LINCOLN – People across Nebraska are encouraged to read the work of a Nebraskan – and then talk about it with their friends and neighbors. “All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor’s Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor” (William Morrow, 2016) by Donald Stratton, with Ken Gire is the 2020 One Book One Nebraska selection.

“All the Gallant Men” is the first memoir by a USS Arizona survivor. Born in Inavale and raised in Red Cloud, Stratton joined the Navy in 1940 at the age of 18. On Dec. 7, 1941 he was a seaman first class on the USS Arizona. Stratton’s account of the Pearl Harbor attack is 75 years in the making, as he finally shares his personal tale at the age of 94. His story is one of survival and determination as he recovered from the severe injuries he sustained in the attack, and ultimately re-enlisted to fight again.

The Nebraska Center for the Book selection committee found “All the Gallant Men” to be a valuable part of our understanding of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Because it was written by a survivor of the attack on the USS Arizona, the book includes details that most readers have never encountered in either history classes or through other books about the subject. The book is not only an integral part of our knowledge of Dec. 7, 1941, but it is also well written. As we approach the 80th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, the committee felt that it was a timely choice for Nebraskans to read this account written by one of their own.

Libraries across Nebraska will join other literary and cultural organizations in planning book discussions, activities, and events that will encourage Nebraskans to read and discuss this book. Support materials to assist with local reading/discussion activities will be available after Jan. 1, at http://onebook.nebraska.gov. Updates and activity listings will be posted on the One Book One Nebraska Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/onebookonenebraska.

The One Book One Nebraska reading program will mark its 16th year in 2020, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book. The program encourages Nebraskans across the state to read and discuss one book, chosen from books written by Nebraska authors or that have a Nebraska theme or setting. The Nebraska Center for the Book invites recommendations for One Book One Nebraska book selection year-round at http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/obon-nomination.asp.

One Book One Nebraska is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, and the Nebraska Library Commission. The Nebraska Center for the Book brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at and supported by the Nebraska Library Commission.

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