This memoir of A.E. Hotchner's World War II experiences explores a different side of the troubled war years. Hotchner, who grew up in St Louis, was a rookie lawyer, fresh out of Washington University Law School whenthe USA declared war. Like many others of his generation, he aspired to serve his country. He tried to enter the naval flyer programme and the navy V-12 programme, but was rejected by both due to failed physicals (poor depth perception and flat feet). Eventually though, he was able to enlist in the air force branch of the United States Army. There he served with the Anti-Submarine Command, emerging four years later as a major. Although it was Hotchner's goal to experience combat while he was in the service, that goal was never realized. Because of his excellent writing skills, he was almost immediately ordered to write and perform in a play and to create a movie about the role of the air force in attacking enemy submarines. Much to his amazement, his work proved successful, paving his direction for the rest of his war years. Each time Hotchner thought he would be able to participate more directly in the war effort, fate and military bureaucracy thwarted him. Through a series of misadventures, he instead wrote and performed in a touring musical, produced propaganda films and took on a variety of ther assignments that kept him from fighting in either theatre of operations. The author recounts the events of those years, sharing the encounters he had with many unforgettable characters, including a footsore and sentimental Clark Gable adn an inept Alan Ladd - best known as the star of ""Shane"". Hotchner recounts that Ladd did such a poor job reading the narration for Hotchner's film ""Atlantic Mission"" that he had to fire him. He also includes interesting discussions of other well-known people, such as Tennessee Williams, whom he knew at Washington University, and Dorothy Parker, whom he met in New York after the war. Although much of Hotchner's memoir is light-hearted, it also provides a unique look at the impact of the war on everyday life in the USA.
A. E. Hotchner is the author of a dozen books, including popular biographies of Ernest Hemingway, Doris Day, and Sophia Loren. He is perhaps best known for Papa Hemingway: A Personal Memoir. Along with his writing career, Hotchner is business partner with Paul Newman. All of the profits they receive from their ""Newman's Own' products are contributed to charities. Hotchner lives in Westport, Connecticut.