The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

with the vengefulness born of Pearl Harbor, why American resources
were poured into the Pacific in spite of the ABC-1 "Europe First"
agreements and demands for a Second Front. This reviewer found
the book's major technical flaw to be the brief in behalf of Holland
Smith in "Battle of Smiths." In a related vein, Potter's portrayal of
Nimitz as being opposed to nerve-gassing Iwo Jima contradicts Stanley
Lovell's Of Spies and Stratagems. While one senses that Nimitz was
a tough and cagey politician, Potter lets this character trait come
through only in a thin and hurried treatment of Nimitz as Chief of
Naval Operations after the war and his relations with Truman during
the "revolt of the Admirals." Not a book to provide balanced back-
ground for those unfamiliar with the politics of the Navy, 1905-1950,
Nimitz is nonetheless the last word on an important figure who meant
to spare the Navy recurrence of the Sampson-Schley controversy, and
as a result presented historians with too much blank canvas.
Texas A&M University ROGER BEAUMONT
Audie Murphy, American Soldier. By Harold B. Simpson. (Hillsboro,
Texas: The Hill Junior College Press, 1975. Pp. xv+466. Intro-
duction, illustrations, bibliography, index. $12.50.)
Heroism, like war, has many faces. When General John J. Pershing
died in 1948, at the age of eighty-eight years, his claim to fame was
well assured, being based upon half a century of competent devotion
to American arms. But when Lieutenant Audie Murphy came home
from Europe in June, 1945, severely wounded in body and in spirit,
but possessed of every American army award for valor (two of them
twice) his entire military career had spanned only twenty-eight months.
And, in fact, he was still not old enough to vote.
Colonel Simpson is at his excellent best in his lengthy treatment
of the surprisingly complex personality that was Audie Murphy. Most
of it is, of necessity, military history, which Simpson patently loves;
but he further amply provides a thorough, warm, and intimate por-
trait of the Northeast Texas, share-cropper boy, who joined the army
and became the state's greatest folk hero since David Crockett.
Audie sprang from fighting stock, although his father, Emmett
Murphy, was unstable and frequently absent. His beloved mother,
Josie Bell, died in May, 1942. In June of that same year Audie was
accepted into the United States army at Greenville, Texas. He previ-
ously had been rejected by both the marines and the paratroopers, as

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101205/. Accessed July 12, 2014.