Thursday, August 22, 2013

Code Talker

This book is quite similar to the fictional "code talkers" juvenile book. Some of the key events were told in both books. However, as a true story, this is much more believable. It doesn't go overboard in the melodrama and name dropping as the fictional account does. However, it appears the fictional account was fairly well done. This is also a more complete biography. It starts with the battle to keep your attention up, then goes back to his birth, continuing to boarding school, the war, and his post war life.

Initially, Indian boarding school attempted to take the Indian out of the people. However, when World War II broke out, those that were bilingual in Navajo and English became indispensable to the war cause. However, after the war experience, they ended up willingly adopting more of the "white man's" customs.

It is amazing that the code talkers managed to keep their code secret during the war - and for a couple decades after it. If the Japanese had got even one to spill details of the code, it could have easily been cracked. (However, could they have been able to recognize the differences between the different words?)

This book is a war story wrapped in a native American History, wrapped in a memoir. At times it can seem a little self-congratulatory. However, it is well done. (And he is the last of the "original" code-talkers around, so his story is the one that gets told.)

No comments:

Post a Comment