Friday, October 15, 2010

The Road to Iwo Jima by Tom McGraham

The Road to Iwo Jima
Tom McGraham
River Road Press, 2010
157 pages

The Road to Iwo Jima is a unique book in today’s publishing market, easy to read, to the point(s) and very enjoyable. I stated that this is a unique book so let me explain: The Road to Iwo Jima is not quite a memoir and it is not quite a novel. Our History Project had the chance to interview Mr. McGraham at a Military Writers Society of America conference about his experience and this book. He described that his story was meant to be for his family, a memory to be passed down, but was encouraged by many after reading his accounts to publish this piece, which he did through River Road Press.

When you read this book it is more in the flavor of a Grandparents Book. It did cover his career, combat and experiences; also it spoke of friends, hopes, dreams and accomplishments. It brought those who read it into not the story but his life, simply…he tells his story. The book like Mr. Tom is full of energy, humor, wit and the unmistakable free spirit of being young and just letting yourself be blown with the wind; “making the best you can with what you’ve got”. It does also describe the horrors of war and the price one pays to witness it, but it is done the empathy of the fallen and not lingered on. I think it will make it to the AR (Accelerated Reader) List that is popular or required in schools today.

Most people and even some historians forget that as we view, research and study our “History”, that the key phrase should be “His” or “Her”-Story. That is exactly what Tom McGraham gave us here: his-story and I am grateful to him for sharing it. It is a quick and interesting read for adults and children age 8 and up. You will not be disappointed in this one.

Craig Anderson
Our History Project