To Hell and Back (book)

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AuthorAudie Murphy
SubjectWorld War II
PublisherFirst edition published by Henry Holt and Company
Publication date
February 28, 1949[1]

To Hell and Back is Audie Murphy's 1949 World War II memoir, detailing the events that led him to receive the Medal of Honor and also to become one of the most decorated foot-soldiers of the war. Although only Murphy's name appears on the book cover, it was in fact a collaboration with writer David "Spec" McClure. After securing a publishing contract in 1947, Murphy and McClure worked on the book through 1948 in Murphy's Hollywood apartment. Murphy did write some of the prose himself, but most of it was in "as told to" style, with the writing left to McClure.[2] They traveled to France in 1948 where Murphy was presented with the French Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre with Palm from the French government. While in France, Murphy received permission to visit the battle sites. The two men retraced 1,500 miles of battlefield as Murphy related details of the events to McClure.[3]

In 1955, the book was made into a film of the same name, in which Murphy played himself. The book has had multiple printings and been translated into Dutch,[4] Italian,[5] French,[6] and Slovene.[7]


  1. ^ "Books -- Authors". The New York Times: 25. 12 January 1949.
  2. ^ Graham 1989, pp. 155–156.
  3. ^ Graham 1989, pp. 157–159.
  4. ^ Murphy 1956a.
  5. ^ Murphy 1956b.
  6. ^ Murphy 1956c.
  7. ^ Murphy 1959.


  • Graham, Don (1989). No Name on the Bullet. New York, NY: Viking. ISBN 978-0-670-81511-1.
  • Murphy, Audie (1956a). Terug uit de Hel. Amsterdam: Scheltens & Giltay. OCLC 63280859.
  • Murphy, Audie (1956b). All'inferno e Ritorno. Milano: Longanesi. OCLC 799639929.
  • Murphy, Audie (1956c). Audie Murphy. L'Enfer des Hommes : ["To hell and back"], traduit de l'anglais par R. Jouan. France: Empire. OCLC 459748173.
  • Murphy, Audie (1959). V Pekel in Nazaj. Slovenia: Mladinska knjiga. OCLC 440282935.

Further reading[edit]

  • Murphy, Audie (2002) [first published 1949]. To Hell and Back. New York: Henry Holt and Co. ISBN 978-0-8050-7086-6.