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Nebraska man's memoir of surviving the Pearl Harbor attack chosen as 2020's One Book One Nebraska
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Nebraska man's memoir of surviving the Pearl Harbor attack chosen as 2020's One Book One Nebraska

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A Nebraska man's memoir of surviving the attack on Pearl Harbor was chosen as 2020's One Book One Nebraska.

"All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor" tells the story of Donald Stratton and is the first memoir by a USS Arizona survivor.

Stratton, who wrote the book with Ken Gire, was born in Inavale and raised in Red Cloud. He joined the Navy at the age of 18 in 1940. His story recounts the events that occurred on Dec. 7, 1941, as well as his recovery from his injuries in the attack and his reenlistment.

One Book One Nebraska, a reading program sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, will mark its 16th year in 2020. The program encourages Nebraskans to read and discuss the same book that is written by a Nebraska author or has a Nebraska theme or setting. 

Last year's One Book One Nebraska choice, "This Blessed Earth" by Ted Genoways, sparked controversy when Gov. Pete Ricketts declined to sign a proclamation urging Nebraskans to read and talk about the book.

“The book that they are proposing was written by a political activist,” Nebraska’s governor said in explaining his decision earlier this year. “He’s somebody who is out-of-touch and it was not going to be something that united Nebraska.”

Libraries across the state, along with literary and cultural organizations, annually plan book discussions, activities and events that encourage Nebraskans to read and discuss the One Book One Nebraska selection.

Support materials will be available in January at onebook.nebraska.gov.

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Samantha Bernt is a Fremont native and a junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in journalism and broadcasting. She joined the Journal Star in 2019 as a reporting intern.

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