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Before Their Time: A Memoir
by Robert Kotlowitz

In this memoir of a teenage infantryman in the US 3rd Army during World War II, Kotlowitz brings to life the harrowing story of the massacre of his platoon in northeastern France, in which he, by playing dead, was the only one to survive.

Recommended June 28, 1999 by Bayonet :

FINALLY, it's in paperback...and man, oh man, what a story!  This one was well worth the wait. If you guys liked "Roll Me Over" and "If You Survive", you have got to get a copy of  Before Their Time by Robert Kotlowitz.

His book is a wry, but sobering account of his experiences as a nineteen-year-old Jewish GI thrown into a squad made up of some unforgettable, all too human characters all trying to cope with army life, the enemy, and each other. Kotlowitz writes of training exercises gone awry, the indignities of living in close quarters with incompatible companions, the absurdity of poor leadership, the allure of France, the fear of battle, the horror of an ill-fated attack at Bezange-la-petite, and his subsequent coping in its aftermath in an easy-to-read style that's surprisingly personal, often amusing, and deeply affecting as well.

To get a better feel for what it must have been like to go through the war as a young every-man, I suspect you'd have to enter a time tunnel and hit the recruiter's office. This one's well worth your thirteen bucks, believe me.

bulletPaperback: 208 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.61 x 7.98 x 5.22
bulletPublisher: Anchor Books; ; Reprint edition (June 15, 1999)
bulletISBN: 0385496036

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