A Private War: American Code in the Belgian Congo
By: Robert Laxalt (author)Paperback
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When World War II began, Nevada writer Robert Laxalt was an undergraduate in college. Laxalt was eager to serve his country but was disqualified from military service because of a childhood illness that left him with a heart murmur. Frustrated in his attempts to enlist and shunned by his Nevada neighbors as a draft dodger, Laxalt used his family's political connections to get appointed as a code officer at the U.S. legation in the Belgian Congo. This vivid memoir recalls Laxalt's service in a remote jungle outpost where a secret war was being fought for control of the world's future. Deep in the Congo lay a mine that produced a little known substance called uranium, and for reasons that no one then understood, the Allies and the Germans were struggling ferociously to control the mine and its ore. But Laxalt's war was an inward one as well. Embittered by his country's rejection of his wish to serve it, Laxalt left the U.S. hoping never to see it again, but his tenure in the tropics helped him realize what his country meant to him.
Robert Laxalt is the author of sixteen books, including his most recent work of fiction, Time of the Rabies (see page 28). Recently, the readers of the San Francisco Chronicle selected his first book, Sweet Promised Land, as one of the 100 best nonfiction works of the West published in the twentieth century.
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- ID: 9780874173246
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