Back FromTobruk Advance Praise, Reviews

BackFromTobruk_BowenAdvance Praise for Back From Tobruk

“I found Back from Tobruk fascinating. A sensitive young American journalist watching the British at war and play in the Middle East does some of his best reporting when he becomes a stretcher case and is evacuated through various field hospitals, fraternizing with the wounded of both sides. By rescuing her father’s unpublished memoir from undeserved oblivion, writer Betsy Connor Bowen has done us all a favor.” — COLIN SMITH, military historian and coauthor of Alamein: War without Hate

“As World War II recedes in human memory, we are left largely with statistics, battles, generals, destruction. Back from Tobruk, Croswell Bowen’s memoir of the war in the desert in the summer of 1942—published, at last, more than forty years after his death—tells what the war was like for an American attempting to do his part as ambulance driver and photographer. It is a cultural gem, recording Bowen’s personal awakening to war’s reality at the most human, individual level. Deeply moving.” — NIGEL HAMILTON, author of Master of the Battlefield: Monty’s War Years 1942–1944

What the Reviewers Say


“Not every hero of the Greatest Generation stormed the beach at Normandy, waded ashore at Tarawa, or braved the gauntlet of U-boats in the North Atlantic. Some, like Croswell Bowen, served in other ways…. The book ends with his return to New York City, and there is an afterword to sum up Bowen’s life post-war. The writing is clear, straightforward, and the book will be a worthy addition to any amateur historian’s library. It is a book that could profit from a second reading, many of the ideas being more complex than their presentation might suggest. ”

Gary Presley, Nonfiction

“Back From Tobruk is different from other memoirs I’ve read about World War II because it was written when the war was fresh in the author’s mind.  His observations about war and what it does to the people who fight or even just witness it firsthand have both a sense of urgency and hope, and one must remember that the war ended for Bowen just as it was beginning for many American men.  How wonderful for his daughter to have been able to rescue this amazing story and share it with the world.  As World War II moves further and further into the past, it is important that stories like these are preserved for future generations.”

Anna Horner, Diary of An Eccentric

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