The World War II Exploits of Darby's Ranger and Combat Photographer Phil Stern

liesl bradner's

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Prior to Phil Stern's death on December 13, 2014, his original, unfinished, tattered manuscript was discovered, stashed away in an old folio box in his cluttered Hollywood bungalow. Although best remembered for his iconic images of James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and JFK's inauguration, his remarkable service during World War II as a combat photographer has remained unknown. Until now.

Stern's catchy 1940s lingo, honest and intimate observations, and humor transport the reader 70 years back in time to experience the key battles of the Mediterranean Theater. With his lens and pen, Stern introduces readers to the hardscrabble Rangers, the desert oases of Morocco and Algeria, and the muddied beaches of Mussolini's Italy. Snapdragon is an artifact of that time, told not by a man reminiscing in his twilight years, but by a young soldier fresh from the battlefields.

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Liesl Bradner is a Los Angeles-based journalist. The Pennsylvania native graduated from Florida State University and studied English literature at the University of Cambridge. She's currently a regular contributing writer for the Los Angeles Times and Truthdig covering art, books, entertainment and history.

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