Sunday, March 11, 2012

American Guerrilla in the Philippines (1945) by Ira Wolfert

"This is the story of Lt. Iliff David Richardson, USNR. The story explains, for one thing, the role of the people in the guerrilla operations and what they did to help. Richardson was the executive officer of PT 34. After it was sunk by the Japanese, Richardson and a dozen fellow Americans attempted to sail a native outrigger to Australia, but the boat was sunk in a storm. He eventually joined the Philippine guerrilla forces, setting up a radio network to keep the various bands in touch with each other and Allied forces in Australia. After the liberation of the Philippines, Richardson dictated his memoirs to war correspondent Ira Wolfert, who published them in 1945 as this book." Actually, it's a great how to manual for conducting a guerrilla war! It seems this book is currently out of print.

This is another one of our recent thrift shop finds, paying less than $1. This is the original 1945 edition. It's a bit beaten up and foxed, but it's always fun holding and reading an original copy of an old book. Many years (decades!) ago, I put myself through college selling used and antique books at our family's antique store. My grandfather sold 19th century oil paintings (usually several thousand dollars each), my grandmother and step-mother sold antique jewelery, my dad sold old lithographs and other prints, and I sold old photos, old books, and 1950s porcelain kitchen tables that I restored. Pretty cool, eh! Thankfully before he died last year, my dad passed on his love for art and antiques to my son. He also passed on the fine art of haggling, which I don't like to do, but that is another story!

In 1950, the book was turned into a movie starting Tyrone Power, written by Wolfert, and directed by Fritz Lang. I've never seen the movie, so it's on my list to watch. You can read more about it at its wikipedia page. It's IMDb page is fairly skimpy.

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