Warning of War

Warning of War

3.8 5
by James Brady

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Late November of 1941.

Half the world is at war, and with the other half about to join in, a thousand U.S. Marines stand sentinel over the last days of an uneasy truce between ourselves and the Imperial Japanese Army in chaotic North China.

By November 27, FDR is convinced Japan is about to launch a military action. Washington doesn''t know where, and isn''t

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Late November of 1941.

Half the world is at war, and with the other half about to join in, a thousand U.S. Marines stand sentinel over the last days of an uneasy truce between ourselves and the Imperial Japanese Army in chaotic North China.

By November 27, FDR is convinced Japan is about to launch a military action. Washington doesn''t know where, and isn''t sure precisely when. But the Cabinet is sufficiently alarmed that War Secretary Henry Stimson and Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox are authorized to send an immediate and coded “warning of war” to American bases and units in harm''s way.

In Shanghai two cruise ships are chartered and eight hundred armed American Marines of the 4th Regiment (serving in China since the Boxer Rebellion) are marched through the great port city with enormous pomp and circumstance, about to embark for Manila.

Another two hundred Marines, unable to reach Shanghai, and serving in small garrisons and posts from Peking to Mongolia and the Gobi Desert, are caught short by this “warning of war.”

This is their story. Of how a detachment of American Marines marooned in North China as war erupts set out on an epic march through hostile territory in an attempt to fight their way out of China and, somehow, rejoin their Corps for the war against Japan.

James Brady dazzles us once again with a stunning and unflinching look at America at war. Warning of War is a moving tribute to sheer courage, determination, and Marine Corps discipline, and is a wonderful celebration of America in one of its darkest but finest hours.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A Marine veteran of the Korean conflict, Brady (The Marines of Autumn) has stormed publishing high ground to become, arguably, our foremost novelist currently writing on the subject of Marines at war. Here, the distinguished columnist and author brings under close scrutiny the sorry disarray of the U.S. military during the two months (beginning November 27, 1941, and ending Jan. 27, 1942) just before and after the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor. Playing tennis by day with his friend, an American-born Japanese colonel, and by night enjoying posh clubs with his White Russian mistress, Marine Capt. Billy Port, a Back Bay Bostonian, sees his pampered life among the cosmopolitan set in exotic, Japanese-occupied Shanghai come to an abrupt halt on November 27, 1941, when FDR orders the complete evacuation of all Marines stationed in China under an official "warning of war." A decorated veteran of the 1920s Nicaraguan campaign, Port is given the task of taking a rifle squad of combat-seasoned Marines and rounding up a scattering of isolated detachments and leading them over the Great Wall and across the Gobi into icy Siberia. Taking his personal majordomo, a naval lieutenant, a French former Grand Prix race driver, and an exiled White Russian general, he loads four military trucks and his own Bentley touring car aboard a rusty Portuguese ship and sails north to rescue the isolated Marines, unaware that his Japanese tennis partner will become his relentless pursuer. Authentic atmospherics and crackling action are sure to keep fans turning the pages of this newest Brady combat thriller, which succeeds equally as entertainment, history and morality lesson. (Apr. 10) Forecast: The Marines of August was a New York Times bestseller, and Brady's latest looks likely to follow in its footsteps. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
In November 1941, U.S. marines were stationed in North China and fighting the Japanese well before the attack on Pearl Harbor. This novel tells the story of the days just before and shortly after the "official" fighting began. Capt. William Port, 4th Marines, is stationed in Shanghai, a city wracked by poverty, corruption, and intrigue, as the Japanese army looms on the horizon. Wealthy and educated, he is comfortable with his White Russian girlfriend, Natasha. While some members of his regiment are ordered to the Philippines and to the subsequent horrors of Bataan and Corregidor, Port is left behind with a small group of marines whose task is to rescue American missionaries trapped in the far reaches of the Gobi Desert. Port's trek through the desert constitutes the heart of this story of adventure, conflict, heroism, and tragedy. A former marine and magazine publisher, Brady (Marines of Autumn, The Coldest War) offers a fascinating tale of a virtually forgotten time and place. For all general collections. Robert Conroy, Warren, MI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Brady returns to his beloved Corps (the memoir The Coldest War, 1990) to write his second Marine Corps novel (The Marines of Autumn, 2000). Here, Brady retells the traditional story of "Billy Port's Ride"-an epic about US Marines stationed as sentinels in chaotic North China. No authority, in the States, Mongolia, Japan, or Moscow, however, will admit that Billy Port's ride ever took place. By 1941, four years into the Sino-Japanese War, the treaty cities of Shanghai, Canton, Peking, Tsingtao, and other places flourish, with black Chicago musicians playing swing at Jimmy's Place in Shanghai, despite Japanese occupation. For ten years, Marines have defended US business interests, doctors, missionaries, nurses, and teachers. Brady is right at home with the tony set at the clubs and on the tennis courts and quickly draws us into China's wartime atmosphere. Born to Boston Back Bay wealth, Port chose Annapolis over Harvard, then the Marines, was written up for the Medal of Honor for killing Sandinistas in Nicaragua, became known as a blooded killer and barfighter. Port is ordered to move his troops out on a hired tramp steamer; instead he heads an armed convoy (and his Bentley) toward the Great Wall and the Gobi Desert, where he faces "bandits and warlords, Mongol separatists, food riots and fuel shortages, Chiang and the Reds fighting each other, [and] the Japs fighting both. . . ." On the road they hear of Pearl Harbor, know they are at war, see Zeroes flying over them and know that 50 miles of rough country lie ahead. Passing through the Great Wall allows Brady to drum up a wonderfully amusing scene as Port, smiling and saluting with his Navy sword, beheads a bandit general who demands amachine gun as tribute. And then it's into the frigid Gobi and a trek to the Russian border. After many hurdles, they reach the border and, fatally for Port, the KGB. Shapely, an absolute natural for film.

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Product Details

Gale Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Large Print
Product dimensions:
5.48(w) x 8.86(h) x 1.35(d)

What People are saying about this

Liz Smith
This is a real page-turner, equally thrilling as history, entertainment and a morality lesson.

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