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June 23, 1996|CHARLES SOLOMON

MY WAR by Andy Rooney (Adams: $12.95; 318 pp., illustrated). Rooney's account of spending World War II in Europe as a reporter for Stars and Stripes is refreshingly free of both the yahoo politics and the faux-Everyman stance that mar his television commentaries. Writing in a more honest, open voice, he describes his initial confusion and growing confidence as a writer. He offers vivid anecdotes about many celebrated media figures, including Bill Mauldin, Walter Cronkite and Ernie Pyle, and a blistering portrait of George Patton. Although Rooney flirted with pacifism in college, he presents a moving description of how the horrors of Buchenwald and Thekla disabused him of the idea that any peace is preferable to any war.

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