Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe

MISSION                                                           ROBERT MATZEN

MISSION: JIMMY STEWART AND THE FIGHT FOR EUROPE [GoodKnight Books, October 24, 2016] provides the first in-depth look at the military career of Hollywood actor James M. Stewart, beginning with his family “mission” passed on from his grandfather (a Civil War hero) and father (who served in World War I) that military service in time of war was mandatory for the Stewarts. Jim tailored his life to this eventual outcome, learning to be a pilot so he could serve as an aviator in the war.

MISSION describes Stewart’s childhood, college years at Princeton, Broadway career, and meteoric rise to Academy Award-winning actor in Hollywood. People today can’t imagine that Stewart was a ladies’ man, but he had a reputation as one of the most active bachelors in Hollywood, with a list of lovers that includes the A-list of female movie stars.

In 1941, before America entered World War II, Jim was drafted into the Army and gleefully left Hollywood behind to fulfill that family mission. What happened to him in the service has never been covered in detail because he refused to talk about his experiences afterward. MISSION begins and ends with production of the first film Stewart made after returning from the war: It's a Wonderful Life, which in December 2016 will celebrate its 70th anniversary.

MISSION also includes the stories of three other supporting characters, a radio man who flew with Stewart, a German civilian girl, and the German general in charge of fighter aircraft. They provide perspective on what Stewart was attempting to do and why.
 

PAT'S REVIEW


This is a very good book not just about his life and how he got into show business but also how he felt a need to serve. To actually do something during the war, not just be in a uniform selling bonds. Once you get past the early part of his career that leads up to the war and him joining and becoming a pilot. You are then taken through his struggles to actually get into the air and actually fight. You met his crew and are given a first-hand account of Jimmy Stewart their missions. To me it seemed he had more problems with the war department than with anything. After the war not looking like the young man he was before because of the stress of flying he ended up back at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania wondering if he would ever get an acting job again when he got a call from Frank Capra about a roll. He took it and now we see him every Christmas in “It’s a Wonderful Life”. There is a lot of information in this book and most of it has nothing to do with his acting career. There is his friendship with Henry Fonda, and his marriage, but the real meat of this book is his flying during WWII. A very good book. I got this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com           



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