My War

My War


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My War by Andy Rooney

My War is a blunt, funny, idiosyncratic account of Andy Rooney's World War II. As a young, naïve correspondent for The Stars and Stripes, Rooney flew bomber missions, arrived in France during the D-Day invasion, crossed the Rhine with the Allied forces, traveled to Paris for the Liberation, and was one of the first reporters into Buchenwald. Like so many of his generation, Rooney's life was changed forever by the war. He saw life at the extremes of human experience, and wrote about what he observed, making it real to millions of men and women. My War is the story of an inexperienced kid learning the craft of journalism. It is by turns moving, suspenseful, and reflective. And Rooney's unmistakable voice shines through on every page.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781586481599
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 11/05/2002
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 352,316
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.37(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Andy Rooney is a nationally syndicated columnist and a regular commentator on 60 Minutes. He is the author of numerous best-selling books. He lives in Rowayton, Connecticut.

Read an Excerpt

I don't know whose idea it was but someone decided the reporters covering the Eighth Air Force ought to go on a mission themselves. It probably grew out of the uneasy feeling we all had that we were watching too many young men our age die while we were writing stories about them and going back to London for dinner.

As correspondents we were not supposed to be armed or fire weapons of any kind. This allowed for better treatment in the event we were captured by the enemy, although my position as an Army sergeant with a corespondent's credentials was unusual. I don't know whether I'd have been considered a correspondent or a soldier.

In spite of the rule against weapons for reporters, the two officers charged with preparing us for the trip decided that if we were going on a raid we'd have to go to gunnery school and learn how to shoot a .50­caliber machine gun. It didn't make a lot of sense but we did it. It was the argument that in a life-or-death situation we might be faced with the choice of shooting or dying and it would be better if we were prepared to shoot.

There were eight of us: Walter Cronkite, United Press; Homer Bigart, New York Herald Tribune; Paul Manning, MBS (Mutual Broadcasting System); Jack Denton Scott, Yank magazine; Gladwin Hill, The New York Times; and myself. We were sent to some kind of training camp for a week and we learned a little about parachutes, life rafts, and the .50-caliber machine gun. There was some talk of learning to pack a parachute and several demonstration classes were held but, in the belief that there was no chance that someone who couldn't make a bed would ever learn to pack a parachute, I did not attend.

The briefing was dramatic. I guess they always were. The G2 (Intelligence) officer stood with a long pointer in his hand in front of a wall with what was obviously a map covered with a blanket-sized piece of blue cloth. Sometimes I can't remember my own name but I remember, fifty years later, that the cloth was blue


February 26 was the first time I'd seriously considered my own death. Until then, when the thought of death occurred to me, it was someone else's, not my own. From the time I was six, it had seemed to me that people got slowly old, lost track of time and feeling, and faded away until one night they died in their sleep. It never hurt. They had finished life and were unaware of going. They weren't frightened by the thought of never anything ever again.

Obviously it was too late to pull out and I never seriously considered it. I did think of Margie and Mother and Dad and all the people I'd left at home and wondered if I'd ever see them again. I don't recall being so much afraid as introspective. I supposed I felt the way a lot of infantrymen feel in the front lines. If they were alone they'd run, but they can't because they feel an obligation to the people all around them who are doing the same thing. And then I had the same feeling everyone who ever fought a war has. I heard it expressed a thousand times. "The guy next to me may get it but I think I'll be okay."

Excerpted by permission of PublicAffairs. Copyright © 2000 by Andy Rooney.

Table of Contents

IIPrivate Rooney19
IIIThe Air War49
IVThe Land War153
VGermany, at Last227
VIGoing Home275

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My War 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to do a book report for my English class and we had to pick a book that had to do with WW2. I chose this book thinking that it could be boring but I'll live. I soon found out that I was going to have a lot of fun reading it after just the first chapter. This book taught me a lot about World War II. I am only 16 years old and I haven't seen a lot of war films and this book gave me a clearer picture of what the war was really like. And I must say Andy Rooney is a very humorous guy.
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Dr_Wilson_Trivino More than 1 year ago
Atlanta, Georgia- America¿s favorite curmudgeon Andy Rooney shares his memories from the great war in a memoir entitled My War. Rooney candidly shares how he happen to be drawn into this conflict and the inglorious side of battle. War is not clear cut like in the movies but sometimes conflict is necessary to resolve injustice in the world. Rooney is a self described average guy who found his footing in journalism. During the conflict he wrote for the Stars and Stripes. This work gave him a front row seat of the world¿s events and how the newspaper business can reinterpret the facts. What makes this book enjoyable is that is goes beyond the 60 Minutes image of a bitter writer but really candidly shares his reflections on war. Time and distances tends to glorify eras and the greatest generation is exempted. The parallels are interesting to our modern issues as our nation deals with the end of the Iraq war. But with the atrocities of the genocide by the Nazi¿s leaves this Rooney to conclude that ¿I knew for certain that any peace is not better than any war.¿ This book is a strong voice to a generation is slipping away into the annals of history.