By, For, and About Marines is a collection of quotes celebrating the dedication, loyalty, and self-sacrifice of members of the United States Marine Corps.
Sidney Atwater’s inspiring collection of quotes By, For, and About Marines is designed to honor and encourage fellow marines.
Atwater, who retired from active duty in 1998, decided to research the history of the United States Marine Corps in the aftermath of leaving it. The result of this research was this collection of thoughts “by, for, and about” that military branch, including quotes, speeches, and biographical sketches.
The entries span from the creation of the Corps in 1775 into today; they are a diverse gathering, and are grouped into seven chronological sections for context. “Stand fast. We’re staying here. Marines don’t retreat” is pulled from Iwo Jima; later, a Korean War veteran reflects that his service taught him to “always be on time and always be ready to do what is required when you get there.”
Additional contextualization comes from references to Atwater’s own period of service, and from contemporary tie-ins to world events. While most of the quotes in this substantial gathering are straightforward offerings, a few do stand from the rest because of how they are embellished and presented. The prose is strong and clear, conveying admiration and respect, and adjusting in tone reflect the spirits of the accompanying quotes. Atwater’s personal explanations are particularly meaningful, even if they represent a “non-professional interpretation and understanding of Marine history.”
The intended audience is made apparent through the book’s heavy doses of inside jokes, technical jargon, and sense of community. Still, its research is somewhat limited by Atwater’s individual perspectives and points of interest; these are apparent as he organizes lines from magazines, texts, and letters. The contextual notes become necessary for navigating and approaching the quotes, which would be somewhat inaccessible without them.
Further, though the book’s sections take their direction from major events in the history of the United States Marine Corps, including wars that its members participated in, the last section is a hodgepodge, incorporating among its quotes trivia and other information that come without a specific sense of time. And within the sections, the quotes are not beholden to chronology; they jumps between points in time, muddling the book’s sense of cause and effect. This is somewhat mitigated by a late assertion that “courage, honor, commitment, and Esprit de corps” are the true main groupings of the book.
Aiming to bolster marines’ drive toward self-improvement, By, For, and About Marines is a collection of quotes celebrating the dedication, loyalty, and self-sacrifice of members of the United States Marine Corps.
John M. Murray
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