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5.0 out of 5 starsa war hero's story
Reviewed in the United States on August 1, 2018
thanks to steven trout for reintroducing this novel back into print in 2012.it too bad it flopped when published in 1930. john barkley gave me a better understanding of what training camp was like and how long it took to train soldiers in 1917,this training period is lacking in most historical ww1 books. barkley's war experience was different from the infantry,he still got into many bloody battles and he handle the war emotionally better than most.this book is among many written about ww1. but its a story that needs to be told of the horrors of war and the tremendous lost of life to the bungling of their leaders as seen thru the eyes of the privates.
5.0 out of 5 starsFascinating Book on the Everyday Life of a WW1 Soldier
Reviewed in the United States on August 18, 2019
Scarlet Fields is an outstanding book on WW1 giving you the everyday experiences of a soldier in combat. You get a true feeling for the vicious of the fighting and the sacrifices of so many. Most people have heard of Sgt. Alvin York, but few have heard of John Lewis Barkley whose actions were every bit as heroic as York's. If you have an interest in WW1 this is a must read.
Excellent account of WW1 and well written by Mr. Barkley many years ago. I really enjoyed that it was not "cleansed" of it's rough and now politically incorrect language. Written in 1920's slang and terminology Steven Trout does an excellent job footnoting the outdated terms with explanations along with other detailed explanations which helps the current reader understand Mr. Barley's lingo.
Recommend you skip the introduction by Steven Trout and read it at the end. The intro gives a narrative of the book and will spoil the events that unfold.
I can't believe how a previous reviewer could have given this book only one star, obviously they didn't read it.
5.0 out of 5 starsBeen there, done that, did not forget
Reviewed in the United States on February 10, 2014
A fascinating personal; memoir from someone who went as a naive youth to the war. I actually read the book a few years back with the only available copy on line from the U of Kansas Library. Original editions were $ 700 plus! Glad that it was reprinted. Have always been interested in the Great War and all aspects of it. It is one of those monumental historical screw ups where millions were moved around as no more than chess pieces with the "results" still affecting us today. By the time the book was written, 12 years had elapsed. Barkley had time to "digest" what he had seen and where he had been. Like all soldiers, I'm sure that he exaggerated certain things but nonetheless, the book rings true. One of the things that amazed me as I read the action he was awarded the medal for was its similarity to the action, twenty some years later that gave Audie Murphy his MOH. There are so many "Grand Strategy" books on war yet this little book brings it all home. I have read quite a few period reviews which, twelve years after the bloodbath paint Barkley as a cheerleader for war. I don't think I would describe it that way at all. These are the feelings of a young man who went for the adventure and found it. He was one of the lucky ones in that he could put it behind him and get on with his life. Those of us who read war literature tend to read books by those who write as part of a catharsis. This is quite different. This story is the story of our brothers, uncles, fathers and grandfathers who went, did it in places as different as the Marne and Fallujah, came home, put it behind them, sweated the occasional nightmare, got on with their lives and never talked about it. I know for me the question always comes down to, "How would I have handled it?"
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat memoir of a great American
Reviewed in the United States on July 18, 2020
John Barkley and the men and women with him lived and fought through a piece of history that we should all remember. What a gift that he kept notes and went to the trouble to have his story put into print. Thank you Corporal Barkley. Rest in peace
A wonderfully written description of a soldiers personal view of WW 1. Recommended reading especially for those who have never heard of John Barkley. He deserves to be remembered alongside Sgt Alvin York.
This is a very interesting account of a young American soldier's participation in the First World War. It is refreshing because there is not a lot of philosophizing about what was right and what was wrong about the war; he just recounts his experiences and those of his comrades. It is amazing that one soldier went through so much, even assuming there is a little embellishment of the facts. The University Press of Kansas produced an excellent product: hardbound copy, nice typeface and paper, reasonable price.