6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2014
What an amazing book! This is not, I hasten to add, gay porn or indeed porn at all. It's just photographs of solders doing various things naked. Sometimes it's clear why (showering, swimming etc) other times, not at all (marching?). The commentary is interesting and insightful. There's also a very, very important moral here. Once they've taken off their uniforms, no matter whose side they were fighting for, they're all basically the same underneath.
on 26 November 2014
Thoughtful, tasteful, intimate, honest, different, thought provoking....a beautiful coffee table book. My (very str8 housemate) loves it...as do I - a not so str8 guy! It works n many levels...quite simply, a memorable record of some special moments and many smiles through some strange and sad times...
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2014
What a truly intriguing coffee-table book! And what delight to see such old photographs of ‘men at play’. In the mind of any straight man into whose hands it might fall, it is sure to raise a number of thoughts, the most common of which are likely to be either amazement that this sort of activity was permitted in the armed forces, or schoolboy memories of his own when he perhaps engaged in such man-to-man ‘larks’ like those portrayed. I recall how our rugby team at university would take over the bar in the students’ union after a particularly good win... they would get drunk, dance on the tables and get undressed or undress each other and play with each other intimately... It struck me that the aggression on the field of play was replaced with something like intimacy afterwards – almost as if that secured the bonding of the team for its next ‘battle’.
Since the buddying scheme was intended for men newly inducted into the services, it was clear that there would be no such male bonding in older age ranges as well. However, there was one passage where it was implied that younger soldiers (or sailors) might trade sexual favours for cigarettes, rations etc with older soldiers, but it wasn't developed. As far as I could see from the text that was the only section where there was a tentative mention of explicitly sexual activity.
What was quite evident in the photos was a different attitude to nudity from one nation to another. Americans seemed to think it was all a bit 'daring' and a lark, the Brits seemed rather prurient, and the Japanese were not represented at all. The Germans seemed to be a lot more matter-of-fact about it all, in the same way that they accept as perfectly natural their own FKK culture.
I wonder why the bonding appeared more obviously between soldiers than sailors and almost not at all between airmen.
As I say, an intriguing read – and a very fine book.
Michael Barney Johnson