James Michener didn’t dream up the harrowing story behind the bestselling novel Bridges at Toko-Ri; he was present as the real drama unfolded.Thomas McKelvey Cleaver describes a rescue gone wrong


By 1952, James Albert Michener was one of the most famous writers in America. His collection of short stories, Tales of the South Pacific, became a best-seller shortly after its first publication in January 1947.

Three years later Rodgers and Hammerstein turned it into a beloved and long-lived Broadway musical, then Hollywood took an interest and a film – directed by Joshua Logan – was released in 1958.

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