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About Adam Makos
Hailed as “a masterful storyteller” by the Associated Press, Adam Makos is the author of the New York Times bestsellers "A Higher Call," and "Spearhead," as well as the critically-acclaimed "Devotion." Inspired by his grandfathers’ service, Adam chronicles the stories of American veterans in his trademark fusion of intense human drama and fast-paced military action, securing his place “in the top ranks of military writers,” according to the Los Angeles Times. In the course of his research, Adam has flown a WWII bomber, accompanied a Special Forces raid in Iraq, and journeyed into North Korea in search of an MIA American airman.
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Titles By Adam Makos
“In the spirit of Unbroken and The Boys in the Boat comes Devotion.”—Associated Press • “Aerial drama at its best—fast, powerful, and moving.”—Erik Larson
Devotion tells the inspirational story of the U.S. Navy’s most famous aviation duo, Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the Marines they fought to defend. A white New Englander from the country-club scene, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighters for his country. An African American sharecropper’s son from Mississippi, Jesse became the navy’s first Black carrier pilot, defending a nation that wouldn’t even serve him in a bar.
While much of America remained divided by segregation, Jesse and Tom joined forces as wingmen in Fighter Squadron 32. Adam Makos takes us into the cockpit as these bold young aviators cut their teeth at the world’s most dangerous job—landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier—a line of work that Jesse’s young wife, Daisy, struggles to accept.
Deployed to the Mediterranean, Tom and Jesse meet the Fleet Marines, boys like PFC “Red” Parkinson, a farm kid from the Catskills. In between war games in the sun, the young men revel on the Riviera, partying with millionaires and even befriending the Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Taylor. Then comes the conflict that no one expected: the Korean War.
Devotion takes us soaring overhead with Tom and Jesse, and into the foxholes with Red and the Marines as they battle a North Korean invasion. As the fury of the fighting escalates and the Marines are cornered at the Chosin Reservoir, Tom and Jesse fly, guns blazing, to try and save them. When one of the duo is shot down behind enemy lines and pinned in his burning plane, the other faces an unthinkable choice: watch his friend die or attempt history’s most audacious one-man rescue mission.
A tug-at-the-heartstrings tale of bravery and selflessness, Devotion asks: How far would you go to save a friend?
A “beautiful story of a brotherhood between enemies” emerges from the horrors of World War II in this New York Times bestseller by the author of Spearhead.
December, 1943: A badly damaged American bomber struggles to fly over wartime Germany. At the controls is twenty-one-year-old Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown. Half his crew lay wounded or dead on this, their first mission. Suddenly, a Messerschmitt fighter pulls up on the bomber’s tail. The pilot is German ace Franz Stigler—and he can destroy the young American crew with the squeeze of a trigger...
What happened next would defy imagination and later be called “the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.”
The U.S. 8th Air Force would later classify what happened between them as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention for fear of facing a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search the world for each other, a last mission that could change their lives forever.
“A band of brothers in an American tank . . . Makos drops the reader back into the Pershing’s turret and dials up a battle scene to rival the peak moments of Fury.”
—The Wall Street Journal
From the author of the international bestseller A Higher Call comes the riveting World War II story of an American tank gunner’s journey into the heart of the Third Reich, where he will meet destiny in an iconic armor duel—and forge an enduring bond with his enemy.
When Clarence Smoyer is assigned to the gunner’s seat of his Sherman tank, his crewmates discover that the gentle giant from Pennsylvania has a hidden talent: He’s a natural-born shooter.
At first, Clarence and his fellow crews in the legendary 3rd Armored Division—“Spearhead”—thought their tanks were invincible. Then they met the German Panther, with a gun so murderous it could shoot through one Sherman and into the next. Soon a pattern emerged: The lead tank always gets hit.
After Clarence sees his friends cut down breaching the West Wall and holding the line in the Battle of the Bulge, he and his crew are given a weapon with the power to avenge their fallen brothers: the Pershing, a state-of-the-art “super tank,” one of twenty in the European theater.
But with it comes a harrowing new responsibility: Now they will spearhead every attack. That’s how Clarence, the corporal from coal country, finds himself leading the U.S. Army into its largest urban battle of the European war, the fight for Cologne, the “Fortress City” of Germany.
Battling through the ruins, Clarence will engage the fearsome Panther in a duel immortalized by an army cameraman. And he will square off with Gustav Schaefer, a teenager behind the trigger in a Panzer IV tank, whose crew has been sent on a suicide mission to stop the Americans.
As Clarence and Gustav trade fire down a long boulevard, they are taken by surprise by a tragic mistake of war. What happens next will haunt Clarence to the modern day, drawing him back to Cologne to do the unthinkable: to face his enemy, one last time.
Praise for Spearhead
“A detailed, gripping account . . . the remarkable story of two tank crewmen, from opposite sides of the conflict, who endure the grisly nature of tank warfare.”
—USA Today (four out of four stars)
“Strong and dramatic . . . Makos established himself as a meticulous researcher who’s equally adept at spinning a good old-fashioned yarn. . . . For a World War II aficionado, it will read like a dream.”
Following fifteen Marines from Pearl Harbor, through their battles with the Japanese, to their return home after V-J Day, Adam Makos and Marcus Brotherton have compiled an oral history of the Pacific War in the words of the men who fought on the front lines. With vivid, unforgettable detail, these Marines reveal harrowing accounts of combat with an implacable enemy, the camaraderie they found, the friends they lost, and the aftermath of the war's impact on their lives.
With unprecedented access to the veterans, rare photographs, and unpublished memoirs, Voices of the Pacific presents true stories of heroism as told by such World War II veterans as Sid Phillips, R.V. Burgin, and Chuck Tatum—whose exploits were featured in the classic HBO miniseries The Pacific—and their Marine buddies from the legendary 1st Marine Division.
Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, Navy pilots during the Korean War in 1950, come from different backgrounds: Hudner is a white New Englander, a son of privilege; Brown is an African American son of a sharecropper from Mississippi. When the two men join forces in Fighter Squadron 32, they forge a deep friendship at a time when racial inequality is prevalent in America.
An unwavering commitment binds Tom and Jesse to each other as well as to their comrades. The two fly to save a division of US Marines cornered during the battle at Chosin Reservoir, but catastrophe strikes when one of them is shot down behind enemy lines and trapped in the wreckage of his plane. The other will face an unthinkable choice: watch his friend die, or attempt one of history’s most audacious one-man rescue missions. What transpires is harrowing and heartbreaking, an inspirational story for all time.
Die Geschichte der beiden Fliegerasse ist Legende. Und sie ist wahr. Der Historiker und Journalist Adam Makos hat sich, unterstützt von Starautor Larry Alexander, jahrelang bis ins kleinste Detail mit den Ereignissen beschäftigt und die Beteiligten getroffen. Eine höhere Pflicht ist kein Buch über einen kurzen Augenblick des Mitleids, sondern ein Buch darüber, was es bedeutet, in einem Krieg Pilot zu sein, und was für einer Pflichtverletzung es gleichkam, so zu handeln, wie es Franz Stigler richtig erschien. Es ist ein Buch auch über die Freundschaft, die Charlie Brown und Franz Stigler seit ihrem Wiedersehen 1990 verband – bis zu ihrem Tod 2008.
Die wunderbare Geschichte eines deutschen Helden.
Shut the hatches. It's time to roll out. You'll find yourself behind enemy lines with Clarence Smoyer and the 3rd Armored Division, the workhorse unit known as "Spearhead," the best in the tank armor ranks.
You'll feel as if you are right beside Clarence and his fellow crew members--all formerly strangers from across America who have now become family to each other. You will be jarred by enemy fire, and then explore the other side, stepping into the boots of German tanker soldier, Gustav Schaefer and his crew. You'll witness the heartbreaking tragedy, when an innocent young woman is caught in the crossfire. You'll see what happens when all of these lives collide, and realize how the aftershock still affects the survivors more than a half a century later. A riveting and true account of the perils of war as well as the prospect of forgiveness.