From the killing fields of World War II to a Chinese POW camp during the Korean War, this mesmerizing novel is a tribute to the legacy of the Greatest Generation
Separated from his fellow American soldiers, Benny Beer walks alone on a frozen plain in Germany during World War II. Lost and afraid, he seeks shelter in an abandoned tavern and encounters a victim of the Holocaust. Benny tries to save the suffering man’s life, but never knows if he succeeds—he wakes up in a hospital bed, wounded and missing his dog tags, with no memory of how he got there.
Sent back to Brooklyn with a limp and a Purple Heart, Benny falls in love, gets married, and becomes a doctor—not necessarily in that order—but his life is just beginning when he is called to serve his country once more. In Korea, he is captured and sent to a Chinese prison camp, where for two and a half long years he practices the fine art of self-preservation and fights the cruelty and indifference of his captors with compassion, care, and a fierce sense of humor.
Poignant, witty, and authentic, Dog Tags is the story of an ordinary man in extraordinary times, of an awkward Jewish boy who grows up to become an American hero. Soldier, doctor, lover—Benny Beer is one of the most captivating protagonists in twentieth-century literature.