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Humphrey's book due out in July

The long-awaited Robert Humphrey book, "Once Upon A Time In War: The 99th Division in World War II," has an expected publication date of July.

Humphrey said he plans to have books available for sale and will sign them at the Kansas City convention in August.

From the jacket cover:

"Once Upon A Time In War" presents a stirring, intimate view of combat from the perspective of the ordinary soldier. For the GI on the European front during World War II, a lifetime of terror and misery was crammed into hours and days of infantry combat. Such was the case for frontline soldiers of the 99th Infantry Division, who repelled the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge and fought some of the most dramatic engagements of the war.

This book follows these young men from the onset of war, through basic and advanced training in Texas, to the cold, dreary battlefields of the Ardennes. After surviving the Battle of the Bulge, albeit with severe losses, the 99th went on the offensive, crossed the Rhine River at Remagen, and then participated in trapping a larger German force in the Ruhr pocket. Without a day's rest, the division joined Patton's Third Army and ended the war in southern Bavaria. In the months following the armistice, the army gradually released these GIs from active duty, and they went home to an emotional reunion with their families who had hoped and prayed they would return safely.

Robert E. Humphrey conducted interviews with 350 99th veterans, focusing on their personal experiences and emotional responses. Discovering that most 99ers had died without telling their stories, he set about to preserve their individual histories by coaxing recollections from the survivors. The memories recounted here, many of them painful and long repressed, are remarkable for their vivid detail. Humphrey was often times the first person to ask these soldiers about army life and combat engagements. Seamlessly woven to create a collective biography, this narrative offers a gritty reenactment of World War II from the enlisted man's point of view, revealing how he coped with the physical and psychological hardships of infantry combat.

"Once Upon A Time In War" recounts conditions endured by the average GI who fought in Europe. For readers captivated by "Band of Brothers," this book offers a tragic, sometimes heartbreaking, but always compelling read.

Robert E. Humphrey is a Professor of Communication Studies at California State University, Sacramento. He has published numerous articles in The Checkerboard, the 99th Division's newspaper, and is author of "Children of Fantasy: The First Rebels of Greenwich Village."

Humphrey's book will sell for $24.95 and contains 21 photos and 12 maps.

He asks that those planning to purchase books at the Kansas City convention, contact him at 2244 Swarthmore Dr., Sacramento CA 95825, call 916-920-8878, or e-mail humphreyre@csus.edu.

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