- Tapa blanda: 368 páginas
- Editor: Random House Inc; Edición: Reprint (14 de abril de 2015)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0812981650
- ISBN-13: 978-0812981650
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº842.696 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
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Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 14 abr 2015
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"I have to confess--my love of elephants made me apprehensive to review a book about their role in World War II. But as soon as I began to read Elephant Company, I realized that not only was my heart safe, but that this book is about far more than just the war, or even elephants. This is the story of friendship, loyalty and breathtaking bravery that transcends species. . . . [Vicki] Croke is a natural storyteller. . . . Elephant Company is nothing less than a sweeping tale, masterfully written."--Sara Gruen, The New York Times Book Review"Splendid . . . Blending biography, history, and wildlife biology, [Vicki Constantine] Croke's story is an often moving account of [Billy] Williams, who earned the sobriquet 'Elephant Bill, ' and his unusual bond with the largest land mammals on earth."--The Boston Globe
"Some of the biggest heroes of World War II were even bigger than you thought. . . . You may never call the lion the king of the jungle again."--New York Post "Elephant Company is as powerful and big-hearted as the animals of its title. Billy Williams is an extraordinary character, a real-life reverse Tarzan raised in civilization who finds wisdom and his true self living among jungle beasts. Vicki Constantine Croke delivers an exciting tale of this elephant whisperer-cum-war hero, while beautifully reminding us of the enduring bonds between animals and humans."--Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Lost in Shangri-La and Frozen in Time "The true-life heroics of Elephant Company during World War II highlight how animals and humans together can achieve extraordinary things. Croke's evocative writing and deep understanding of the animal-human bond bring vividly to life Elephant Bill's great passion and almost mystical connection with his magnificent beasts. This is a wonderful read."--Elizabeth Letts, author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion "A spellbinding, true story of elephantine and human courage, set in one of the Earth's most exotic jungles during the Second World War, Elephant Company is a triumph that will make you cheer!"--Sy Montgomery, author of The Good Good Pig and Journey of the Pink Dolphins From the Hardcover edition.
Reseña del editor
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
The remarkable story of James Howard “Billy” Williams, whose uncanny rapport with the world’s largest land animals transformed him from a carefree young man into the charismatic war hero known as Elephant Bill
Billy Williams came to colonial Burma in 1920, fresh from service in World War I, to a job as a “forest man” for a British teak company. Mesmerized by the intelligence, character, and even humor of the great animals who hauled logs through the remote jungles, he became a gifted “elephant wallah.” Increasingly skilled at treating their illnesses and injuries, he also championed more humane treatment for them, even establishing an elephant “school” and “hospital.” In return, he said, the elephants made him a better man. The friendship of one magnificent tusker in particular, Bandoola, would be revelatory. In Elephant Company, Vicki Constantine Croke chronicles Williams’s growing love for elephants as the animals provide him lessons in courage, trust, and gratitude.
But Elephant Company is also a tale of war and daring. When Imperial Japanese forces invaded Burma in 1942, Williams joined the elite Force 136, the British dirty tricks department, operating behind enemy lines. His war elephants would carry supplies, build bridges, and transport the sick and elderly over treacherous mountain terrain. Now well versed in the ways of the jungle, an older, wiser Williams even added to his stable by smuggling more elephants out of Japanese-held territory. As the occupying authorities put a price on his head, Williams and his elephants faced his most perilous test. In a Hollywood-worthy climax, Elephant Company, cornered by the enemy, attempted a desperate escape: a risky trek over the mountainous border to India, with a bedraggled group of refugees in tow. Elephant Bill’s exploits would earn him top military honors and the praise of famed Field Marshal Sir William Slim.
Part biography, part war epic, and part wildlife adventure, Elephant Company is an inspirational narrative that illuminates a little-known chapter in the annals of wartime heroism.
Praise for Elephant Company
“This book is about far more than just the war, or even elephants. This is the story of friendship, loyalty and breathtaking bravery that transcends species. . . . Elephant Company is nothing less than a sweeping tale, masterfully written.”—Sara Gruen, The New York Times Book Review
“Splendid . . . Blending biography, history, and wildlife biology, [Vicki Constantine] Croke’s story is an often moving account of [Billy] Williams, who earned the sobriquet ‘Elephant Bill,’ and his unusual bond with the largest land mammals on earth.”—The Boston Globe
“Some of the biggest heroes of World War II were even bigger than you thought. . . . You may never call the lion the king of the jungle again.”—New York Post
“Elephant Company is as powerful and big-hearted as the animals of its title. Billy Williams is an extraordinary character, a real-life reverse Tarzan raised in civilization who finds wisdom and his true self living among jungle beasts. Vicki Constantine Croke delivers an exciting tale of this elephant whisperer–cum–war hero, while beautifully reminding us of the enduring bonds between animals and humans.”—Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Lost in Shangri-La and Frozen in Time
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Williams had an innate love for the Burmese elephants and they loved him back. Whereas the traditional training of elephants had tended to be unkind or even brutal, Elephant Bill revolutionized their care. He treated the animals with kindness and respect, and even started elephant training schools so they could gradually learn the skills they needed, instead of breaking their spirits to bring them into submission.
Williams’ knowledge of elephants assumed dramatic importance during World War II when Burma was invaded by Japan. The Japanese would have captured the Burmese elephants to build roads and bridges for their advancing army. Williams, however, was able to employ his skills and experience to help the British Army and the Allies retain the valuable animals for their own military needs.
The historic long trek of the elephants with fleeing British refugees, over incredibly difficult terrain into India, was breathtaking. Author Vicki Constantine Croke has done a remarkable job of finding original materials about J.H. Williams and his family, and especially about his work in WWII.
I highly recommend “Elephant Company,” which I read in a Kindle version.
This is such a charming story! I'm usually not a reader of "charming stories" and the military history aspect of the book initially triggered the purchase. Actually, there's very little military history and absolutely no combat in the book. Having said that, I am glad I bought it and it really is an excellent read.
James Howard "Billy" Williams entered Burma at what would be the end of the colonial era in which Great Britain ruled large patches of the globe. In Burma, Williams becomes an employee of the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation and is immediately in contact with elephants and the experience affects him greatly. For a man who loves animals, working with these intelligent giants is a fascination and a joy. Williams becomes a "wallah" - an elephant expert who can treat elephant injuries, direct their work and comes to understand their thinking together with his Burmese workers. It's a window into a long-gone world and how British lived in the colonies.
The book chronicles his adventures with the elephants, his Burmese workers, falling in love and marrying, being involved in the Allied war effort in the CBI (China-Burma-India) theater. Although his elephants did good work building bridges and leading refugees to India, barely escaping the clutches of the brutal Japanese, "Elephant Bill's" elephants were not vital or even important. But, it adds to the story itself.
This is a tale of the jungle, of a man's joy in the wilds and among animals who always had the best interests of his elephants at heart. He established "academies" for young elephants rather than allow the calves of working, female elephants die. He established hospitals for injured elephants and showed the company that they didn't need to use cruel methods of capturing wild elephants.
As I said, this isn't my usual read. Having said that, I enjoyed it immensely and recommend it with five stars.