Flights of Passage: Recollections of a World War II Aviator
By Samuel Hynes
Why this book?
Perhaps the very best crafted book of this selection, this is a remarkable story about a relatively unremarkable combat career. Samuel Hynes—who later taught at Northwestern and Princeton—gives the reader not just a rote recounting of his experiences as a Marine Corps pilot during the war, but he also shares what and how he felt. He is unwaveringly honest, and includes an account of a sexual encounter that at the very least causes the reader to reflect on the morals of that time. His book is a refreshing look behind the façade of “The Greatest Generation,” and reassures the reader that, other than circumstances, there is little that distinguishes individuals from one generation to the next.
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