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review 2018-03-26 00:04
CODE TALKER: THE FIRST AND ONLY MEMOIR....By Chester Nez, Judith Schiess Avila
Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII - Judith Schiess Avila,Chester Nez

Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII

Chester Nez, Judith Schiess Avila

Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Berkley (first published January 1st 2011)
ISBN:  0425247856 (ISBN13: 9780425247853) 
also available in hardcover, Kindle, Audible Audio, and Audio CD
 
Reading Chester Nez's impression of his early life and military experience was a wonder read. There are books about the Navajo Code Talkers, as well as movies, but this is the only memoir. Using code talkers were kept confidential and top secret for quite a while.
 
A lot of military terms and such were used throughout the book. This is an important part of the book, but not being military, I struggled and sometimes skimmed these parts of the book. I was definitely more interested in Nez's personal side than the actual military tactic specifics.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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review 2015-12-08 00:00
Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII
Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII - David Colacci,Chester Nez,Judith Schiess Avila The co-author did a wonderful job of capturing Nez's voice. It felt like sitting and listening to someone tell stories, but with footnotes for context.

I loved the Navajo cultural aspects, what Nez's life was like growing up, the ceremonies he went to, how he took that with him to war. Indeed, I would have liked more on that, and less war, but appreciated the details we got. It was also pretty political, outlining the wrongs done to the Navajo in a matter of fact way.

The Pacific Theatre took up the bulk of the book, which was fair as that's what most people are here for, and the author did a good job of setting up context for what was going on. It worked to follow the story, but was from the PoV of a marine at the time. Which makes me interested in reading more about it from a broader perspective. The battles and military life were very well written though, and gave a strong impression of what it was like to life through that.

I probably would have liked a bit more of the code, though the author gave a good explanation of how it worked. I'm not sure how good at Navajo the audiobook reader was, but it was really cool to hear in any case.

Fascinating read all around.
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review 2014-07-16 04:48
Everone must read this book
Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII - Chester Nez,Judith Schiess Avila,David Colacci

Even if you aren't a history buff, you should take the time to read this book. This book is a memoir not a history. It captures the memories of one of the original 29 Navajo Codetalkers from his earliest memories of his life herding sheep with his family in New Mexico, through service in WWII as one of the developers and first users of the Navajo code in battle and then through his post war life.

 

Narrator David Colacci did an excellent job, especially when it came to the pronunciation of Navajo words and other place names.

 

The audio version also includes an interview with Chester Nez. I found it very disappointing. First, the interviewer did not do his homework and asked questions that already been well covered the book I had just finished reading. Second, the audio connection was not clear and Mr. Nez could not be heard clearly on the tape. This was truly disappointing since it was probably one of the last interviews with Mr. Nez, who died in June, 2014. I turned it off  before it was over. The best part of the interview was when Mr. Nez was asked to give an example the Navajo code; he repeated the first message he ever transmitted.

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text 2014-07-10 20:36
Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII - Chester Nez,Judith Schiess Avila,David Colacci
Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries That Ignited the Space Age (MP3 Book) - Matthew Brzezinski

Usually the Audible Daily deals leave me cold but over the past couple of days I have picked up two titles that I probably would not have used my credits to obtain.

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review 2014-06-05 21:25
Veterans’ Honor Song
Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII - Judith Schiess Avila,Chester Nez

 

 

 

 

I read this book a while back, but I'm reviewing it now in his honor. The author, the last of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers, died yesterday. Before I read this book, I'd heard of him and the work this group of Marines did, but I had no understanding of the danger they endured.  

 

 

 

The book not only tells of the development of the code, and the battles in which it was used, but shares the author’s life growing up on the Navajo reservation, and his life after the war. His humor, humility and wisdom make this worth reading. I’m not a war buff. That’s not why I read it. This is a human story that includes a war.

 

 

 

The author doesn’t make himself into a hero, though many people would say he was one, and he doesn’t glorify war or his part in it. His account of war tells of his friendships with his fellow code talkers, and shows compassionate awareness of the indigenous people of the Pacific islands where major WWII battles took place, destroying their homelands. For a reader not acquainted with Navajo culture and who has never heard that difficult language spoken, it’s still accessible, though if you have some familiarity with both the book will mean even more. I was the only member of my book club with that background when we read it, and all of us liked this book, and felt that in reading it we had met a man worth knowing.

 

 

 

Honor his memory and that of all the Code Talkers. Read this book.

 

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