A platoon of young American soldiers pick their way through treacherous terrain across the Japanese-held island of Anopopei. Caught up in the confusion of close-armed combat and preyed upon by snipers, they are pushed to the limit of human endurance. Held together only by the raw will to survive and barely sustained dreams of life beyond the maelstrom, each man finds his innermost hopes and deepest fears laid bare by the unrelenting pressure of battle. Based on Mailer's own experience of military service in the Philippines during World War II, The Naked and the Dead is a graphically thoughtful and shattering portrayal of ordinary men in battle. First published in 1949, as America was still basking in the glory of the Allied victory, it altered forever the popular perception of warfare.