Art of Manliness Podcast #44: Voices of the Pacific with Marcus Brotherton (+Book Giveaway)

by Brett on April 23, 2013 · 37 comments

in Podcast

Welcome back to another episode of the Art of Manliness podcast!

In this edition, we talk to author Marcus Brotherton about his new book, co-authored with Adam Makos: Voices of the Pacific: Untold Stories of the Marine Heroes of WWIIMarcus has written over 25 books, including New York Times bestseller We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories from the Band of BrothersIn addition to writing books, Marcus regularly writes at his blog, Men Who Lead Well, as well as at The Art of Manliness.

Highlights from today’s show:

  • The three factors that made the battles in the Pacific some of the most atrocious of WWII.
  • The average age of Marines fighting in the Pacific.
  • Lessons that today’s man can take from the men who fought in the Pacific.
  • Much more!

Listen to the podcast!

Voices of the Pacific Giveaway

A couple of weeks ago we gave away a copy of Voices of the Pacific in conjunction with an article from Marcus. If you weren’t lucky enough to win last time, here’s another chance. We’re giving away one more copy of Voices of the Pacific to one lucky Art of Manliness podcast listener. And this isn’t just any old copy of Voices of the Pacific. The inside has been signed by the authors as well as three of the WWII veterans interviewed in the book. Here’s your chance to own a piece of history!


To enter, simply leave a comment below sharing your thoughts about what you heard on the podcast.

Deadline to enter is Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 5PM CDT. We’ll then draw a random comment to select the winner.

1 Larry L. April 23, 2013 at 1:41 pm

My wife’s grandfather made it back from Iwo Jima. He was an outstanding man who NEVER spoke of his time in the pacific. I hope I win so I can read about that he might have went through. Hard to believe that these guys were 16-17 yoa.

2 Charles April 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm

I’m really interested in this book. My grandfather was in Korea, and I’ve always felt like in missing out on the trauma of war, I also missed out on something good as well – something that would have made me a better man. Definitely a subject and book that deserves the publicity of this podcast.

3 Josh B. April 23, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Mr. Brotherton, thank you for giving a voice to these soon-to-be-lost stories. As discussed in the podcast, WWII vets definitely had their fair share of PTSD (“shell-shock” as used then), and because of this many stories and personal experiences went to the grave with veterans.

My uncle opened up to me in the ’80s when I was a young boy. I was enthralled by his stories of chaos, confusion, fire, kamikazes, and Japanese fanaticism. Unfortunately, I was too young to grasp the full weight of his experiences and now wish he had told his story publicly.

With every new book written about “The Greatest Generation,” we further memorialize the unbelievable sacrifices made by these young men. I look forward to reading VOICES OF THE PACIFIC, not just for the new perspectives brought to this topic that I have studied in depth, but for another dose of “suck it up, it could be so much worse,” which I could use now.

4 Peter S. April 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm

I am a WWII buff and I particularly enjoy the first-person accounts of the war, unfiltered by so-called historians. It’s open, honest accounting of what happened there, about how men adapt to their situations and overcome in order to survive. Another book I can heartily recommend in this vein is Semper Fi, Mac, by Henry Berry.
Both my biological grandfathers as well as my adopted grandfather served in WWII, and they were of that generation who did not discuss what happened over there. So these books are a great way to connect with those who went before and sacrificed so much for our freedoms. I have a packet of Iwo Jima sand that has a place of honor on my desk at work so that I do not forget those who served and continue to serve. Thank you veterans out there across the land, young and old, for your service and dedication.

5 David Y April 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm

I bought the book for my dad who was there. I have read parts of it. I thought it was excellent.

Like many combat vets, dad does not talk much about the fighting and dying he experienced with the 1st Marines in WW2.

I want to thank Adam and Marcus for getting the fifteen Marines to tell their stories.

6 Noah A April 23, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Thanks for a great podcast. I know my grandfather served in the Pacific and was very tight lipped about what he saw and did. I appreciate hearing about these brave men and how they served.

7 Lance April 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I sure am glad for those who sacrifice so much for others!

8 STW April 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm

My dad spent much of the war in the Pacific with the USMC. These were his comrades if not in fact then in spirit.

9 ZZ April 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm

The depiction of Japan in this interview as a barbaric “pre-modern” society that doesn’t comprehend compassion is unnecessarily racist. First, I don’t see how a pre-modern society can build airplanes and battleships. Second, rather than just pinning all acts of cruelty on blind devotion to the emperor, one could look at the full range of cultural differences between Asia and North America, such as a group-centered culture rather than individualistic culture and a society that values tenacity over comfort.

10 Dan April 23, 2013 at 7:06 pm

This was the first podcast I tuned into. I think these ideals really go along with the thoughts on your website. The author talked about how boys were shedding youth in the face of adversity to defend their country. Despite inhumane conditions they fought and then came back as men, not returning to the youth they left behind, even though by today’s standards they would be of an age to.

11 Jim April 23, 2013 at 9:30 pm

I’m 24 years old and have recently begun to critically examine what is to be male and how to define masculinity. These past 9 months or so have been quite a torrent of reading and thinking, formulating my thoughts and where I stand. After recently watching the video of Brett McKay talking about the “Menaissance”, he essentially summarized everything I had been thinking and angry about. He gave a voice to the frustrations that I have been feeling concerning the representation of and expectations for men in society. A voice for what I feel is a suppression of masculinity in favor of a dumbed-down, profitable and disrespectful representation of Man.

In essence, this website has been a god-send. The blog and podcast have been incredibly enlightening for my understanding of masculinity and the role of men in a modern, feminist (detrimentally?) society. My childhood was not blessed with the wisdom of older males in the form of grandfathers (especially such courageous ones), so this episode in particular was enriching and I am eager to reading the book .

12 James K April 23, 2013 at 11:12 pm

The last book he mentioned about the nazis doing the boxes matches seems interesting, love to hear about that a bit more.

13 Jake April 24, 2013 at 5:49 am

Truly thought provoking…

14 Kevin April 24, 2013 at 6:26 am

As a former Marine it makes me proud to know that I wore the same uniform as these men. It is their actions that helped form the Marine corps legacy of being the greatest fighting force on the planet. Every American should know what they did, They sacrificed for our freedom.

15 Michael V April 24, 2013 at 7:07 am

Love this!
My grandfather was a young man in the Pacific and I just think it would be great to read this and relate some of it to the challenges he faced.

16 Mike Barden April 24, 2013 at 7:31 am

The Greatest Generation, known as that for reasons well explained here! Thanks so much for sharing, the next generation needs to know our true life heros!

17 Phil April 24, 2013 at 8:21 am

I love historical books that dig beyond the normal scholarly research to get to the personal level of the past. These great Americans personal stories are being lost in an age where you can look up in a blog what a strnger ate for breakfast last year. Its truely a shame.

18 Tanner W April 24, 2013 at 10:38 am

Incredible hearing about the men who fought in the Pacific. Would love to read the book to learn more!

19 btw April 24, 2013 at 11:29 am

Great podcast! thanks for the opportunity to hear the author. I am constantly amazed at what a truly great generation we had in this country. My hope is that our country can revisit & re-acquaint our youth with the courage and values this generation had.
To face the constant assaults in the pacific fighting is awe inspiring.

20 jerry April 24, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Semper Fidelis

21 Seth Ballard April 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm

It is important to get these stories out and share the experiences that this generation so great. The Pacific was a campaign that we do not hear enough about and these stories sound like a treasure for those looking to see just how it really was from the people who were really there. Great job with this!

22 Sonny April 24, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Its always enlightening hearing about the things veterans experience in war and of the sacrifices made. I don’t come from a military family but I always appreciate hearing of the experiences from those who have been though it.

23 Zane April 24, 2013 at 5:17 pm

It would be nice to read more material from that era, so I can get a better perspective of the kind of person that my grandfather was.

24 Jonathan April 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Loved this! My departed grandfather fought in the Pacific theater and these stories make me look at some of the pictures we found of his in a different way.

25 Mark April 24, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Always nice to reflect back on the bygone era and see how much has changed, how much hasn’t, and much is yet to be done…

26 Ian Vissers April 24, 2013 at 9:13 pm

As an active duty Marine, I love to hear about the stories of the Marines who have gone before me.

27 Keith April 25, 2013 at 8:57 am

I’ve never really thought about the difference between how WWII soldiers coped versus veterans of later conflicts (especially Vietnam). We think about them so differently, but I wonder just how different their experiences returning to civilian life were.

28 Elliott April 25, 2013 at 10:28 am

Really enlightening interview. My grandpa joined up in the Army during WW2 and made it a career. I heard more about his time in Korea as head cook than I did about his time in WW2 though. Always interesting to hear first hand accounts rather than just what historians tell us.

29 Jeremiah D. April 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm

My grandfather was in the WWII and was in the Pacific theater. It was something that he never spoke about. Interviews like this help me gain a greater appreciation for him and men like him who were willing to fight for our country. Thank you!

30 Matthew April 25, 2013 at 8:30 pm

My grandfather was in WWII, but I heard most of the stories from my dad rather than from him directly. Though I still love those stories, it really is a different experience to hear these interviews from a first-person perspective. Thanks!

31 Steve K. April 26, 2013 at 7:33 am

This was my first AOM podcast and I really enjoyed it. I have now subscribed and have added it to my list of regulars (and I’m pretty picky about what I listen to because there are so many good podcasts.)

I enjoyed this podcast because I really enjoy stories from the generations before us, especially told by them. I know they were told secondhand by the author in this podcast, but it’s still really interesting.

I liked the question about PTSD and the way we don’t hear about it from soldiers of WWII like we hear about today. I thought the ideas about the support systems of family and friends and the way our culture has changed was interesting. I personally don’t know enough to form any concrete ideas or make any judgements, but I think it’s important to discuss.

I also found the mention of the culture of the Japanese and the fact that they made for a different kind of enemy interesting. It reminds me of some of the situations that our soldiers are dealing with today with extremists in the Middle East.

Great podcast! Thanks for sharing about this book with us.

32 Adam F. Gossmann April 26, 2013 at 11:30 am

The story regarding Jim Young and Cpl Barter is one ive heard from a friend, who is a marine that served in Iraq. Sadly, the story of one buddy, replacing another in a mission, and the buddy dies is not uncommon. These stories need to be told however, which im glad this podcast and book do that as it keeps those men’s sacrifies and memory alive. This book, helmet for my pillow, band of brothers, and so many others really tell the story. They fought for each other, not their commander, not their country. They served for their country, they fought for each other, true brotherhood. I also enjoyed the brief analysis from the interviewer regarding why European front was so much different than Pacific front, using Bastogne versus Peiliu.

33 Bryan April 26, 2013 at 11:52 am

I visited the Marine museum at Quantico last year and met a guy who had fought on Iwo Jima. He said that of his squad that originally went on shore, he was the only one not killed or wounded. I shook his hand and thanked him for his service, but somehow felt that I couldn’t really thank him sufficiently, but also sensed that that probably never mattered to him.

34 Michael April 27, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Amazing bravery. Looking forward to reading that book.

35 David Gillespie April 29, 2013 at 11:30 am

I am always inspired by those who gave so much.

36 Daniel Ruiz April 29, 2013 at 8:25 pm

I am thankful for the men and women who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice themselves for the sake of our nation.

37 Lucas França April 29, 2013 at 10:36 pm

It was a great podcast. I really love to learn more about the untold stories that changed the world and this book seems to tell us some good ones.

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