Eleanor Garen (Back-jacket photograph) New York: Random House, 1999. First Edition [stated]. Hardcover. xv, , 327,  pages. DJ has minor wear and soiling. Includes Illustrations, Foreword and Maps, as well as Afterword, Epilogue; Acknowledgments; Appendix I: Chronology of Military Nurses in the Philippine Islands, 1940-1945; Appendix 2: The Nurses and Their Hometowns; Bibliography, Endnotes, and Index. Elizabeth Norman is a best-selling author and historian. Her work focuses on nurses and the role of women in military history. Norman earned a Ph.D. and M.A. from New York University. She is a registered nurse. As an author, Norman has made significant contributions to the field of women's military history. Her work brings to light the often-neglected experiences of women during wartime. Her first book, Women at War, examines the previously untold experience of fifty women who served as nurses during the Vietnam War. Her second book, We Band of Angels, is based on interviews with female nurses who were held captive by the Japanese for three years in Bataan, Philippines during World War II. Norman was the first to speak to these women, known as the Angels of Bataan, about the tragedy they endured. She described the experience of conducting these interviews as, "women talking candidly about women swept up in a lethal enterprise of men." Her third book, Tears in the Darkness, is a history of the Bataan Death March and the American, Filipino, and Japanese combatants who were involved. Her inspiration to write about military nurses came from her experience as a nurse as well as the fact that both her mother and husband have served in the U.S. military. "This is a gripping book. Elizabeth Norman presents a war story in which the main characters never kill one of the enemy, or even shoot at him, but are nevertheless heroes. . . . First on Bataan, then moved to Corregidor, they were under almost constant shell fire, were always hungry, close to starvation, had horrendous diseases to deal with despite a shortage or even a complete lack of proper medicines, getting little or no sleep, nothing in the way of recreation--yet they were a true band of angels, inspiring all the men whom they were there to help. In a squalid prison camp, they remained giants, despite their small size. . . . They were the bravest of the brave, who endured unspeakable pain and torture. Americans today should thank God we had such women." --Stephen E. Ambrose. The "Angels of Bataan and Corregidor"--as the newspapers called them--became the only group of American women captured and imprisoned by an enemy. And the story of their trials on a bloody battlefield, their desperate flight to avoid capture and their ultimate surrender, imprisonment, liberation and homecoming is a story of endurance, professionalism, and raw pluck. Short of supplies and medicine, they worked around the clock in the operating rooms and open-air wards, dealing with gaping wounds and gangrenous limbs, ministering to the wounded, the sick, the dying. Through interviews with survivors and through unpublished letters, diaries, and journals, Elizabeth M. Norman vividly recreates that time, telling the story in richly drawn portraits, and in a dramatic narrative delivered in the voices of the women who were there. We Band of Angels is the story of women searching for adventure, caught up in the drama and danger of war. On the same day the Japanese Imperial Navy launched its surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, it also struck American bases in the Far East, chief among them the Philippines. That raid led to the first major land battle for America in World War II and, in the end, to the largest defeat and surrender of American forces. Caught up in all of this were ninety-nine Army and Navy nurses--the first unit of American women ever sent into the middle of a battle. Along the way, they helped build and staff hospitals in the middle of a malaria-infested jungle on the peninsula of Bataan. A few fell in love, only to lose their men to the enemy. Finally, on the tiny island of Corregidor in Manila Bay, the Japanese took them prisoner. For three long years in an internment camp--years marked by loneliness and starvation--they kept to their mission and stuck together. In the end, it was this loyalty, this sense of purpose, womanhood and honor, that both challenged and saved them. Condition: Very Good / Very good.
Keywords: Prisoners, Army Nurses, Military Medicine, Bataan, Corregidor, Santo Tomas, Los Banos, Sally Blaine, Helen Cassiani, Eleanor Garen, Maude Davison, Malinta Tunnel, Josephine Nesbit, POW