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Cover image for Alvin York : a new biography of the hero of the Argonne
Format:
Title:
Alvin York : a new biography of the hero of the Argonne
ISBN:
9780813145198
Publication:
Lexington, Ky. : University Press of Kentucky, 2014.
Physical Description:
xii, 323 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.
Contents:
A life well lived -- Without prospect -- At war with the army -- Marching as to war -- Into the trenches! -- Prelude to battle -- One day in October -- The war without end -- Emergence of a national hero -- Back on the farm in Pall Mall -- Another war with Germany -- Honoring a hero.
Summary:
Alvin C. York (1887--1964) -- devout Christian, conscientious objector, and reluctant hero of World War I -- is one of America's most famous and celebrated soldiers. Known to generations through Gary Cooper's Academy Award-winning portrayal in the 1941 film Sergeant York, York is credited with the capture of 132 German soldiers on October 8, 1918, in the Meuse-Argonne region of France -- a deed for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. At war's end, the media glorified York's bravery but some members of the German military and a soldier from his own unit cast aspersions on his wartime record. Recently, a new generation of historians has also argued that York received more recognition than he deserved.
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921 York, Alvin 2014
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921 YORK
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Summary

Summary

Alvin C. York (1887-1964) - devout Christian, conscientious objector, and reluctant hero of World War I - is one of America's most famous and celebrated soldiers. Known to generations through Gary Cooper's Academy Award-winning portrayal in the 1941 film Sergeant York, York is credited with the capture of 132 German soldiers on October 8, 1918, in the Meuse-Argonne region of France - a deed for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. At war's end, the media glorified York's bravery but some members of the German military and a soldier from his own unit cast aspersions on his wartime heroics. Historians continue to debate whether York has received more recognition than he deserves. A fierce disagreement about the location of the battle in the Argonne forest has further complicated the soldier's legacy. In Alvin York, Douglas V. Mastriano sorts fact from myth in the first full-length biography of York in decades. He meticulously examines York's youth in the hills of east Tennessee, his service in the Great War, and his return to a quiet civilian life dedicated to charity. By reviewing artifacts recovered from the battlefield using military terrain analysis, forensic study, and research in both German and American archives, Mastriano reconstructs the events of October 8 and corroborates the recorded accounts. On the eve of the WWI centennial, Alvin York promises to be a major contribution to twentieth-century military history.


Author Notes

Douglas V. Mastriano , Ph.D., is a Colonel in the U.S. Army.


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Alvin York (1887-1964) was a simple Kentucky backwoodsman. Converted to Christianity in 1915, he professed to be a conscientious objector but was denied this by the draft board. Drafted, then deployed to France, he eventually found himself in the thick of a firefight in which his friends were being killed. York, by then a sergeant, killed a number of Germans and directed the capture of 132 more, earning the Medal of Honor. In this biography, Mastriano (U.S. Army colonel) discusses sergeant York's early life, faith, and activities through his death. He adds context to and corrects earlier works about his subject, but his use of battlefield archaeology is new and contributes considerable detail to and confirmation of York's feat. Using contemporary accounts the author found the location of the firefight and retrieved battlefield detritus, including items identifiable as belonging to known participants, thus pinning down the location. VERDICT A readable, thoroughly documented addition to the extensive literature available on an authentic and admirable war hero.-EB (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. x
1 A Life Well Livedp. 1
2 Without Prospectp. 9
3 At War with the Armyp. 21
4 Marching as to Warp. 43
5 Into the Trenches!p. 57
6 Prelude to Battlep. 67
7 One Day in Octoberp. 93
8 The War without Endp. 117
9 Emergence of a National Herop. 145
10 Back on the Farm in Pall Mallp. 161
11 Another War with Germanyp. 173
12 Honoring a Herop. 191
Acknowledgmentsp. 217
Notesp. 223
Bibliographyp. 283
Indexp. 307