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Publisher's Summary

The first and only memoir by one of the original Navajo code talkers of WWII.

His name wasn’t Chester Nez. That was the English name he was assigned in kindergarten. And in boarding school at Fort Defiance, he was punished for speaking his native language, as the teachers sought to rid him of his culture and traditions. But discrimination didn’t stop Chester from answering the call to defend his country after Pearl Harbor, for the Navajo have always been warriors, and his upbringing on a New Mexico reservation gave him the strength - both physical and mental - to excel as a marine.

During World War II, the Japanese had managed to crack every code the United States used. But when the Marines turned to its Navajo recruits to develop and implement a secret military language, they created the only unbroken code in modern warfare - and helped assure victory for the United States over Japan in the South Pacific.

©2019 Chester Nez, Judith Schiess Avila (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Gripping in its narrative, Code Talker is history at its best." (Colonel Cole C. Kingseed, US Army (ret.), co-author of Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters)

"A fascinating inside look at one of WWII’s most closely guarded secrets.... This is an important book, a previously untold piece of our history." (Marcus Brotherton, author of Shifty’s War)

"You don’t need to be a fan of World War II literature to appreciate this memoir...a fascinating melange of combat in the Pacific theater, the history of the Navajo people and the development of a uniquely American code." (Associated Press)

"A unique, inspiring story by a member of the Greatest Generation." (Kirkus Reviews)

"A remarkably affecting first-person account of the Navajo Marines who served their country with distinction through some of the worst battles of the Pacific theater." (The Washington Times)

What listeners say about Code Talker

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Wrong narrator!

A part of US history many people still don't know, this memoir is unique and invaluable.

But, a book meant to honor the Code Talkers should have been read by a Navajo.Anyone who is not Navajo cannot speak the language correctly, that's one of the reasons the Code was successful. That fact is made clear more than once in the book.

The memoir itself, Chester Nez's story, is one people need to read.

29 people found this helpful

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great story

I love hearing this story of an elder, a code talker. I wish a True Navajo would have Narrated the story. The language was not pronounced properly.

16 people found this helpful

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Must read and listen

This is an absolutely great audiobook. I have not known until now, how essential the code talkers were for the victory against Japan. It is an absolute must to read or listen too.

8 people found this helpful

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very well written. remarkable story about a remark

remarkable and humble man and story. well worth reading. I highly recommend this audible book.

7 people found this helpful

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I’d say it’s almost as good as Unbroken. 

Incredible story. I loved his spirit, his goodness and learning about the Navajo Nation was fascinating.

LOVED,

5 people found this helpful

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Awesome story

This book had me hooked right from the beginning. I had heard about the Code Talkers but I didn’t know to much about their stories.
While listening to Chester’s story I could picture in my minds eye Chester and his buddy in a foxhole receiving and sending messages in the Navajo language.

5 people found this helpful

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Amazing read!

This story has my full heart! Chester Nez is a hero with impeccable character and an amazing yet heart breaking life. His moral courage is something we should all strive for. Beautifully read and narrated.

Note: get rid of the interview at the end. Cheater is not well enough to answer questions and the interviewer should not have asked questions that were answered in the book. I was embarrassed by the interview.

4 people found this helpful

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Good Memoir But a Little Light on History

This is a book about Chester Nez’s whole life. Being a Code Talker is only part of it. If you are interested in what it was like to be a Native American child in Chester’s time and somewhat during the war, it is a good read. If you want a detailed, in depth account of the code talker program, that is not this book.

3 people found this helpful

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A must-listen-to

This was an excellent telling of a piece of WWII history that should never be forgotten!

3 people found this helpful

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More than I even expected

I thought the book would be just about the war and codes but so love the history and traditions of the Navajo. What a wonderful book!!!

2 people found this helpful