My Hitch in Hell: The Bataan Death March

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Overview

Captured by the Japanese after the fall of Bataan, Lester Tenney was one of the very few who would survive the legendary Death March and three and a half years in Japanese prison camps. My Hitch in Hell is an inspiring survivor's epic about the triumph of human will despite unimaginable suffering.
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My Hitch in Hell: The Bataan Death March

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Overview

Captured by the Japanese after the fall of Bataan, Lester Tenney was one of the very few who would survive the legendary Death March and three and a half years in Japanese prison camps. My Hitch in Hell is an inspiring survivor's epic about the triumph of human will despite unimaginable suffering.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Tenney here recounts his experiences as a GI during the fall of the Philippines in 1941, his participation in the Bataan death march and his three-year ordeal in Camp 17, the harshest POW camp in Japan. He witnessed devastating atrocities, including serial slaughter that was a kind of athletic exercise for the guards. Soon after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, he was set free; his wanderings about the countryside and interactions with Japanese civilians and leaderless soldiers form the most interesting sections of this engrossing book. Tenney suffered unexpected heartbreak when, upon being reunited with his family, he learned that his wife, believing him killed in action, had remarried. He also experienced depression based largely on his image of himself as one of ``the losers who had surrendered'' in the Philippines. In 1988, he revisited Japan and found that his psychic war wounds were beginning to heal. For all the suffering he witnessed and endured, Tenney's memoir is remarkably upbeat. He is a retired professor of finance at Arizona State University. Photos. (June)
From the Publisher
"Riveting . . . A grim story of heroic survival."

"What gets you through torture and isolation with self-respect intact? Let Tenney show you in this book."

"Superb."

“Riveting . . . a grim story of heroic survival.”

“What gets you through torture and isolation with self-respect intact? Let Tenney show you in this book.”

"Superb."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574888065
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/30/2007
  • Series: Memories of War
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 454,034
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Lester I. Tenney is a professor emeritus of insurance and finance at Arizona State University. He lives in Carlsbad, California.
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Table of Contents


Foreword     xi
Preface     xv
A Hitch in Company B     1
Surprise Attack     17
The Fall of Bataan     35
The March     42
Our First Camp     65
Life with the Guerrillas     74
Back to Bataan-to Work     94
Cabanatuan     107
The Nightmare Ship     114
The Coal Mine     122
Camp 17     138
Fun and Games     149
"We Honor You with Head Cut Off"     158
Bombs and Beatings     163
Our War Is Over     170
"America and Japan Now Friends"     173
Looking for the Americans     177
Meeting My Brother     182
Back to the Philippines     186
Home at Last     196
Japan Revisited     207
Appendix     211
Index     215
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2001

    Unsung Heros

    My Hitch in Hell: The Bataan Death March should be required reading for every High School student in America. With incredible poignancy and humor Lester Tenney literally takes the reader inside what was most certainly intended to be the final 'home' of these incredibly brave and resiliant soldiers. The only difficulty I had in reading this tremendously important memoir was trying to focus on the text through eyes filled with tears. An amazing story of hardship, determination and hope, Lester Tenney and his fellow POW's show the very best a human being can be.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2002

    I AM FROM BATAAN

    I am a Fil-Am serving in the US Air Force but my early childhood was spent growing up in Bataan, Philippines and learned about the death march in my early grade school years. I personally have been to the site and in Corregidor and the mountain in Bataan with the huge metal cross standing proudly on top of it for all the fallen soldiers. Also a place called Capaz, Tarlac where the march was said to have ended. It made me cry and reading this book made me remember everything I have heard from the elderly growing up as a young Filipino girl. I recommend this book to everyone, students and educators alike. Let us not forget the ones who paid the price for our freedom these days.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2014

    I worked for 14 years at the VA Med Ctr in Phoenix, and had the

    I worked for 14 years at the VA Med Ctr in Phoenix, and had the honor of meeting and caring for Mr. Tenney. I have already read his book, but want it for me NOOK tablet for a second read. It is very "readable", moves along smoothly, and really helps the reader understand just what the devil we were fighting against during WW II. Mr. Tenney was a cheerful, intelligent, extremely likeable man, and after reading My Hitch in Hell, I marveled at his resiliency of spirit. That people who have gone through such terrible experiences, and seen the worst that humans can wreak on their fellows and still have any faith in the goodness of the human race boggles the mind. I've read a number of books by former POW's. Each offers a different view of their experiences and are valuable insights into the human experience and tenaciousness of the human spirit to survive, but I believe that this is the best I've come across so far.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    Good, steady historical telling.

    I enjoyed reading details of WW II P.O.W.'s from a first person account. Bogs down a little in the middle, but over all a very good read.

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