Prior to Phil Stern's death on December 13, 2014, his original, unfinished, tattered wartime memoir was discovered, stashed away in an old folio box in his cluttered Hollywood bungalow.
Best remembered for his iconic images of James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and JFK's inauguration, his remarkable service during World War II as a combat photographer with Darby's Rangers has remained largely unknown.
Until now. Stern's catchy 1940s lingo, honest and intimate observations, and humor, paired with his striking combat photography, transport the reader 70 years back in time to meet the hardscrabble Rangers and experience some of the key battles of the Mediterranean Theater.
Snapdragon is an artifact of that time, told not by a man reminiscing in his twilight years, but by a young soldier fresh from the battlefields.