Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Book Review--Up Front

Prior to my stint of jury duty, my tendonitis-prone shoulder started acting up.  Since my normal workout routine was disrupted by my civic duty, I focused on stationary-machine cardio exercises. 

This along with the hurry-up-and-wait environment of the county courthouse gave me plenty of time to read.

The first book I chose to bring along was the one recommended to me by several folks after posting an earlier book review:  Up Front by Bill Mauldin.

I can't say enough about this book, which already has a near-perfect 5-star rating.  By his own admission, Bill Mauldin said he was a cartoonist and not a writer.  But Mauldin's lack of literary skill actually enhances, rather than detracts, from the book.

Bill  Mauldin's simple observations, comments about his cartoons, and honesty, is spoken from the heart and resonates with readers.

I don't own the current edition available on

Instead, my copy is a first edition that I inherited from my dad, who was a Korean War combat veteran, and passed away in 2004. 

The infantrymen who trudged up and down the hills of Korea were pretty much wearing the same uniforms, along with lugging the same weapons and gear as the dogfaces of World War II did.

I can't look at one of Bill Mauldin's Up Front cartoons without thinking of my dad.


Kris Marquardt said...

I have a first edition from my father as well. Its a wonderful book and I probably read it once every year. Alas, while it would seem to spawn lots of diorama and vignette ideas, few of them translate easily into something that a viewer would be able to figure out. Willie and Joe's short commentary really make the pictures come to life.

Ted Henkle said...

Kris: I'm glad to hear you have a first edition from your dad too! I like how your diorama-application way of thinking!