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Shifty's War: The Authorized Biography of Sergeant Darrell "Shifty" Powers, the Legendary Sharpshooter from the Band of Brothers

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A tale of heroism and adventure-a memoir about Sergeant Darrell "Shifty" Powers, a highly respected Band of Brothers soldier. When he was a boy growing up in the remote mining town of Clinchco, Virginia, Shifty Powers's goal was to become the best rifle shot he could be. His father trained him to listen to the woods, to "see" without his eyes. Little did Shifty know his f A tale of heroism and adventure-a memoir about Sergeant Darrell "Shifty" Powers, a highly respected Band of Brothers soldier. When he was a boy growing up in the remote mining town of Clinchco, Virginia, Shifty Powers's goal was to become the best rifle shot he could be. His father trained him to listen to the woods, to "see" without his eyes. Little did Shifty know his finely-tuned skills would one day save his life-and the lives of many of his friends. Shifty's War is a tale of a soldier's blood-filled days fighting his way from the shores of France to the heartland of Germany, and the epic story of how one man's abilities as a sharpshooter, along with an engagingly unassuming personality, propelled him to a life greater than he could have ever imagined.


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A tale of heroism and adventure-a memoir about Sergeant Darrell "Shifty" Powers, a highly respected Band of Brothers soldier. When he was a boy growing up in the remote mining town of Clinchco, Virginia, Shifty Powers's goal was to become the best rifle shot he could be. His father trained him to listen to the woods, to "see" without his eyes. Little did Shifty know his f A tale of heroism and adventure-a memoir about Sergeant Darrell "Shifty" Powers, a highly respected Band of Brothers soldier. When he was a boy growing up in the remote mining town of Clinchco, Virginia, Shifty Powers's goal was to become the best rifle shot he could be. His father trained him to listen to the woods, to "see" without his eyes. Little did Shifty know his finely-tuned skills would one day save his life-and the lives of many of his friends. Shifty's War is a tale of a soldier's blood-filled days fighting his way from the shores of France to the heartland of Germany, and the epic story of how one man's abilities as a sharpshooter, along with an engagingly unassuming personality, propelled him to a life greater than he could have ever imagined.

30 review for Shifty's War: The Authorized Biography of Sergeant Darrell "Shifty" Powers, the Legendary Sharpshooter from the Band of Brothers

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Marcus Brotherton tells the story of Shifty Power's life through Shifty's own words. While a biography, this work has a memoir feel. Brotherton uses the first person to tell Shifty's story, letting his unique style and manner of speaking convey his life story better than any way Brotherton himself could manage. While reading the book, you feel like you're sitting down and listening to story. Shifty's voice comes through crystal clear off the page. Brotherton follows Shifty from his childhood, th Marcus Brotherton tells the story of Shifty Power's life through Shifty's own words. While a biography, this work has a memoir feel. Brotherton uses the first person to tell Shifty's story, letting his unique style and manner of speaking convey his life story better than any way Brotherton himself could manage. While reading the book, you feel like you're sitting down and listening to story. Shifty's voice comes through crystal clear off the page. Brotherton follows Shifty from his childhood, through his time in Easy Company, after the war and through his death. Through it all, you get a strong sense of the subject and a deep respect for this humble man.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jon Swart

    This is the story of Shifty Powers, who was a member of "the Band of Brothers". If you haven't read the book, and only have seen the mini-series, he was the sharpshooter of Easy Company. This book is really interesting in that it gives a single perspective on the events chronicled in both Ambrose's book and the mini-series but also gives the before and after the war life of Shifty. The author takes a bit of a twist in that he writes it as if Shifty is writing the book, which I thought was a bril This is the story of Shifty Powers, who was a member of "the Band of Brothers". If you haven't read the book, and only have seen the mini-series, he was the sharpshooter of Easy Company. This book is really interesting in that it gives a single perspective on the events chronicled in both Ambrose's book and the mini-series but also gives the before and after the war life of Shifty. The author takes a bit of a twist in that he writes it as if Shifty is writing the book, which I thought was a brilliant approach. I really loved the book. What a great person Shifty was, leaving his rural home to do something bigger for his country, and then returning home to do good things for bis family and hometown. I seem to love everything that has to do with this group of paratroopers, but I think this may have been my favorite read yet.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Doug Dams

    An easy book to read. The author made it feel like you were talking to Shifty Powers and listening to his stories. The viewpoint of Shifty differed a bit from the Band of Brothers mini-series in that he discussed how the "Bad" memories from his time overseas affected him, even during the war especially at Bastogne. From this you can understand why many WWII vets don't talk about their life in combat. And it was nice to learn how Shifty affected people after the war, helping out in his home town An easy book to read. The author made it feel like you were talking to Shifty Powers and listening to his stories. The viewpoint of Shifty differed a bit from the Band of Brothers mini-series in that he discussed how the "Bad" memories from his time overseas affected him, even during the war especially at Bastogne. From this you can understand why many WWII vets don't talk about their life in combat. And it was nice to learn how Shifty affected people after the war, helping out in his home town coaching baseball and basketball. He affected a number of lives. If you have any interest in WWII or know a WWII vet, this book is definitely worth your time to read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

    Shifty was with Easy Company - 'Band of Brothers.' This will give you an idea right off the bat on how this book goes. The author, Marcus, does a pretty good job in putting this story together. Marcus never met face to face with Darrell "Shifty" Powers. He did have some phone interviews with him. Most of the story comes from his 'buddies, hometown friends and his family. The story is worth the read. I enjoyed it because I felt he was Telling his own story. His story is told in the trenches.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mitzi

    With my mother being born in Clinchco, VA I had to read this biography of Shifty Powers. It was well written and I related to the book perhaps because I was born in the mountains of this small town. A true story of life, war, love of family, love of home, love of friendship.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Scott Jenkins

    The book was great. It gives realistic view of the triumphs and tribulations of a man gone to war and the people who went with him. The war for him was over, he went home to live and start a life outside the military and the struggle to live a life after war.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Louis Barbier

    Shifty’s War by Marcus Brotherton is a great book about a man of character, determination, integrity who served in Easy Company of the 506th PIR - 101st Airborne (The Screaming Eagles). The man a quiet man was Sgt Darrell "Shifty" Powers, the legendary sharpshooter from the Band of Brothers. Shifty has described himself as a mountain man and hillbilly. He never aspired for greatness as the world defines it but in his own quiet way he was a capable leader who lead twelve other men and got the job Shifty’s War by Marcus Brotherton is a great book about a man of character, determination, integrity who served in Easy Company of the 506th PIR - 101st Airborne (The Screaming Eagles). The man a quiet man was Sgt Darrell "Shifty" Powers, the legendary sharpshooter from the Band of Brothers. Shifty has described himself as a mountain man and hillbilly. He never aspired for greatness as the world defines it but in his own quiet way he was a capable leader who lead twelve other men and got the job done. An amazing quality is he was very religious and his family too. But he never forced his Christian ways on others. He did talk to God almost every day through prayer or just humble conversation with God. I find that many unknown people who have reach great heights and are often unrecognized have a great faith in God. This book will give you an insight on the greatest generation of men and women who left their homes, farms, schools, jobs after December 7th, 1941 to serve in the US Army, US Navy, Marines and Army Air Corps to liberate and protect those who could not. Most of them volunteered and had no idea what they were getting into when they took the Oath of Enlistment. In this book you will take a journey with some of the bravest men you will ever meet. They are all heroes. The book in its dedication page states: "Dedicated to the 98 young men from Dickenson County, Virginia, who fought in World War II and never came Home." I really enjoyed the book because my uncle Ignace on D-Day June 6th, 1944 made the landings on Omaha Beach. He was with a Tank Destroyer unit that took on the Heavy armored Germany Tiger tanks in battle. We had the American Sherman Tank that was lighter and more maneuverable. My uncle Ignace never talked about that or the horror he had seen and when he returned; he was a different. Of course, we could still talk about good books we had read and working around the homestead in Louisiana. So, this book "Shifty's War" shows what the greatest generation that went to war faced and accomplished. It is a book about an exceptional soldier an honorable man who had learned to shoot in the woods as a kid with his Dad. He got very good at it and had a sixth sense about what was happening without completely seeing it but actual hearing or sensing that something was out of place. So, you might say he had a keen sense of the situation and acted without hesitation. But the story is more than that it also tells of an honest man who after the war became an outstanding family man. This is a must-read book. I salute all the brave men of Easy Company (The Band of Brothers); those who returned and those who never came home. May God bless them all.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stan Skrabut

    If you have watched the Band of Brothers series, you may remember Sergeant Darrell “Shifty” Powers, the marksman of Easy Company. He was seen in all ten episodes because he was one of the original Toccoa men who was never wounded in combat. If you heard him speak on the series, you will appreciate Shifty's War: The Authorized Biography of Sergeant Darrell "Shifty" Powers, the Legendary Sharpshooter from the Band of Brothers because you can actually hear him talking as you read his words. If you have watched the Band of Brothers series, you may remember Sergeant Darrell “Shifty” Powers, the marksman of Easy Company. He was seen in all ten episodes because he was one of the original Toccoa men who was never wounded in combat. If you heard him speak on the series, you will appreciate Shifty's War: The Authorized Biography of Sergeant Darrell "Shifty" Powers, the Legendary Sharpshooter from the Band of Brothers because you can actually hear him talking as you read his words. Read more

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brook

    Shifty was in 3rd platoon, which is mentioned less than other platoons. He is a sharp shooter in Easy Company, and one of the few who miraculously didn’t get hurt during wartime. That’s we learned from Band of Brothers book or TV series. Band of Brothers book tells a general story of Easy Company, while here we focus on Shifty Powers. Written in first person, this book covers almost the entire life of Shifty Powers, ranging from childhood to elderly life. Here we can find why Shifty is good at s Shifty was in 3rd platoon, which is mentioned less than other platoons. He is a sharp shooter in Easy Company, and one of the few who miraculously didn’t get hurt during wartime. That’s we learned from Band of Brothers book or TV series. Band of Brothers book tells a general story of Easy Company, while here we focus on Shifty Powers. Written in first person, this book covers almost the entire life of Shifty Powers, ranging from childhood to elderly life. Here we can find why Shifty is good at shooting, how he became enlisted, how he fought in the war, how he lived a peaceful life after the war, and how he finally found himself popular after Band of Brothers became famous all over the world. Maybe it is controversial to see Shifty’s biography, finished after he passed away, is written in first person. But the author did successfully portrait Shifty’s life, especially postwar life. Through this book we could easily imagine a former paratrooper and sharp shooter standing in front of us.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Boy, was I ready to bawl when I finished this book! I do not know what it is about Easy Company that I love so much, but I cry just about every time I finish a book about one of the members or the whole company. I was a little wary, because after I got this book I found out it wasn't actually written by Shifty, but by Marcus Brotherton, in Shifty's voice. I'm always cautious about books like this, and can you blame me? After the first few chapters though, I began to relax and realize that this i Boy, was I ready to bawl when I finished this book! I do not know what it is about Easy Company that I love so much, but I cry just about every time I finish a book about one of the members or the whole company. I was a little wary, because after I got this book I found out it wasn't actually written by Shifty, but by Marcus Brotherton, in Shifty's voice. I'm always cautious about books like this, and can you blame me? After the first few chapters though, I began to relax and realize that this is probably what Shifty would have written. It was written near perfectly to sound just like Shifty. The author wrote this with the utmost respect, I know. He would never have put words into Shifty's mouth that he didn't feel would come from Shifty's heart. I mean, Shifty's son came to Marcus Brotherton and asked him to write a book about his beloved dad, so if he can trust him, I think we can. And because of the superb job the author did, I had to remind myself that this is an authorized biography. Shifty didn't actually write it, and I think that's okay. The author took extreme pains to write this book, reading many books by others to find out more about Shifty, listening to interviews of Shifty, talking to Peter Youngblood Hills (who played Shifty in the miniseries), taking things Shifty told him during the writing of the book "We Who Are Alive and Remain" (an excellent read, and one of my favorites on Easy Company). Shifty had such a simple way of living life. Money never really mattered to him. What mattered was the simple things; the most important things. I want to achieve that kind of mindset about life. Here's a quote from the book "We Who Are Alive and Remain:" "Throughout my lifetime, I've never given a thought to having piles of money or being rich or doing anything like that. Now, I worked hard, and if I wanted something, I liked being able to afford it. But to me, success is those happy times with my family, being able to go fishing and hunting, and just getting out in the woods and enjoying yourself, looking at trees, watching water go across rocks in a trout stream, things like that. That's always what really mattered to me. My life has been good. All the way back, I've always enjoyed it." That, that right there, shows me what kind of man Shifty Powers was. You don't meet too many people like him anymore. I'll close this with what the author closed the book with, an email written by a man named Mark Pfeifer. It's kind of long, but I suggest you read it; it's so true and so moving. "We're hearing a lot today about big splashy memorial services. I want a nationwide memorial service for Darrell "Shifty" Powers. Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Infantry. If you've seen Band of Brothers on HBO or the History Channel, you know Shifty. His character appears in all 10 episodes, and Shifty himself is interviewed in several of them. I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn't know who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman having trouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was at the right gate, and noticed the "Screaming Eagle," the symbol of the 101st Airborne, on his hat. Making conversation, I asked him if he'd been in the 101st Airborne or if his son was serving. He said quietly that he had been in the 101st. I thanked him for his service, then asked him when he served, and how many jumps he made. Quietly and humbly, he said "Well, I guess I signed up in 1941 or so, and was in until sometime in 1945 . . . " at which point my heart skipped. At that point, again, very humbly, he said "I made the 5 training jumps at Toccoa, and then jumped into Normandy . . . . do you know where Normandy is?" At this point my heart stopped. I told him yes, I know exactly where Normandy was, and I know what D-Day was. At that point he said "I also made a second jump into Holland, into Arnhem." I was standing with a genuine war hero . . . . and then I realized that it was June, just after the anniversary of D-Day. I asked Shifty if he was on his way back from France, and he said "Yes. And it's real sad because these days so few of the guys are left, and those that are, lots of them can't make the trip." My heart was in my throat and I didn't know what to say. I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was back in Coach, while I was in First Class. I sent the flight attendant back to get him and said that I wanted to switch seats. When Shifty came forward, I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to have it, that I'd take his in coach. He said "No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that there are still some who remember what we did and still care is enough to make an old man very happy." His eyes were filling up as he said it. And mine are brimming up now as I write this. Shifty died on June 17 after fighting cancer. There was no parade. No big event in Staples Center. No wall to wall back to back 24x7 news coverage. No weeping fans on television. And that's not right. Let's give Shifty his own Memorial Service, online, in our own quiet way. Please forward this email to everyone you know. Especially to the veterans. Rest in peace, Shifty. 'A nation without heroes is nothing.'"

  11. 4 out of 5

    Pei-jean Lu

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. When I think of Darrell ‘Shifty’ Powers of Easy Company my mind always returns to his words about how if the circumstances had been different he and the German soldiers may have been good friends and how looking back on his time in WWII has changed his perspective. He was one of the many young men whose life was shaped by not only the social and economic turmoil of The Great Depression, but also would upended by America’s entry into WWII after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eric Olsen

    The book is a little unusual in it's format. Instead of writing in past tense as you might expect from a book written after someones death, it's written in the first person. It's as if you are listening to Shifty himself. For this book and this story it works great. When I was reading it I felt as if I was either listening to or reading about Shifty's life as he told it. This is what the author wanted to accomplish and in my opinion he succeeded at it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ralph

    Good read, different perspective on the experiences of this amazing group of WWII veterans. Powers insights and point of view are interesting and insightful. I enjoyed other books by Brotherton and his dedication to telling the real stories of the veterans is obvious. Having read a lot of books on the band of brothers, Screaming Eagles and WWII, I consider this one of the better ones. If you liked this genre, I would recommend Don Burgett Currahee!

  14. 5 out of 5

    David Chabot

    Yet another awesome biography of a member of the legendary Band of Brothers. I liked that about a third of the book was devoted to his life after the war, as many such books give the impression the soldier's life ends when he fired his last shot. I was unsure about it to begin with, but the fact it's written in the first person is also a nice touch. A highly recommended read for WW2 enthusiasts and neophytes alike!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kouri Carter

    Wonderful and very moving book about an incredible man. The author's decision to write it from a first person perspective was a fantastic choice and does nothing but add to an already amazing story of a simple man with a God-given talent that likely saved far more soldiers' lives than his simple modesty would have you believe. You will feel as though Shifty Powers is a good friend of yours by the time the story ends.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Clive phillips

    A great read This is the story of an uncomplicated man thrown into the turmoil of WWII but he takes it all in his stride. It's impossible to dislike him in any way. The writer takes you there right to the end. Sadly men such as shifty seem thin on the ground these days. Highly recommended.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Todd Schwartz

    Excellent book. It was if I was sitting down talking with Shifty. Having watched Band of Brothers numerous times and seen Shifty speak, Marcus Brotherton brought him to life in this book. If you are a fan of Easy Company or a military history buff like me, once you start reading it will be hard to put the book down.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Abby Jones

    This book was so beautiful. I'm so glad I finally got to read it. I cried through so much of it, pulled out some great things for writing future battle scenes more realistically, and felt like a good friend was dying at the end. I'm thankful for this man and his story. It's right up there with Malarkey's book and Wild Bill and Babe's. A must read for the Band of Brothers fan.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gail Hedlund

    I really enjoyed this book. I've read nearly all the books on Easy Company. This one was refreshing in the way it was told, I felt like I was visiting with Shifty on his beloved porch in Clinchco, VA. It was like talking to a grandpa or a great-uncle, very sincere & heart-felt. I really enjoyed this book. I've read nearly all the books on Easy Company. This one was refreshing in the way it was told, I felt like I was visiting with Shifty on his beloved porch in Clinchco, VA. It was like talking to a grandpa or a great-uncle, very sincere & heart-felt.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nic

    A very well-written book about a true American hero. The author's decision to write the posthumous biography from Shifty's POV was an excellent choice that allows readers to hear Shifty's voice. The book reads as if Shifty himself is sitting there telling the reader his story.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Marseydoats

    My best friend gave me this book which made it even more special. Shifty was always my favorite from the Band of Brothers. In the beginning of the series, when the older men would be sitting and talking, I always liked him better than anyone else. I really enjoyed this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Darren Sapp

    Brotherton has done a masterful job in capturing the voice of this hero. I felt like I was on the back porch with Shifty.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brooks

    If you are a fan of the band of brothers series you must read this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joan Clemente

    Shifty Powers seems to me to have been a sweet person and a gentle soul. The story of his life was interesting. I think I "fell in love" with this man.

  25. 5 out of 5

    lenormf

    Solid and engaging narration.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jade

    I loved that the entire novel was really a letter, in a way. There’s a mystery at the center so I can’t say too much more. But this YA book was short and sweet. I really liked it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jean-Vincent

    Brotherton's book took me by surprise. It has moved me in unexpected ways. For a first, it is one of the few books that told about a man's war long after its been fought. The way the book is written, too, is somewhat intriguing: Brotherton managed, through the use of various source and recordings, to credibly speak in lieu of Powers, using the I, and it is entirely believable. I'm rating this book a 5 stars not because of some incredible writing, but because it feels like peeking into the soul o Brotherton's book took me by surprise. It has moved me in unexpected ways. For a first, it is one of the few books that told about a man's war long after its been fought. The way the book is written, too, is somewhat intriguing: Brotherton managed, through the use of various source and recordings, to credibly speak in lieu of Powers, using the I, and it is entirely believable. I'm rating this book a 5 stars not because of some incredible writing, but because it feels like peeking into the soul of one of those humble heros. Not like a voyeur, mind you, but like you'd be sitting comfortably on Power's porch in Clinchco, Virginia, and listen to him telling you about his life. Simple words, simple thoughts, but sincere, insightful, and dare I say in our nihilistic, cynical world, inspiring. Shifty Powers, who passed away in 2009, sounds like a truly wonderful man. Someone I would have loved to meet in person and spend some time just listening to. We are fortunate to get this book to make up for it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    I really like how this book was written in first person even though it was a biography. This point of view allowed me to get a clearer image of the stories that were being told of Shifty and his time in the war. Unlike other biographies, it is very easy to read and understand. It is not full of boring drawn out facts on Shifty, on the contrary, it is as if Shifty is telling the story himself with context like “I thought the battle for Carentan was on again and sprinted down the rickety steps.” W I really like how this book was written in first person even though it was a biography. This point of view allowed me to get a clearer image of the stories that were being told of Shifty and his time in the war. Unlike other biographies, it is very easy to read and understand. It is not full of boring drawn out facts on Shifty, on the contrary, it is as if Shifty is telling the story himself with context like “I thought the battle for Carentan was on again and sprinted down the rickety steps.” While it is nonfiction, it is as easy to follow and enjoy as if it were a work of fiction. After Reading this book I can say that it is very well written and easy to follow. It covers all aspects of Shifty’s life thoroughly, the inclusion of the photographs back up the stories written in the book, and it is a very inspirational book full of exciting and thought provoking accounts of the war hero’s life. For these reasons if I were to rate this title, I would have to give it 5 out of 5 stars

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Anderson

    I really enjoyed this book, although it didn't provide as much information about his time in combat during WWII as I expected. Instead I got a rundown of the man's life, but it was written in such a way that you felt like you were sitting on your grandpa's porch and he was telling you stories. I have seen numerous interviews with Mr. Powers and I think that Marcus Brotherton really did a good job of getting down his speech patterns and dialect. This was written after Shifty's death based upon in I really enjoyed this book, although it didn't provide as much information about his time in combat during WWII as I expected. Instead I got a rundown of the man's life, but it was written in such a way that you felt like you were sitting on your grandpa's porch and he was telling you stories. I have seen numerous interviews with Mr. Powers and I think that Marcus Brotherton really did a good job of getting down his speech patterns and dialect. This was written after Shifty's death based upon interviews he gave in the past as well as with numerous friends and family. Some of the stories told, while not of his time in combat, were enough to make me laugh out loud. His leave in Paris with Earl McClung and Popeye Wynn lets you remember that these guys were young once and had a few wild oats to sow. All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable read, even though the one thing I would have enjoyed was a bit more of his time in combat.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Michael L Gowens

    What a wholesome and heartwarming story! "A nation without heroes is nothing," the Roberto Clemente quote near the book's end, both captures my sensation as I read this volume and expresses the reason "Shifty's War," as well as other stories in the same genre, is so important to the virtues of patriotism, self-sacrifice, humility, and the preservation of liberty. In a culture that increasingly celebrates its celebrities, the story of real-life heroes, like Sgt Powers, provides a needed exception What a wholesome and heartwarming story! "A nation without heroes is nothing," the Roberto Clemente quote near the book's end, both captures my sensation as I read this volume and expresses the reason "Shifty's War," as well as other stories in the same genre, is so important to the virtues of patriotism, self-sacrifice, humility, and the preservation of liberty. In a culture that increasingly celebrates its celebrities, the story of real-life heroes, like Sgt Powers, provides a needed exception to superficiality and benchmark in reality to measure integrity and honor. I salute you, "Shifty" Powers, Sir.

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