BRIAN LAMB, HOST: Hampton Sides,
author of "Ghost Soldiers," why do you
think this book went right to the top of
the best-seller list?
Mr. HAMPTON SIDES (Author, "Ghost
Soldiers"): I think it's a story that is
largely forgotten and it's a story that
when--when you find out about it--this
is the way I felt about it when I first
learned about this--you--you can't believe that you weren't
taught this in--in--in school with--with--with, you know, like,
this--this rescue that took place, which was one of the
largest rescues in American history. When you fir--when I first
heard about it, I couldn't believe that this wasn't part of, like,
the short-hand of American intrepid acts like the Rough Riders
at--at San Juan or--or--or the Alamo. This is one of those
stories within the larger story of the Pacific that I just felt--I
just couldn't believe wasn't better known. And I think that
explains part of it.
I think another part of the reason it's done so well is that this
is a gigantic group of people. I mean, 20,000 Americans
between Bataan and Corregidor surrendered. And every one of
those men had family members. And so many of these stories
were never told because they returned to America after the
war, didn't want to tell these dark stories, the sort of dark
chapter of an otherwise successful or a "good war." And it's
only as they've come to the end of their lives have they felt
increasingly comfortable about telling these stories and--and
getting into it deeper.
LAMB: When did you first know you had a hit? Do you
Mr. SIDES: Well, the--we were able to get an excerpt, a first
serial, in Esquire magazine, and the magazine was very, very
interested. And when it--when--when that happened, we
knew there was something else going on here besides just a
military history book. And the letters that we got from--from
that excerpt were also very, very interesting and I think very
telling that we had tapped a nerve of some sort here that was
much bigger than--I mean, there's tons of war books
published every year, and many of them are marketed
expressly for just the military--the military buffs. And this one
was--was clearly striking a nerve with the general public, as
well as--as family members of--of Bataan.
LAMB: Where is this--the title from, "Ghost Soldiers"?
Mr. SIDES: "Ghost Soldiers" really is the resonant phrase that
refers to--within the camp itself, Cabanatuan, which this was
the largest and--the--POW camp in American history ever
established on foreign soil, these guys referred to themselves
as ghosts all the time, the ghosts of Bataan, they would call
themselves, because not only did they look like ghosts from
having lived for three years in--in squalor and in--in starvation
in these camps, but they felt like they had been forgotten
by--by the land of the living and--and by--by their own
country. So you see it in the poems and in--in the songs, the
camp literatures, the ghosts of Bataan. I just thought it was
an interesting kind of phrase, resonant phrase, and I--and I
played off of that.
LAMB: Help me on the pronunciation. We've had people here
that called it Bataan (pronounced ba-TAN) and you're calling
it Bataan (pronounced ba-TAUN).
Mr. SIDES: I've heard it both. The--the actual way the
Filipinos say it is Bata-aun, with a little bit of a gap there.
But, you know, I generally use the pronunciation that the
Americans used because primary, I'm following the American
version of the story.
LAMB: What is it?
Mr. SIDES: I--I call it Bataan (pronounced ba-TAUN).
LAMB: What is it?
Mr. SIDES: Bataan is a peninsula that juts out into Manila Bay.
And it's full of volcanos and jungles and was a perfect place,
the American high command realized, to fight a protracted
defensive war. When the Japanese invaded, very quickly,
General MacArthur realized that they were not going to be
able to defend Manila, so they pulled back into this peninsula
of land and held out as long as they could. The--the--the
original war plan, which was known as War Plan Orange, was
to hold out just long enough for the--the resupply of
ammunition and food and--and medicines from the Navy,
from--from Pearl Harbor. But, of course, there was no Navy
anymore because primarily, the--the--the Navy was
destroyed with the attack at Pearl Harbor. And suddenly,
these men on Bataan were caught without prospects for--for
resupply on this peninsula.
They held out as long as they could, three or four months,
and then on April 9th, finally, starved and suffering from
malaria and dysentery and every other kind of disease...
Mr. SIDES: This is '42.
Mr. SIDES: April 9th, 1942, they finally pulled up
the--the--the white flag and--and--and surrendered to the
Japanese. The unthinkable thing had happened. The
Americans had--had lost the battle. And, of course, they'd
never talked about a surrender. They didn't know--they didn't
really have any plan or protocol for how you go about giving
up your arms to--to the enemy. So thus began one of
the--the darkest chapters of the war, the--what came to be
known as the Bataan Death March.
LAMB: Page 10 of your book, let me just read a little bit. `A
Navy signalman named C.C. Smith refused to go into his pit.
Suddenly, the Buzzard set upon him. He raised his saber high,
so that it gleamed in the midday sun, and with all this
strength, he brought it--it--it blade side down. Smith's head
was cleaved in two, the sword finally stopping midway down
the neck.' Where's that from? Where'd you get that?
Mr. SIDES: I opened the book with an incident that happened
at a--at a different prison camp altogether called Puerto
Princessa in--on--on the island of Palawan, also in the
Philippines. And the reason I opened the book with this
account was that it--it was the example of what the
Americans were worried was--was going to happen at this
other camp, my camp, Cabanatuan. In this incident that I'm
describing there that you just read, the Japanese saw that
the Americans were returning and decided to take their 151
POWs that were under their command and they--they lit them
on fire wit--they poured gasoline on them and lit them on fire.
They--it--it was--it was part of the Japanese policy to--to
not let anyone be turned back over to the Americans for fear
that maybe they'd become fighting soldiers again one day or
live on to tell about the war crimes that they had witnessed.
So the American command returning to the Philippines--you
know, this is skipping ahead a little bit to 1945. When they
found out about the existence of this other larger camp,
Cabanatuan, they were worried that a massacre much like this
was going to happen. And so they realized they had to do
something, send some men back behind enemy lines--ahead of
the lines and try to extricate these guys before another
massacre like this would occur.
LAMB: How many people--how many Americans died?
Mr. SIDES: In this incident?
LAMB: In that incident.
Mr. SIDES: About--well, 151 were involved; 140 died. The
rest survived either for a short while or there was actually
seven or maybe--I think it was 10 who actually survived,
made it home and told their story to the world. And yet, it's
an incident that is extremely obscur--obscure. The--the
massacre at Palawan is not very well-known today, even
among the Bataan and Corregidor guys.
LAMB: Anybody that was there alive today?
Mr. SIDES: There--as I--as I know of, there's only two, and I
spoke with one, Eugene Neilson, who's a--a--a Mormon
gentleman who lives in the--in the mountains in Utah. And it's
just an extraordinary tale of survival that he was able to
escape this massacre. He basically jumped over a barbed-wire
fence down onto a beach and hid in various cavelike folds in
the coral reef. Then eventually, he jumped into the bay and
started swimming. He was shot three times. Somehow swam
for nine hours with bullet wounds. Made it across the--the
bay, dragged himself across a mangrove swamp and
eventually hooked up with Filipino guerrillas in order to tell his
story to the Army intelligence people. So all of this figured in,
ultimately, to the Army intelligence, as they decided what to
do with this other camp, Cabanatuan.
LAMB: Palawan happened what year?
Mr. SIDES: Palawan--this massacre happened in December of
'44. So basically, one month before the Americans were--were
returning to Luzon. So it was a cautionary tale, basically.
LAMB: And you found Eugene Neilson in the mountains of
Mr. SIDES: Yeah, he's still alive.
LAMB: How old is he?
Mr. SIDES: Tough, tough, tough guy. Early 80s, I believe.
And, I mean, it's just extraordinary what he--what he had to
go through just to survive to tell this story to the world.
LAMB: And where did you find him? I mean, did you find him by
phone or did you see him in person?
Mr. SIDES: I--I--yeah, I think I just--I used the phone
di--you know, phone directory. I knew his name, I knew he
lived in Utah. And I just--there was a couple of Neilsons and
I--I eventually located him. He was reluctant to talk to me at
Mr. SIDES: Well, I--I think anyone who experiences an
atro--an atrocity like this, it's just very, very difficult for them
to talk about it. And who the heck am I? You know? He didn't
know who I was or whether I was trustworthy. He's a little
hard of hearing. You know, I think it was just a little difficult
for him to--to--to get going on it. Also, I found, though, that
this--this particular incident that we're talking about was the
subject of a war crimes trial. And here in Wa--in the
Washington area at the National Archives in College Park,
Maryland, I was able to found hundreds of pages of
documents of testimony from people like Neilson and a couple
of the other survivors. So I was able to piece it together
with--with excruciating detail. I mean, It--it, you know,
everything that happened at Palawan was fairly well
documented by these 10 or so survivors.
LAMB: This whole thing, I'm going to read it again. This is the
Japanese soldier, `raised his saber high, so that it gleamed in
the midday sun, and with all his strength, he brought it, blade
side down. Smith's head was cleaved in two, the sword finally
stopping midway down the neck.' How do you know that's
true, and if it is, does it say anything in particular about the
Mr. SIDES: Three or four different people mentioned this--this
particular incident. This was a guy who was refusing to go
into the trenches. The Japanese had made the Americans
really earlier, for their own safety, to dig air raid--ai--air raid
trenches, so that when American planes, which had begun
bombing Palawan months earlier--when these bombs
would--would--would drop, the Americans would go into these
trenches and--and hopefully not be bombed by their own--by
their own fellow Americans. The--the--in this incident, the
Japanese acted as though there was another air raid that was
imminent and they said, `Get in your trenches. Get in your
trenches.' And this one guy, this gentleman here, refused to
get in his trench. He didn't understand. He didn't hear
American planes coming. He didn't know why he needed to get
in the trench. And that's when they set upon him with the
sword. The fate of the other Americans was they--as soon as
they got in the trenches, the Japanese came with aviation
fuel and sloshed it into the trenches with buckets and--and
then alit--lit the trenches on fire with--with bamboo torches.
But there were a number of witnesses to this particular
incident, so--and I feel very, very confident that the--the
details are accurate.
LAMB: Second part of the question. Does it say anything
about the Japanese, and do you find more of this kind of
Mr. SIDES: Well, you know, the book is full of very vivid
accounts of Japanese atrocities, and they viewed prisoners of
war very differently. They had ideas from their culture
borrowed from the days of the Bushido code, of samurai days
that the ultimate shame was to fall prisoner. To--to surrender
to the enemy was beneath contempt. And you were supposed
to save the last round of am--ammunition for yourself. So I
think this influenced the way they treated the American
POWs. They were--you know, they--they didn't feel ne--a
necessity to treat the Americans with any delicacy. And--and
they didn't. And, of course, this happened repeatedly.
Through--throughout the book, there are examples of--of this
sort of brutality.
I went to Japan for three months to study this whole question
of the prisoner--prisonerhood status. Where did this idea
come from, you know, and--and--and how--and to what
lengths would they go to visit these sorts of cruelties on
prisoners? You know, it wasn't--it--generally, with their
treatment of the POWs, it--it wasn't a--like a Nazi policy of
extermination or anything like that. It was what I call malign
neglect. Basically, letting them wither on--on the vine, not
feeding them, not letting basic medicines come into the camp.
By and large, these deaths of--of the American prisoners
weren't the result of this sort of cruelty that we were just
now discussing, but just basic diseases like dysentery and
malaria that were flourishing in the camp because the
Japanese command would not permit basic medicines like
quinine to get into the camp. And, you know, they just didn't
feel it was necessary. It--they didn't really understand why a
prisoner of war should be treated with any delicacy. They
didn't--they didn't really get the whole Geneva
LAMB: What year did you start working on this?
Mr. SIDES: I started this about three years ago. I live in New
Mexico, and I had come--come out to New Mexico and kept
seeing the word Bataan: Bataan Memorial Drive, Memorial
Library. On April 9th, there's a Bataan Memorial Day, where
they raise a white flag over the state capitol in Santa Fe. And
I didn't know what Bataan was, frankly. I--you know, I was--I
think I've since become appalled at--at the level of my own
ignorance because this was the largest surrender in American
history and the largest and I think most heinous captivity
experience in--in American war history. And I knew very, very
little about it. It was only the vaguest reference for me. The
reason there's all this Bataan memorial stuff out in New Mexico
is that more people from New Mexico than from any other
state were caught in the Bataan Death March. And half the
guys that went over there didn't come back. They--they took
an entire--the entire National Guard of New Mexico, turned
them into an artillery unit and sent them to--to the Philippines
just before the war. So consequently, you know, you had this
tiny state in terms of population just devastated by this
So I got more and more curious that way. I started meeting
these veterans. And then I--well, I was also at that--at this
point, I was an editor at Outside magazine. Outside magazine
writes about, you know, adventure sports and the outdoors
and all sorts of extreme situations that people put them
in--put themselves into, you know, expeditions of one sort or
another. We published Jon Krakauer who, who, you know,
"Into Thin Air" and Sebastian Junger, a story that later
became "The Perfect Storm." And when I came across this
story of Bataan, it felt like familiar ground. It felt like an
Outside magazine story, you know, except set in the 1940s
and, you know, far-flung jungles and men having to really
endure the--endure hardships that were--that made--you
know, made the Outside magazine stories seem kind of tame.
Mr. SIDES: So it felt familiar to me.
LAMB: What year were you born?
Mr. SIDES: I was born in 1962.
Mr. SIDES: Memphis, Tennessee.
LAMB: And how long did you live there?
Mr. SIDES: Up until college. I--you know, 18 years.
LAMB: Where did you go to college?
Mr. SIDES: I went to Yale.
LAMB: Studied what?
Mr. SIDES: I studied--oh, not much of anything. I studied
history, but I--I mostly worked on campus newspapers and
magazines. And--and my--I guess my big mentor in college
was John Hersey, the writer who--whose very first book, as a
matter of fact, was about Bataan. It was called "Men on
Bataan." He was a correspondent with Time-Life and was over
there interviewing soldiers just before the surrender. And I
was very much influenced by his book "Hiroshima," wh--in
which he instead of telling the overview story of--of the
bombing, he decided to tell it from the point of view of--of
five or I think it's six characters. That's sort of what I did in
this book is in--instead of telling the--the--the big macro
story and what was happening in Washington and what was
happening in Tokyo, I was more interested in what was
happening on the ground with five or six main characters and
you kind of, you know, come to care about these guys, where
were they from, what was their life like before the war. So
that when these atrocities began to happen to them, you
care about their fate and wha--and hopefully, if--if it works,
that--that's the theory anyway, fo--with this kind of
narrative. And Hersey was--was a real big practitioner of this
kind of journalism where you--you know, you get really
personal when you tell it--tell history through the eyes of--of
LAMB: Where you did you meet him?
Mr. SIDES: At Yale. He was a teacher at Yale, taught a
non-fiction writing course that was, I think, you know, very
influential on--on--on my--on my career.
LAMB: What year did you graduate?
Mr. SIDES: 1984.
LAMB: And then what did you do?
Mr. SIDES: Well, I--I ended up in Washington working for
various newspapers and magazines. I freelanced for places like
The Washington Post and The New Republic and tried to figure
out what kind of journalism I was interested in. And I--I--it
became apparent to me after a few years in Washington that
I didn't really want to cover politics and I didn't want to do
sort of source journalism or public policy journalism. It just
wasn't my strength. But I didn't know what--I--I really didn't
know what I was after. I--I--I came to--to realize that I
wanted to do narrative very much like John Hersey had done
in his--in his career. So I wanted to--I--I eventually left
Washington in search of bigger stories. I wrote a book called
"Stomping Grounds," which was about American subcultures,
classic American groups that have annual epic reunions
that--that are almost like going to Mecca, groups like
Tupperware sales ladies, people who own Harley-Davidson
motorcycles, Airstream travel st--trailer owners, you know,
the silver bubbles, and a group called the Rainbow people,
which are hippies that meet every year in a different national
forest. And it was my first book. It was just a--it was a ball
to do. I traveled around 38 states and told these tales about
American subcultures and why we seem to be drawn to these
fraternities of intensely like-minded but--but somewhat
LAMB: Where--where's the name Hampton Sides come from?
How'd you get--what--what's Hampton?
Mr. SIDES: Oh, it--it's just--it's just one of those Southern,
you know, last name, first names. I'm from Memphis and I'm
ultimately named after General Wade Hampton, who was a--a
famous general during the Civil War, although I'm not related
to him. It's just some kind of family name that somewhere
along the line--I--I think I'm the third. So it's--it's been in the
family for a while.
LAMB: What's the origin of the name Sides?
Mr. SIDES: Side is actually a German name. It was Sites, and
I guess maybe at Ellis Island or somewhere, they changed it
to--or Anglicized it a little bit, turned it into Sides.
LAMB: And why Santa Fe and why did you move there when?
Mr. SIDES: I moved out in Santa Fe--out to Santa Fe about
seven years ago. I--I took a job at Outside magazine, which
was then in Chicago but was planning a big move out to
Santa Fe. Outside has always been oriented towards the
Rocky Mountains and towards, you know, mountain climbing
and kayaking and doing all kinds of stuff like that, and so it
made sense that the magazine would move to a town in the
Rockies. And I--I knew they were going to move, and I
wanted to raise my family out there. And--and it was just
what the doctor ordered to get out of Washington, DC, and
do something very different.
LAMB: How big is your family?
Mr. SIDES: I've got three--I've got three little boys.
LAMB: How old?
Mr. SIDES: Four, six and eight. And my wife and I are raising
them out there in the--in the wilds of New Mexico. They're
pretty feral, at this point, pretty crazy. It's never dull around
LAMB: Now go back to the Bataan--is it a memorial or a
museum in Santa Fe?
Mr. SIDES: Both. There is the only museum dedicated to
Bataan is right there in Santa Fe. They also have a thing
every April called the Bataan Memorial Death March, held
on--in the White Sands Missile Range. Thank God they don't
actually re-create the--the conditions of--of their--their
original death march. It's really just a--it's a military marathon
where they invite all the survivors back to--to greet the
runners, and then the runners take off into the desert and run
Well, the year that I got interested in this book, I found out
that there was a guy from the original Bataan who wanted to
walk the route of this memorial death march in honor of his
Mr. SIDES: His name's Winston Chilateau. He's still alive. He's
in phenomenal condition. Anyone at that age--you know, I
think at that point, he was 77 or 78. Anyone at that age
who's able to walk 26 miles at--at altitude like that has got to
be in pretty--pretty good shape. And I did a story for Sports
Illustrated about--about this--this man and this event and
this whole--whole idea of synthetic suffering, that I was kind
of playing with this idea that, you know, there--there's real,
authentic suffering and then there's this sort of tendency we
have increasingly to seek out these incredible hardships and,
you know, that--that are optional, you know, like, `Oh, I
think I'll go climb a--a certain mountain without oxygen or
I'll--I'll paddle across the ocean in a--in a bathtub or, you
know, run 26 miles in the desert.' So it was a--it was a
strange event to see this man--this man--this man walking
this route, thinking about the ordeal that he had suffered
50-some-odd years before, and yet, being in the company of
all these ultra marathoners in their bright clothes and all their
regalia, you know, running this event and--and kind of
comparing these--these two events.
LAMB: I--is it safe to assume that this book would not have
been written without the Bataan Museum and the death
march re-enactment? I mean, it--is that...
Mr. SIDES: I think it's true that, you know, in the early
stages, I was--I was casting about for a book. I--I knew that
I wanted to get out of editing because by that point, I'd been
editing at Outside for a while and I wanted to do something
drastically different. And it's true when you start--when you
embark on a project, the first few experiences that you have
are--are re--I think extremely influential and--and pivotal.
And--and this story really did, like so many stories, it began
locally. And it began just by looking around in--in my
hometown and my home state and--and asking some real
basic questions. You know, what it--what--what was Bataan
exactly? I've heard the phrase. Bataan Death March. But if I'm
this ignorant about this, then I'm banking that--banking on
the fact that probably a lot of other people, especially people
of my generation, are--are similarly ignorant. And--and, you
know, one--one thought led to another, led to another. And
so, you know, I think all great stories start locally in--in some
LAMB: How many printings have there been for the book?
Mr. SIDES: I know there--they were in the fourth printing last
LAMB: And we've got time between now and the time it airs.
Mr. SIDES: Mm-hmm.
LAMB: How many books are in the market?
Mr. SIDES: I--I was told a half million. So I--I don't know, you
know, how many exactly have been sold vs. how many are en
route to--to various publisher--to various bookstores, but the
book is selling extremely well, better than we could have ever
imagined. And, you know, this book was never intended for
just simply a military history buff readership. But on the--by
the--by the same token, you know, a lot--there's a lot of war
books out there. And, you know, the--we had no particular
reason to think this one was going to be any different. But
it--it--the very first week it was out, it was number seven on
the best-seller list and it--it was at two for a while. And it's
been two or three or--or--or thereabouts ever since, so
it's--it's been very gratifying to see this level of interest.
LAMB: You say the Bataan Death March was 26 days?
Mr. SIDES: Well, it--it--it lasted different lengths of time for
different people. The--it depends on when you started and
which--which guard you had and...
LAMB: What were the dates?
Mr. SIDES: The--it started on April 9th of 1942 and lasted for
a couple of weeks.
LAMB: From what point?
Mr. SIDES: They left, most of them, from the tip of Bataan, a
place called Marivelas, and went north, village by village, as
fast as they could go. But, of course, that was the problem.
By that point, they were so sick and so depleted and so
wracked with diseases that they couldn't move. They co...
LAMB: How many?
Mr. SIDES: There were anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000
Americans who--who surrendered. It's hard to know the exact
number because many of them swam across the sho--the
Manila Bay to Corregidor, the little island, and--or some just
disappeared into the jungle, hoping to hook up with other
Americans and develop a--a guerrilla force. But approximately
we'll--we'll say 8,000 Americans went on this death march and
a--approximately a thousand died en route.
LAMB: So Cabanatuan, which this is all about, is located
Mr. SIDES: It's on the island of Luzon, about 60 miles north of
Manila. And it was the largest American prisoner of war camp
ever established on foreign soil. It was--it had as--it had as
many as 9,000 people there at one time. And it was a little
tropical enclave of America. There--you know, they tried to
establish some semblance of an American town there. The
thoroughfares were named. You know, there was, like, a Fifth
Avenue and a Broadway and--and Main Street, they called
one of the--one of the thoroughfares. The place where they
had the camp meetings was--was known as Times Square.
You know, they had a baseball diamond, they had a--a camp
library and a university--they called it a university, where the
better educated officers taught classes in astron--astronomy
and French to the--to the enlisted men. They tried as best
they could to carry on and have some--some semblance of
order and--and American society there, to the extent that
the Japanese would allow them.
LAMB: How many Americans were inside the camp?
Mr. SIDES: The number fluctuated wildly because the--the
Japanese were continually moving them on details, one--one
work detail after another. They worked on roads and bridges
and shipyards. But through much of this period of, you know,
'42, '43, '44, the number was somewhere around 5,000. And
then as the Americans started winning the war and the tide
was turning against the Japanese, they decided to start
shipping the able-bodied American POWs north to Japan to
work in--in the coal mines of Japan. And--and so the numbers
began to dwindle down to--finally to 500 people, the last 500
who were left in the camp when the Americans returned.
LAMB: How many people died inside that camp?
Mr. SIDES: About 3,000 in mass graves. All those pe--people
were disintered at the end of the war and--and reburied in a
military cemetery near Manila--well, in--in Manilla, that I went
to during the research of--of this book. More people died
there than any other camp in--in American history, outside of
the Civil War itself.
LAMB: What did they die of?
Mr. SIDES: They died of dysentery, malaria, beriberi. All sorts
of insidious combinations of--of those three. Those were the
big ones. They died of all--all kinds of nutritional deficiencies.
A lot of esoteric ailments that cropped up when--when
you--people were starved, not just for weeks or--or months,
but years of you know, basic medicines. I mean, they
were--they--they were primarily eating rice month after
month after month, and they didn't have, for example, vitamin
B. And because they didn't have vitamin B, they were
developing beriberi, which is a hideous disease. It causes the
extremities to swell up, and eventually, you--you basically
drown in your own--your own pus, essentially. It's a hideous
way to go, and that's what happened to so many of these
And lots of even more esoteric diseases cropped up. These
guys became night blind or--or lost their vision altogether.
Some of them lost their voices. Some of these men grew
breasts, essentially. Their breasts swelled up and became
tender. And there was a strange disease called limber neck
where they couldn't hold their head up. Their neck became
like rubber, and--and--and like literally hundreds of men would
walk around the camp with their--you know, holding their
head--holding their neck up with their hands. So all these
kinds of strange things were developing because--you know,
they did not--it wasn't starvation in the sense that--I mean,
they were getting a little bit to eat every day, but they
weren't getting basic vitamins and minerals over a prolonged
period of time. And that wreaked havoc on their constitutions.
LAMB: And the Japanese had what control over the Philippines
during this time period?
Mr. SIDES: Well, they were in--they were--you know, they
were running the show from Manila. They wanted to use
Manila Bay because it was, you know, one of the best harbors
in Asia. And the--the commandant of the camp--well, there
were actually a number of different commandants over the
years, but they would come--come up from Manila and each
commandant would have his own rules and regulations.
They--they ruled with an iron fist. They--they went into this
conflict thinking that the Filipinos would--would accept their
rule because they were Asian and the Filipinos were Asian
and, you know, they--the slogan was `Asia for the Asiatics.'
And they felt that they would for--the Japanese felt that the
Filipinos would forget American rule and--and--and, you know,
turn their allegiance to--to a new power. But that didn't
exactly happen. The Filipinos were--were still very loyal to the
Americans, and although there were plenty of collaborators,
by and large, they didn't cooperate with the Japanese. And,
you know, there was an underground. There were guerrilla
organizations. They made life quite difficult for the Japanese
LAMB: How many Japanese were on guard there at the prison
most of time?
Mr. SIDES: Usually around 100 guards, and these guys
were--I mean, you know, this wasn't the cream of the
Imperial army. Most of these guys were either extremely
young, green kids, fresh from Japan or older--older folks out
to pasture, people who were sort of brought in after their
military career was really over. A lot of them were brought in
from Korea and Taiwan, which were run--you know, basically
ruled by Japan, and stuck out there in the Philippines, a
thankless post. So naturally, they were a little bitter and
sulking and didn't want to be where they were, and I think
this influenced the way they treated the American POWs.
LAMB: The actual time that your book focuses on?
Mr. SIDES: Well, there's two basic time lines. There's--one
time line is three years, and that's the story of--of the men of
Bataan, their surrender, their captivity experience leading up
all the way to the day they're liberated. The other time line is
three days, and that's--it took three days when the Rangers
got this mission to go in and liberate these men to--to--to
the point where they got them back safely to American lines.
LAMB: And what were those three days?
Mr. SIDES: The three days were January 28th, 29th and 30th
of 1945, and, you know, at a certain point in the book, these
two time lines finally intersect and--and, you know, the
tension is broken whe--when the gunfire starts at the camp.
LAMB: What would you say, overall, has been your most
Mr. SIDES: Well, pri--you know, these men themselves, I
mean--and primarily, the--I mean the POWs. The Rangers
were very helpful to me. The Rangers were very modest.
They--their memories were not particularly complicated. They
went in and did their job. They had an--an--an extraordinarily
successful mission and, you know, their--they had no
problems talking to me.
But the POWs, the--these men that--that are pictured in
my--in my book, are--you know, this is primarily their story. I
talked to them for hours and sometimes days, went to their
houses, met their wives and--and families and stayed with
them as long as possible. It--it became apparent to me that
the way to tell this book, going back to Hersey and
"Hiroshima," was to really tell it through the eyes of just a
handful of characters, keep going back to them, see it
through their eyes, and, you know, picking a cross-section of
men who represent a--a fair--a fair diversity within the Army
of that time, men from different towns and different--different
LAMB: Who's this fella right here?
Mr. SIDES: This guy is the guy who--who led the mission to
Cabanatuan. His name is Henry Mucci, Colonel Henry Mucci.
They called him `Little MacArthur' because he, like the
supreme commander, had a high appreciation of the theatrics
of warfare. He smoked a pipe, like MacArthur. He was a
character; loud, very charismatic.
LAMB: Is he alive?
Mr. SIDES: Mucci--Mucci is not alive. He died a couple of
years ago, unfortunately. I was...
LAMB: Did you talk to him?
Mr. SIDES: No, I was not able to talk to him. He--he died just
before--just before I embarked on this project.
LAMB: Who is this fellow?
Mr. SIDES: Well, this is the number two, the guy under Mucci
who actually went into the camp and devised and planned and
executed the--the assault on the camp.
Mr. SIDES: His name is Robert Prince. Great name for a
rescuer--Captain Prince. Amazing guy. He lives in Seattle,
Washington. He's hail and hearty and tough as nails. Very
modest. Like so many of these Rangers, he--he doesn't really
understand--he doesn't think this was extraordinary, what he
LAMB: This is what he looks like today, actually.
Mr. SIDES: This--this is what he looks like today. The...
LAMB: Did you meet him?
Mr. SIDES: I met him a nu--a number of different times but
this photograph was taken at a very moving reunion that was
held at Ft. Benning, Georgia, to commemorate the raid on
Cabanatuan. It was the only time that all the surviving
Rangers and all the surviving POWs were brought together in
one place and--and--and the liberated got to--got to
embrace the--their--their liberators. It was a really moving
thing, and Prince showed up and, you know, it was--it was
terrific to see all these guys together in one place.
LAMB: And you were there?
Mr. SIDES: I was there, and a number of other journalists. It
was--it was a--a reunion that was completely paid for by one
of the POWs, who just wanted to do something out--out
of--out of his heart to thank these guys. And there was no
plaque or memorial of any sort at the Ranger Hall of Fame,
which is there in Ft. Benning, Georgia, and this guy had paid
for the plaque and the--the marble and everything and--and
invited all these guys to fly in from all over creation, which
they did gladly, and got to see all these guys together in one
LAMB: How many of them--and I want to ask this because I
noticed in the back, when you were talking about where they
are today--how many of them died in the middle of rewriting
Mr. SIDES: A couple of--a couple of the main characters died
while I was researching and--and even while I was just
beginning to think about who might be the main characters
of--of this book, two or three of them died and I ended up,
you know, speaking to their--their spouses.
Mr. SIDES: There was a guy named Sam Gracio out in
Spokane, Washington, who--who--who passed away in the
early stages of my research. The--one of the main characters
in the book is a guy named Dr. Ralph Hibbs, an Army doctor
who was just a--there's a picture of him near the beginning,
the ve--very first block of photos in my book. Dr. Hibbs
was--d--died just a few months ago, just bef--just before the
book came out. I spoke to his--his wife, and he had just
I was real interested in Dr. Hibbs because, to a large extent,
this story is a medical story. You know, Japanese cruelty
certainly accounted for many deaths, but ultimately, this was
a medical story--you know, basic diseases, antique diseases;
diseases that we had a handle on i--in civilized society were
rearing their heads for--for an encore performance in--in--in
this camp. And, you know, without these basic medicines, you
know, it's like going back to medieval times, and doctors
having to improvise, fake their way through--through
operations without anesthesia. They called--they--they used
what they called vocal anesthetic, which means the doctor
just says, `This is not going to hurt much.' They--they used
folk remedies of various sorts, and the dentist would
repl--make artificial teeth from water buffalo teeth, and you
know, they had to improvise in all kinds of ways,
which--which I think, you know, these--these--the ex--the
measures they had to go to were heroic and the
improvi--improvising that they had to do was--was--was just
LAMB: Now you--in your research, had you found another
book like this anywhere?
Mr. SIDES: There are other books out there. Most of them
have been marketed ex--ex--explicitly for mi--military history
audiences. They're pretty obscure. Many of them are
self-published books by people who aren't writers, but these
were men who are there, and they're very important
documents. I certainly relied on a number of those books
because, you know, they were there, and they told their
story and they finally got it down on--on paper.
Some of the men that became my main characters had
written their own books, and I was able to use their book as a
jumping-off point for interviewing. I'd say, you know, `Here on
page 67, you say this, but what did you really mean by that
and can we get into that a little more?' And it was a great
sort of starting point for--for getting into these in--interviews
a little bit more intensely.
LAMB: As I was--actually, I listened to this on--on CD...
Mr. SIDES: Oh, yeah.
LAMB: ...while driving, and as I was listening to it and
prepared to talk to you about it, I kept thinking how--why
would an author want to tell us, here today, the story of this
book, because the drama and the story is what you're selling
here. And have you had that problem as you go about
telling--I mean, there's some--there's some personal stories; I
haven't asked you about them yet, but does that hurt or help
Mr. SIDES: The--you--you mean the fact that the--these
stories are dramatic or...
LAMB: Well, I mean, you could tell the whole story here in an
hour about this book...
Mr. SIDES: Oh, I see.
LAMB: ...and there wouldn't be any reason to go buy it.
Mr. SIDES: I see what you're saying. Yes, well, I--you know,
in--in going out on the book tour, we had to think a fair
amount about how much to give away, you know. I mean, I
think it's apparent to anyone who reads the jacket of the
book that we're talking about a fairly successful, fairly
spectacular mission in World War II. And there was no way to
get away--get away from that. I think, just like Jon Krakauer
with "Into Thin Air," I think when you read--read that book,
everyone knows that there's going to be a disaster on
Mt.--Mt. Everest and--and people are going to die. I think
that's a given. The question is: How--you know, given the
outcome that we all basically know, how--how do we get from
A to B? I think that's the suspense. And--and there were
casualties, there were things that went wrong. There were
strokes of complete--just good luck and a couple of strokes of
bad luck, and some Rangers die, and there's an incident
involving friendly fire.
And--and so, you know, I think that we--I don't want to give
away--I don't mind giving away the ultimate outcome. It was
successful. It's--it's the question of how, you know, the in
between that's--that's interesting and that--that I think the
person who reads the book will come to fresh.
LAMB: Story of Dr. Jimmy Fisher.
Mr. SIDES: Well, now we're getting into one of the stories I
don't want to give away too much, but there was--one--one
of the casualties was a doctor, which sort of seems
appropriate in some way to this story because the doctors
were so much a part of this story from the beginning,
from--from the days of Bataan and--and now with the rescue,
doctors figured into the story so intimately. This doctor, Dr.
Jimmy Fisher, went a--went along on the raid. He was the
surgeon--he was the battalion surgeon of the 6th Ranger
Battalion, and he wasn't supposed to be at the raid itself. He
was supposed to be in the nearby town getting the hospital
ready for the casualties that they all expected were going to
emer--emerge from this operation. Dr. Fisher ended up being
the ca--the main casualty of this raid, and he was hit by
mortar fire and was--he didn't die immediately, but it took
about 24 hours.
He was--was an amazing guy, a Harvard-educated guy who
was--it was very important for him to be just--just one of the
guys and--and to be right there with his men. He didn't have
to be there. He chose to be there and at the point of
greatest danger, and he paid the ultimate price.
LAMB: You say in your--in your notes that Vivian Hixson, his
niece, was a big help to you on this. How did she help you?
Mr. SIDES: Well, she had all the family papers. What's
interesting about Dr. Fisher is that his mother was a famous
writer o--of--of the day and a famous editor who was part of
the Book of the Month Club, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, and she
was very studious about keeping all the letters that she
received, after her son died, from all the Rangers, from the
doctors who operated on him, from the Filipino guerrillas who
were with him in his last hours. And there was photographs
and y--you know, letters from Colonel Mucci, testimonials
about his character and what a wonderful man he was. And all
those were assembled in one place and she--she was just
very kind and generous to--to let me take a look at all that
stuff, and then ultimately, all those papers went to the
University of Vermont.
LAMB: Edwin Rose--what's that story?
Mr. SIDES: Well, this is--this is one--you know, er--whenever
there's a mission like this, there's always
some--some--somebody who gets left behind, somebody who
just is clueless to the whole thing, and Edwin Rose was--was
that man in this case. He was a stone deaf British civilian,
who somehow, through convoluted means, had ended up in
this camp in the last few months o--of its existence. And
when the raid commenced and the gunfire started, Edwin Rose
was--he was sitting on the la--on the latrine. He had
dysentery, and he--he was so deaf that he didn't hear the
gunfire, and the raid begins and ends. All the prisoners are
removed and Edwin Rose misses...
Mr. SIDES: ...misses it all.
LAMB: And all the Japanese were killed?
Mr. SIDES: All the Japanese were either killed or wounded
or--or retreated. We don't really know what happened to all
the Japanese, because it was pitch black. But...
LAMB: Just to recap, you had 100 Japanese soldiers there
guarding 500 Americans...
Mr. SIDES: Right. Right.
LAMB: ...at the time of the attack.
Mr. SIDES: Right. You had about 100 Japanese guards, and
you had anywhere from 200 to 300 Japanese soldiers who
were bivouacking in the rear of the camp, just using the place
to sleep, and then there was another thousand Japanese
soldiers one mile away and another 7,000 to 8,000 four miles
away in--in the city of Cabanatuan. So the Japanese were
And in the midst of all this, Edwin Rose is sitting on the
latrine, laboring mightily with his dysentery. He misses the
whole raid, he goes back to his barrack and goes to sleep.
LAMB: Can't hear.
Mr. SIDES: Can't hear and can't see very well, either--and
wakes up in the middle of the night and realizes something's
wrong. He smells smoke. He wakes up ri--I guess it's right
around dawn, and--and the--realizes there are Japanese
corpses everywhere. Everything's different. He realizes
something big has happened, but he's still a--a little addled
by--by--by the whole experience and by, you know, his
Then he finally--it finally dawns on him that there's been a
rescue and he's been left behind, and he--what he
does--maybe this is typical British sense of pride and sense of
humor, but he goes and puts on his best suit. There--he had
saved some--some clothing that, you know, he thought he
might need for--for liberation day. He got dressed in
his--his--his suit. He shaves himself and tries to look, you
know, sharp, goes out with his--with his bag to the front of
the gate and just waits for something to happen. And it could
have been the Japanese that picked him up, but in this case,
it was some Japanese guerrillas that intercepted him and
brought him to safety.
LAMB: You mean some Filipino guerrillas?
Mr. SIDES: I--Fi--Filipino guerrillas, who intercepted him,
and--and he said, `I knew someone would come.' He was
very--he was very optimistic that something good was going
to happen, and--and it did, in his case. He made it back, too,
LAMB: You do quote somebody as saying, though--I don't
remember the exact quote--something like his elevator didn't
ride--go all the way to the top floor.
Mr. SIDES: Ri--right.
LAMB: Meaning--did he--was he mentally deficient?
LAMB: He wasn't retarded or anything like that, but he--he
was--he was elderly and he had s--I think the s--the--the
cumulative effects of the starvation had been harder on him
than--than on other people. And you know, he couldn't see
very well. He couldn't hear very well. The cu--you know, the
cumulative effect of all that made him a--a little slower than
LAMB: As I was listening to your book--by the way, do you
remember who read it?
Mr. SIDES: James Naughton read it, who a--a Broadway
actor, won some Tony awards and has read a lot of other
books. He's an old pro at this--reading books on tape.
LAMB: Why didn't you do it?
Mr. SIDES: Oh, I'm glad I wasn't asked to do it. It's--it's a
heck of a lot of work, and I've read things and done--done
radio interviews and radio stories for National Public Radio, and
it's a heck of a lot of work to get it--to get it right in just a
few takes. I--I--I think it would have been really difficult for
me to--to--to try to--to slog through it.
LAMB: Do you have any idea how the sales on the audio
portion is going?
Mr. SIDES: No, I don't. I don't. I gather it's doing reasonably
well. But I--I--you know, it's amazing to me how much they
have to cut out of these books for books on tape. Over 50
percent of the book is gone, and my book isn't--you know,
isn't a terribly long book. So, you know, I would hope
eventually, there'll be an un--unabridged version that would
come out that would tell--tell the--the real story, because so
many characters drop out, so many of the subplots are
removed and, you know, it's--it's a shame to see some of that
LAMB: Three hundred and forty-two pages, about $25. But no
source notes, no footnotes. Did you make a decision on
purpose to do that?
Mr. SIDES: Yes. You know, this is a narrative and this is
primarily journalism. You know, it's--this isn't history with a
capital H, where I get deep into the--you know, what was
going on with MacArthur or--or what was happening in Tokyo
or Washington. Most of the guys--if you were to do an index,
example--for example, for this book, it would read--it
would--i--it would read almost ludicrously. It would read like,
you know, `Captain Prince, page 43, blows his nose; page 57,
develops foot blisters; page 57,' you know, `eats a raw egg.'
You know, it w--you know, the--this is a different kind of
story. I mean, it's a narrative involving people most of whom
are not famous, most of whose decisions were not, you know,
important in the larger scheme of the strategy o--of the war.
This is an on-the-grou--on-the-ground mission where I was
more focused on what their--what were they thinking? What
were they feeling? What--what was the weather like?
What--what did the--what did the roads look like? What did
the rivers look like? And to do footnotes and--and--and, you
know, interrupt the flow of the narrative with--with numbers
and--and get into all this and--and maybe index all of this, it
just seemed like it--it would be cumbersome and it would
interrupt the--the momentum of the narrative.
LAMB: Back--we talked about when you first knew that this
might be a hit, the Esquire magazine article or excerpt from
this--but back to the beginning of wh--wh--where did you
write it, and how did you go about that, and how did you
think that through in order to get the narrative down, so that
you thought people would get drawn into this?
Mr. SIDES: Well, originally, I was going to try to write this
book in strictly chronological fashion, just start with men
arriving in Manila, war is imminent. They go to--they--they go
to battle. They end up on Bataan. They surrender. They go
through the death march. Three years in a prison camp.
Finally, on page 300, the Americans return, and there's talk of
a--of a rescue.
But then I realized a couple of things. One is that, you know,
to expect readers to get through 300 pages of dysentery and
malaria and, you know, all these exotic diseases and all the
morale--you know, just the demoralizing circumstances that
these guys were--were--were suffering, I realized it was
going to be--it was going to be tough reading and that you
needed something to ventilate that long ordeal, something to
break it up, and so I started thinking what would that be?
Maybe what was happening in Manila with the underground.
Maybe there could be a--an escape attempt. Maybe I could
go back to some of the hometowns of these men and figure
out what their families were--were doing during this ordeal, or
what was happening in Washington. I--you know, wracked my
brain trying to figure out something to break this long
ordeal--to break it up with.
And then, I--I s--but what I decided, for reasons which I'm
not even still not sure why I did it this way, I--I decided to
write the raid first, kind of write the end first, and I started
writing what I thought was going to be basically two chapters
about the raid, the--kind of the--the grand finale of the book.
And two chapters became four, became six. You know, I
started writing this narrative, and one of the amazing things
about narrative writing is the--is you start--if you slow things
down and you--and you--and--and you start saying, `OK,
what--what was he doing right there in that moment?
What--had he eaten lunch yet? What was--what time of day
was this? What was the weather like? They're in this village.
Well, what was the village like?' And, you know, you--you
start getting into the--all the details and you realize that
you've--you've consumed a lot of pages, you know, like 50 or
60 pages that--for one of these chapters that I thought was
going to be really short.
Pretty soon, I realized I had perhaps 50 percent of the book
was the narrative of the raid and that that was the way to
break the whole thing up is to kind of have these two time
lines and--and have it syncopated in a way that, you know,
each--each chapter, you would--you would go from the
prisoners to the--to the raid itself, and back to the prisoners
and the raid itself, each narrative kind of getting closer and
closer to a--a point where they would ultimately
LAMB: Who are these two men, Adams and Abraham?
Mr. SIDES: I don't know who Adams is, other than that--that
he's a Ranger.
LAMB: On the right.
Mr. SIDES: But--yeah. The guy on the left is a Ranger.
Actually, the guy on the right looks--looks like he's almost
better fed, doesn't he? He's a--his name is Abie Abraham. And
he's a POW who is tough as nails, one of my main characters,
a guy who was a Syrian-American from the steel country of
Pennsylvania. I spent a lot of time with Abie at his house and
heard his stories. Just an amazing guy. I--one--you know,
really, he was made of tough stuff; I think it was obvious from
the beginning. When he was 16 years old--this is a picture of
him when he--when he was at that reunion we talked about
earlier. But when he was 16 years old, he decided that he
wanted to sit in a tree for a long time. He crawled up into a
tree and stayed put for four months and won the--the
national tree-sitting record. It sounds like a pretty dubious
pursuit, and I guess it is, but he was determined--he was
determined to--to get this thing, and you know, already
demonstrating, I think, his tenacity.
This picture here is of him as a boxer. When he went into the
Army, he became a very successful boxer, won tons of bouts
down in Panama, and in--in the Philippines was a coach of the
boxing team of the Army. So just before the war, I mean,
essentially that's what he was. He was--he was a scrappy,
tough boxing coach, and I think survived this ordeal just
through sheer--you know, just being--just tough as nails.
LAMB: Who's Mr.--or in this case, Captain Bert Bank.
Mr. SIDES: Captain Bert Bank--he's--he's from Tuscaloosa,
Alabama. He's the son of Russian immigrants, Russian Jews,
and he--ah, he's just a garrulous, fun-loving storyteller
who--who got caught in this conflict with the rest of these
characters. And he's still alive today, came to the reunion.
Good looking man. He's--what happened to him in this
prison--prison experience is that he--he went totally blind.
He--this was probably from vitamin B or other vitamin
deficiencies, but one day he was--he was working out in
the--out in the--on the--on the farm on this prison camp, and
he was supposed to be pulling weeds, but he was pulling up
the--the actual plants, the tomato plants and so forth, and
one of the guards came up and was going to give him a--a
clubbing and something happened. I guess the guard realized
that the--that the--the look on Bert Bank's face was pretty
vacant and he could--it was clear that he couldn't see what
he was doing, and from that day on, his--his eyesight got
progressively worse and he was moved inside to work--work
on other details, and he became totally blind. He couldn't
LAMB: Is he today?
Mr. SIDES: He couldn't see his hand in front of his face. After
he got back after the war, he--he--he underwent a vitamin
regimen of--of some sort and was able to restore about 50
percent of his eyesight. I--when I went to Tuscaloosa, he--I
rode in a car with him. He tried to drive from--from his office
to his home, and it was one of the scariest experiences I've
ever had. I said, `I--let--let me drive. Let me drive this time.'
And but--but--but still, I mean, just an--just an extraordinary
guy and somehow fakes his way through situations.
LAMB: You said that you worked on this for three years. How
much research and then how much writing?
Mr. SIDES: Two years of research and one year of writing.
LAMB: And whe--if we'd have followed you around for those
two years, how many different places did you go?
Mr. SIDES: That would be hard to say. I--I spent--I spent a
month in the Philippines, went back there with a bunch of
veterans from World War II and kind of saw it from their--from
their perspective. I went to Japan for three months. The rest
of the time, I just spent tooling around America looking for
these guys. Well, you know, once I found them and had
conversations with them on the telephone, I would go to their
The first interview was in Texas, a guy named Tommie
Thomas I in--I interviewed down there in Texas, and made
the mistake of renting a Japanese car--it was the only car
they had; it was a Mitsubishi--and--yeah, there's a picture of
him there. His wife came out of the house and looked at me,
and looked at the car, saw that it was a Japanese car, and
said something like, `The nerve.' And ultimately, Tommie
Thomas didn't--he didn't care. He didn't--he wasn't--he didn't
make a--a big point about it.
LAMB: You--you said that the Japanese Society underwrote
your trip to Japan?
Mr. SIDES: The Japan Society. It's a New York-based group
that tries to facilitate cultural understanding between Japan
and--and the United States. I was surprised that they
were--you know, they knew all about the book and I was a
little surprised that they would be as generous as they--as
they were, but I--I made it clear, and I think I make it clear in
the book, that I--I was trying to understand their point of
view, trying to understand the cultural factors that influenced
the--the--the Bataan Death March and their views of
prisoner--the--the prisoner would--prisoner of war status.
You know, there were a lot of kind guards. There were a lot of
instances of--of individual kindness that--that these prisoners
I talked to remembered. And--you know, this is not a book for
someone who wants to--someone who's a Japan basher is not
going to get much satis--much satisfaction from this book.
LAMB: So what did you learn, though, about writing a story,
and your next book?
Mr. SIDES: Well, I definitely learned about--or relearned all
over again the power of narrative. I mean, you--you know,
slow things down, talk about what's going on minute by
minute. Don't--I think I'm much better telling a story than I
am at analyzing a--a larger situation, writing kind of in an
I want to do narrative. In fact, my next book is going to be a
novel, a heavily researched novel very much like this but it will
be fiction instead of nonfiction, set in a cave--in the deepest
cave in the world down in southern Mexico, and some
incidents that happened down in this cave, based on
some--some tr--some true events.
LAMB: You've got a lot of endorsements. David Halberstam,
John Krakauer, Eric Larson, Iris Chang. Did you have a--a first
review that triggered everybody else's interest?
Mr. SIDES: No, not exactly. I mean, Halberstam was the first
one that came in and that was--that was really, really
wonderful. You know how these blurbs work. I mean, you just
send these things out cold and--and, you know, don't
know--I--I've never met David Halberstam. I've read many of
his books and was--was gratified to--to see that he--he
thought highly of the book. I think that--that was the first
one, and--and--and I guess that set the tone for
the--for--for the other ones. Iris Chang was--was another
important one to me. She had written a--a book about
Nanking that was, you know, highly thought of and--and very
controversial and did a lot, I think, to acquaint Americans with
the Japanese Imperial army of that day and some of
the--some of the atrocities that were perpetrated by the
LAMB: Where's this picture on the cover from?
Mr. SIDES: This picture is a picture that was taken by a Life
magazine correspondent named Carl Mydans, who--who did
a--a great story just after the raid took place. This--this
moment that he captured on film is the very moment that
they've crossed officially over into American lines, and those
are the Rangers. They've got big grins on their faces because
they've just pulled off this spectacularly successful raid.
They'd been up for 72 hours and they'd been popping
Benzedrine. Basically, the US Army was--was handing out
speed to the--to the Rangers, so they could get through
the--these long missions, and so the look on their faces is one
part that they're wired on--on amphetamines and one part
elation from knowing that they pulled this spectacular raid off.
LAMB: Hampton Sides has been our guest, and we're out of
time, unfortunately. The name of this book is "Ghost Soldiers:
The Forgotten Epic of World War II's Most Dramatic Mission."
Thank you very much.
Mr. SIDES: Thank you.
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