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When Wars Were Won
     

When Wars Were Won

by Hugh Aaron
 

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Not a typical war story, this novel about World War II is a tribute to the men and women who endured that war. It is a story of friendship, love, heartbreak and the triumph of the spirit.
Set amidst the last two years of the Pacific war, the tale follows a young, naive Seabee (U.S. Naval Construction Battalions) from California to the harsh, tropical jungles of

Overview

Not a typical war story, this novel about World War II is a tribute to the men and women who endured that war. It is a story of friendship, love, heartbreak and the triumph of the spirit.
Set amidst the last two years of the Pacific war, the tale follows a young, naive Seabee (U.S. Naval Construction Battalions) from California to the harsh, tropical jungles of New Guinea and the Philippines. The war provides twenty-year-old Hal Arnold with his first venture into real life, where his youth and naivete are dashed and where reality and maturity emerge. Surrounded by colorful,oddball navy buddies, Hal learns more about himself and his fellow man than he ever thought possible.
Hal's innocence quickly fades as he becomes friends with Seabee Barry Fortune, a slick, manipulative wartime profiteer whose coldblooded eye is always looking for the next deal. "Billiard Ball," another Seabee, is a former college professor whose intellect is mildly out of place in the messhall, but who provides Hal with a unique perspective on life. Best of all is kindly, solid Chief Winter who breaks through Hal's wartime despair with this sound advice: "Don't be sore at the whole world. Choose what good you can find, no matter how small, and focus on it."
Hal struggles with his feelings for his friends, his own emotions regarding war and its inhumanity, as well as his developing love for a young Filipino girl. The joy, pain and sacrifice of wartime survival all contribute to Hal's emergence as a man and guide him through adult life until his return to the Philippines forty years after the war for a tragic reunion.

Editorial Reviews

Tom Groening
When Wars Were Won gave me much more than I bargained for. The novel, based so closely on Aaron's own experiences, is bittersweet, rich with details that only come from living the real thing, and, in an understated way, philosophically probing. Without being self-consciously political, like Catch 22, Aaron's tale nonetheless is loaded with metaphors that ring across the five decades since the war ended, telling us more than we may care to know about ourselves.
The first-person account follow

Product Details

BN ID:
2940014665605
Publisher:
Stones Point Books
Publication date:
06/30/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
269
Sales rank:
1,095,922
File size:
709 KB

Meet the Author

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Hugh Aaron was educated in the Worcester Public Schools, and received a Liberal Arts degree in the Humanities at The University of Chicago. He was CEO of his own manufacturing business for 20 years before selling it to write full time. Several of his short stories have been published in national magazines and 18 essays on business management appeared in The Wall Street Journal.
Thus far he has written two novels, including one with a business setting, twenty stage-plays, two short story collections, a letter collection, a travel journal, five novellas. and two books of essays on business management.

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