。アメリカ政界きってのリベラリストとして知られ、ベトナム戦争時には戦争反対を表明しその後も「社会保障の拡充」や「飢餓の撲滅」を政策として掲げ、1978年には国連軍縮委員会のアメリカ代表を務め、現在も「国連飢餓大使」の要職にある。そのマクガヴァン氏が、第二次世界大戦中にB−24爆撃機の操縦桿を握り、ナチス・ドイツと戦ったことはあまり知られていない事実だった。

 本書は、氏の青春時代の深い闇の記憶として、今まで語られることの無かった氏の操縦士時代の過酷な生活や、戦争に翻弄されていく、多くの同世代の航空兵の記録を、多くの体験談や、膨大な資料から纏め上げた大型ノンフィクション。

 当時の極限状態での任務や、仲間達との心の交流。近代航空戦争の原型を作ったと言われるアメリカ空軍の生い立ちまでを、豊かな臨場感で綴っている。政治家の半生記にありがちな毀誉褒貶ではなく、淡々と描かれた事実によって、その熾烈な青春の苦しみが浮かび上がり、ある種の凄みとなって読むものを深い感動の世界へ導く。半世紀の時を待って出版されたアメリカでは、100万部を突破し、ニューヨークタイムズ紙のベストセラーでも第1位を獲得した。

目次

Table of contents

第1章 彼らはどこからやってきたか
第2章 基礎訓練
第3章 B‐24の操縦訓練
第4章 第15航空軍
第5章 チェリニョーラ、イタリア
第6章 出撃訓練
第7章 一九四四年十二月
第8章 カプリ島
第9章 タスキーギ航空隊の上空掩護:一九四五年二月
第10章 オーストリア出撃:一九四五年三月
第11章 リンツ・最後の任務:一九四五年四月

その他情報

Other Information

Larry King USA Today(ラリー・キング氏:USA TODAYのアンカーマン) "Brilliant...It is a terrific story."

From Publishers Weekly
Brought to life by best-selling historian Ambrose (author of more than 20 books), here is one of America's forgotten workhorse weapons of WWII the B-24 bomber. Carrying a heavier payload than the glamorous B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-24, nicknamed the Liberator, also filled the skies over Germany, bombing troops, oil refineries, factories and other strategic targets. South Dakota-born George S. McGovern was 22 when he became a B-24 pilot in the 741st Bomb Squadron, based in Cerignola, Italy. Though basing the book largely on McGovern's 35 missions, for which he won the Distinguished Flying Cross, Ambrose includes many other stories about the men who flew over Germany and eastern Europe. As Ambrose makes abundantly clear, the planes were not fun to fly. The crew faced inside temperatures of 50 below zero, sat in cramped seats and suffered high casualty rates. Ambrose follows pilots and crews from start to finish where they were from, their backgrounds, training, bravery and heroism as they did their part to help win the war. Today there are only four B-24s left of the 18,300 that once made up the force. While this book leans largely toward hagiography of the everymen it depicts, it also clearly refutes lies spread about McGovern's service during the 1972 presidential campaign. Photos not seen by PW. (Aug.)Forecast: Any book with the Ambrose name should do a short stint on bestseller lists; this one should pick up some (largely unrelated) momentum from the Pearl Harbor anniversary and film. The book's release coincides with the airing of a 10-part Dreamworks/ HBO series based on Ambrose's Band of Brothers. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
A distinguished author whose recent works include Band of Brothers and Citizen Soldiers, which also focus on World War II, Ambrose prefers to tell history from the average soldier's point of view. This book follows that formula. Ironically, the main character in this war book is George McGovern, who flew 35 combat missions and won the Distinguished Flying Cross but would later become a dovish Democratic candidate for president in 1972. The book follows the training of the 22-year-old McGovern and his friends through their deployment into Italy in 1944-45. Those who made it through the demanding and often dangerous training courses would have to face the even more perilous routine of flying a B24 bomber into the heavily defended skies over Germany. Many B24 flight crews never returned. The mental fatigue of flying so many stressful missions was almost as bad as the physical danger. With books like this, Ambrose has certainly struck a popular chord. The World War II generation is thinning daily, and everyone's story should be told including McGovern's. Ambrose's narrative flows smoothly, even as he manages to cover each man's story. Recommended for public and academic libraries and subject specialists.− Mark Ellis, Albany State Univ., GA Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist
Popular historian Ambrose's latest is about half the size of his usual books but much more than half as good. It focuses on former senator and presidential candidate George McGovern's experience as a B-24 pilot in the last months of World War II, when he flew 35 missions out of a base near Cerignola, Italy, during which he made three emergency landings and for which he won two Distinguished Flying Crosses. Ambrose admires McGovern pretty much without reserve, yet he hasn't written a panegyric. Nor is he uncritical of much of the rest of what he portrays. The B-24 Liberator performed better than its stablemate, the B-17 Flying Fortress, but it was emphatically less ergonomic and more vulnerable to battle damage. The Italian-based strategic bombers operated out of improvised fields, sans hangars and barracks, surrounded by a civilian population amid ruins and on the edge of starvation. And although the incompetent were few and the evil fewer in the Army Air Force, the strange were numerous. Based on an impressive array of primary and secondary sources, the book is another affirmation of the Greatest Generation, to be sure, and a tribute to a fast-diminishing band of American heroes who offered and in many cases gave their lives to save their posterity from real and gruesome dangers. Roland Green Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved