The Execution of Private Slovik (Paperback)

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Seventy-Five Years Ago, the Last American Soldier Who Paid the Ultimate Price for Desertion
A New Edition of the Acclaimed Investigative Story 

In August 1944, a drab convoy of raw recruits destined to join the 28th Division lumbered along a windy French road strewn with dead animals, shattered bodies, and burning equipment. One of those draftees was 24-year-old Eddie Slovik, a petty thief from Detroit who had spent his youth in and out of reform schools. Eddie's luck had recently changed, however, with a steady factory job and marriage to a beautiful girl who gave Eddie hope and security for the first time in his life. But their honeymoon—like that of many other wartime newlyweds—was interrupted by the call to service. The convoy came under intense artillery fire, and in the confusion Slovik became separated from his unit. He joined a Canadian outfit and traveled with them before finally reporting to the 28th Division. He carried a rifle but no ammunition. He was assigned to a platoon but walked away. Refusing to kill, Slovik was arrested, court martialed, and condemned to death. Hundreds of soldiers were tried for desertion during World War II and sentenced to die, but only Eddie Slovik paid the price, supposedly as a deterrent, yet word of the nature of his death was never officially released to the public.

In The Execution of Private Slovik, considered to be among the best investigative books ever written, journalist and author William Bradford Huie reconstructs this entire story with the full cooperation of the U.S. Army in order to find out what made Eddie Slovik an unlikely pacifist and why the affair was covered up. Through interviews with those who knew him and the hundreds of letters to his wife, the author reveals a hard luck depression-era kid who when faced with the reality of war realized that he simply could not kill another human being. Throughout, Huie reveals how Eddie Slovik's death has much to tell us about life and duty to one's country. This edition marking the seventy-fifth anniversary of the sentence being carried out, contains a new introduction by the author's daughter.

Praise for The Execution of Private Slovik:

"In the hands of an expert, who writes both passionately and with an almost transparent effort to be fair to all concerned, the story raises questions to which our wisest leaders still lack satisfying answers."
New York Times

"A remarkable story reported by a master."—W. E. B. Griffin 

"Recommended reading for all military historians."—Military Affairs

"Tremendously moving."—The Atlantic

"It is very likely that William Bradford Huie's The Execution of Private Slovikwill long survive the official histories of World War II. It is a big book and Mr. Huie deserves some sort of rich reward for this unburying of an incident of the war which must disturb us all. For Slovik was more than a 'coward.' He not only did not want to die but he did not want to kill, and one must look far in literature for a figure so moving as Private Slovik wandering about Europe not with bullets in his cartridge belt but with writing paper. The question is not 'How might we improve military procedures?' The question is, 'What has happened to love in our world when he who would rather love than kill must die?'"—from a letter to the New York Times

About the Author

William Bradford Huie (1910–1986) was one of the most successful American journalists and authors of the twentieth century. Huie spent five decades chronicling the essential conflicts of his time. He landed on Omaha Beach on D-day, 1944, and the stories he wrote during the Civil Rights Movement captured the world’s attention and continue to be studied and referenced today. He is the author of more than twenty books that together have sold over thirty million copies, and six, including The Execution of Private Slovik, were made into films.

Praise For…

"In the hands of an expert, who writes both passionately and with an almost transparent effort to be fair to all concerned, the story raises questions to which our wisest leaders still lack satisfying answers."—New York Times

"Recommended reading for all military historians."—Military Affairs

"Tremendously moving."—The Atlantic

Product Details
ISBN: 9781594163371
ISBN-10: 1594163375
Publisher: Westholme Publishing
Publication Date: January 31st, 2020
Pages: 248
Language: English

How to read more
( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.


And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.


15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.


50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.


Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.


Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.


Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.



Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.


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