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About Tom Clavin
TOM CLAVIN, whose most recent book is TOMBSTONE, is a bestselling author who has worked as a newspaper and web site editor, magazine writer, TV and radio commentator, and a reporter for The New York Times covering entertainment, sports, and the environment. He has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, and National Newspaper Association. Four of his books have been New York Times best sellers: THE HEART OF EVERYTHING THAT IS, DODGE CITY, HALSEY'S TYPHOON, and THE LAST STAND OF FOX COMPANY. Other books that have received popular and critical acclaim include the third book in the "Frontier Lawmen" trilogy, WILD BILL, as well as VALLEY FORGE, ALL BLOOD RUNS RED, RECKLESS, THE DiMAGGIOS, and LUCKY 666. Tom is also a nationally syndicated columnist and "The Overlook" can be found at tomclavin.substack.com. His next book, BLOOD AND TREASURE: DANIEL BOONE AND THE FIGHT FOR AMERICA'S FIRST FRONTIER, his latest collaboration with Bob Drury, will be published on April 20 by St. Martin's Press. For more information, go to tomclavin.com
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An American fighter pilot doomed to die in Buchenwald but determined to survive.
On August 13, 1944, Joe Moser set off on his forty-fourth combat mission over occupied France. Soon, he would join almost 170 other Allied airmen as prisoners in Buchenwald, one of the most notorious and deadly of Nazi concentration camps. Tom Clavin's Lightning Down tells this largely untold and riveting true story.
Moser was just twenty-two years old, a farm boy from Washington State who fell in love with flying. During the War he realized his dream of piloting a P-38 Lightning, one of the most effective weapons the Army Air Corps had against the powerful German Luftwaffe. But on that hot August morning he had to bail out of his damaged, burning plane. Captured immediately, Moser’s journey into hell began.
Moser and his courageous comrades from England, Canada, New Zealand, and elsewhere endured the most horrific conditions during their imprisonment... until the day the orders were issued by Hitler himself to execute them. Only a most desperate plan would save them.
The page-turning momentum of Lightning Down is like that of a thriller, but the stories of imprisoned and brutalized airmen are true and told in unforgettable detail, led by the distinctly American voice of Joe Moser, who prays every day to be reunited with his family.
Lightning Down is a can’t-put-it-down inspiring saga of brave men confronting great evil and great odds against survival.
The Instant New York Times Besteller
"[The] authors’ finest work to date." —Wall Street Journal
The explosive true saga of the legendary figure Daniel Boone and the bloody struggle for America's frontier by two bestselling authors at the height of their writing power—Bob Drury and Tom Clavin.
It is the mid-eighteenth century, and in the thirteen colonies founded by Great Britain, anxious colonists desperate to conquer and settle North America’s “First Frontier” beyond the Appalachian Mountains commence a series of bloody battles. These violent conflicts are waged against the Native American tribes whose lands they covet, the French, and the mother country itself in an American Revolution destined to reverberate around the world.
This is the setting of Blood and Treasure, and the guide to this epic narrative is America’s first and arguably greatest pathfinder, Daniel Boone—not the coonskin cap-wearing caricature of popular culture but the flesh-and-blood frontiersman and Revolutionary War hero whose explorations into the forested frontier beyond the great mountains would become the stuff of legend. Now, thanks to painstaking research by two award-winning authors, the story of the brutal birth of the United States is told through the eyes of both the ordinary and larger-than-life men and women who witnessed it.
This fast-paced and fiery narrative, fueled by contemporary diaries and journals, newspaper reports, and eyewitness accounts, is a stirring chronicle of the conflict over America’s “First Frontier” that places the reader at the center of this remarkable epoch and its gripping tales of courage and sacrifice.
November 1950, the Korean Peninsula. After General MacArthur ignores Mao’s warnings and pushes his UN forces deeper into North Korea, his 10,000 First Division Marines find themselves surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered by 100,000 Chinese soldiers near the Chosin Reservoir. Their only chance for survival is to fight their way south through the Toktong Pass, a narrow gorge that will need to be held open at all costs. The mission is handed to Captain William Barber and the 234 Marines of Fox Company, a courageous but undermanned unit of the First Marines. Barber and his men climb seven miles of frozen terrain to a rocky promontory overlooking the pass, where they will endure four days and five nights of nearly continuous Chinese attempts to take Fox Hill. Amid the relentless violence, three-quarters of Fox’s Marines are killed, wounded, or captured. Just when it looks like they will be overrun, Lt. Colonel Raymond Davis, a fearless Marine officer who is fighting south from Chosin, volunteers to lead a daring mission that will seek to cut a hole in the Chinese lines and relieve the men of Fox. This is a fast-paced and gripping account of heroism in the face of impossible odds.
The instant New York Times bestseller!
Dodge City, Kansas, is a place of legend. The town that started as a small military site exploded with the coming of the railroad, cattle drives, eager miners, settlers, and various entrepreneurs passing through to populate the expanding West. Before long, Dodge City’s streets were lined with saloons and brothels and its populace was thick with gunmen, horse thieves, and desperadoes of every sort. By the 1870s, Dodge City was known as the most violent and turbulent town in the West.
Enter Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. Young and largely self-trained men, the lawmen led the effort that established frontier justice and the rule of law in the American West, and did it in the wickedest place in the United States. When they moved on, Wyatt to Tombstone and Bat to Colorado, a tamed Dodge was left in the hands of Jim Masterson. But before long Wyatt and Bat, each having had a lawman brother killed, returned to that threatened western Kansas town to team up to restore order again in what became known as the Dodge City War before riding off into the sunset.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Clavin's Dodge City tells the true story of their friendship, romances, gunfights, and adventures, along with the remarkable cast of characters they encountered along the way (including Wild Bill Hickock, Jesse James, Doc Holliday, Buffalo Bill Cody, John Wesley Hardin, Billy the Kid, and Theodore Roosevelt) that has gone largely untold—lost in the haze of Hollywood films and western fiction, until now.
THE INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER
"Tombstone is written in a distinctly American voice." —T.J. Stiles, The New York Times
“With a former newsman’s nose for the truth, Clavin has sifted the facts, myths, and lies to produce what might be as accurate an account as we will ever get of the old West’s most famous feud.” —Associated Press
The true story of the Earp brothers, Doc Holliday, and the famous Battle at the OK Corral, by the New York Times bestselling author of Dodge City and Wild Bill.
On the afternoon of October 26, 1881, eight men clashed in what would be known as the most famous shootout in American frontier history. Thirty bullets were exchanged in thirty seconds, killing three men and wounding three others.
The fight sprang forth from a tense, hot summer. Cattle rustlers had been terrorizing the back country of Mexico and selling the livestock they stole to corrupt ranchers. The Mexican government built forts along the border to try to thwart American outlaws, while Arizona citizens became increasingly agitated. Rustlers, who became known as the cow-boys, began to kill each other as well as innocent citizens. That October, tensions boiled over with Ike and Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury, and Billy Claiborne confronting the Tombstone marshal, Virgil Earp, and the suddenly deputized Wyatt and Morgan Earp and shotgun-toting Doc Holliday.
Bestselling author Tom Clavin peers behind decades of legend surrounding the story of Tombstone to reveal the true story of the drama and violence that made it famous. Tombstone also digs deep into the vendetta ride that followed the tragic gunfight, when Wyatt and Warren Earp and Holliday went vigilante to track down the likes of Johnny Ringo, Curly Bill Brocius, and other cowboys who had cowardly gunned down his brothers. That "vendetta ride" would make the myth of Wyatt Earp complete and punctuate the struggle for power in the American frontier's last boom town.
The definitive true story of Wild Bill, the first lawman of the Wild West, by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dodge City.
In July 1865, "Wild Bill" Hickok shot and killed Davis Tutt in Springfield, MO—the first quick-draw duel on the frontier. Thus began the reputation that made him a marked man to every gunslinger in the Wild West.
James Butler Hickock was known across the frontier as a soldier, Union spy, scout, lawman, gunfighter, gambler, showman, and actor. He crossed paths with General Custer and Buffalo Bill Cody, as well as Ben Thompson and other young toughs gunning for the sheriff with the quickest draw west of the Mississippi.
Wild Bill also fell in love—multiple times—before marrying the true love of his life, Agnes Lake, the impresario of a traveling circus. He would be buried however, next to fabled frontierswoman Calamity Jane.
Even before his death, Wild Bill became a legend, with fiction sometimes supplanting fact in the stories that surfaced. Once, in a bar in Nebraska, he was confronted by four men, three of whom he killed in the ensuing gunfight. A famous Harper’s Magazine article credited Hickok with slaying 10 men that day; by the 1870s, his career-long kill count was up to 100.
The legend of Wild Bill has only grown since his death in 1876, when cowardly Jack McCall famously put a bullet through the back of his head during a card game. Bestselling author Tom Clavin has sifted through years of western lore to bring Hickock fully to life in this rip-roaring, spellbinding true story.
On June 19, 1864, just off the coast of France, one of the most dramatic naval battles in history took place. On a clear day with windswept skies, the dreaded Confederate raider Alabama faced the Union warship Kearsarge in an all-or-nothing fight to the finish, the outcome of which would effectively end the threat of the Confederacy on the high seas.
Authors Phil Keith and Tom Clavin introduce some of the crucial but historically overlooked players, including John Winslow, captain of the USS Kearsarge, as well as Raphael Semmes, captain of the CSS Alabama. Readers will sail aboard the Kearsarge as Winslow embarks for Europe with a set of simple orders from the secretary of the navy: "Travel to the uttermost ends of the earth, if necessary, to find and destroy the Alabama."
Winslow pursued Semmes in a spectacular fourteen-month chase over international waters, culminating in what would become the climactic sea battle of the Civil War.
It’s 1942, just after the blow to Pearl Harbor and the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, and the United States is reeling. A group of raw US Army Airmen travels to the embattled American Air Base of Port Moresby at Papua, New Guinea. Their mission: to protect Australia, to disrupt the Japanese supply lines, and to fly perilous reconnaissance runs over the enemy-held strongholds. Among the men are pilot Captain Jay Zeamer and bombardier Sergeant Raymond Joseph “Joe” Sarnoski, a pair of swashbuckling screw-ups whose antics prevent them from being assigned to a regular bombing crew. Instead, they rebuild a broken-down B-17 bomber from spare parts and christen the plane Old 666.
One day in June 1943, a request is circulated: volunteers are needed for a reconnaissance flight into the heart of the Japanese empire. Zeamer and Sarnoski see it as a shot at redemption and cobble together a crew and depart in Old 666 under cover of darkness. Five hours later, dozens of Japanese Zeros riddle the plane with bullets. Bloody and half-conscious, Zeamer and Sarnoski keep the plane in the air, winning what will go down as the longest dogfight in history and maneuvering an emergency landing in the jungle. Only one of them will make it home alive.
With unprecedented access to the Old 666 crew’s family and letters, as well as newly released transcripts from the Imperial Air Force’s official accounts of the battle, Lucky 666 is perhaps the last untold “great war story” (Kirkus Reviews) from the war in the Pacific. It’s an unforgettable tale of friendship, bravery, and sacrifice—and “highly recommended for WWII and aviation history buffs alike” (BookPage).
In the final days of 1944, Admiral William “Bull” Halsey is the Pacific theater’s most popular and colorful naval hero. After a string of victories, the “Fighting Admiral” and his thirty-thousand-man Third Fleet are charged with protecting General MacArthur’s flank during the invasion of the Philippine island of Mindoro. But in the midst of the landings, Halsey attempts a complicated refueling maneuver—and unwittingly drives his 170 ships into the teeth of a massive typhoon.
Halsey’s men find themselves battling ninety-foot waves and 150 mph winds. Amid the chaos, three ships are sunk and nearly nine hundred sailors and officers are swept into the Philippine Sea. For three days, small bands of survivors battle dehydration, exhaustion, sharks, and the elements, awaiting rescue. It will be up to courageous lieutenant commander Henry Lee Plage to defy orders and sail his tiny destroyer escort, the USS Tabberer, back into the storm to rescue drifting sailors.
Revealing a little-known chapter of WWII history in absorbing detail, this is “a vivid tale of tragedy and gallantry at sea.” (Publishers Weekly).
Red Cloud was the only American Indian in history to defeat the United States Army in a war, forcing the government to sue for peace on his terms. At the peak of Red Cloud’s powers the Sioux could claim control of one-fifth of the contiguous United States and the loyalty of thousands of fierce fighters. But the fog of history has left Red Cloud strangely obscured. Now, thanks to the rediscovery of a lost autobiography, and painstaking research by two award-winning authors, the story of the nineteenth century’s most powerful and successful Indian warrior can finally be told.
In this astonishing untold story of the American West, Bob Drury and Tom Clavin restore Red Cloud to his rightful place in American history in a sweeping and dramatic narrative based on years of primary research. As they trace the events leading to Red Cloud’s War, they provide intimate portraits of the many lives Red Cloud touched—mountain men such as Jim Bridger; US generals like William Tecumseh Sherman, who were charged with annihilating the Sioux; fearless explorers, such as the dashing John Bozeman; and the memorable warriors whom Red Cloud groomed, like the legendary Crazy Horse. And at the center of the story is Red Cloud, fighting for the very existence of the Indian way of life.
“Unabashed, unbiased, and disturbingly honest, leaving no razor-sharp arrowhead unturned, no rifle trigger unpulled....a compelling and fiery narrative” (USA TODAY), this is the definitive chronicle of the conflict between an expanding white civilization and the Plains Indians who stood in its way.
Roger Maris may be the greatest ballplayer no one really knows. In 1961, the soft-spoken man from the frozen plains of North Dakota enjoyed one of the most amazing seasons in baseball history, when he outslugged his teammate Mickey Mantle to become the game’s natural home-run king. It was Mantle himself who said, "Roger was as good a man and as good a ballplayer as there ever was." Yet Maris was vilified by fans and the press and has never received his due from biographers—until now.
Tom Clavin and Danny Peary trace the dramatic arc of Maris’s life, from his boyhood in Fargo through his early pro career in the Cleveland Indians farm program, to his World Series championship years in New York and beyond. At the center is the exciting story of the 1961 season and the ordeal Maris endured as an outsider in Yankee pinstripes, unloved by fans who compared him unfavorably to their heroes Ruth and Mantle, relentlessly attacked by an aggressive press corps who found him cold and inaccessible, and treated miserably by the organization. After the tremendous challenge of breaking Ruth’s record was behind him, Maris ultimately regained his love of baseball as a member of the world champion St. Louis Cardinals. And over time, he gained redemption in the eyes of the Yankee faithful.
With research drawn from more than 130 interviews with Maris’s teammates, opponents, family, and friends, as well as 16 pages of photos, some of which have never before been seen, this timely and poignant biography sheds light on an iconic figure from baseball’s golden era—and establishes the importance of his role in the game’s history.
In December 1777, some 12,000 members of America’s Continental Army stagger into a small Pennsylvania encampment near British-occupied Philadelphia. Their commander in chief, George Washington, is at the lowest ebb of his military career. Yet, somehow, Washington, with a dedicated coterie of advisers, sets out to breathe new life into his military force. Against all odds, they manage to turn a bobtail army of citizen soldiers into a professional fighting force that will change the world forever.
Valley Forge is the story of how that metamorphosis occurred. Bestselling authors Bob Drury and Tom Clavin show us how this miracle was accomplished despite thousands of American soldiers succumbing to disease, starvation, and the elements. At the center of it all is George Washington as he fends off pernicious political conspiracies. The Valley Forge winter is his—and the revolution’s—last chance at redemption. And after six months in the camp, Washington fulfills his destiny, leading the Continental Army to a stunning victory in the Battle of Monmouth Court House.
Valley Forge is the riveting true story of a nascent United States toppling an empire. Using new and rarely seen contemporaneous documents—and drawing on a cast of iconic characters and remarkable moments that capture the innovation and energy that led to the birth of our nation—Drury and Clavin provide a “gripping, panoramic account” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) of the definitive account of this seminal and previously undervalued moment in the battle for American independence.