A dramatic and moving tribute to the military's unsung heroes, American Patriots tells the story of the black servicemen and women who defended American ideals on the battlefield, even as they faced racism in the ranks and segregation on the home front. Through hundreds of original interviews with veterans of every war since World War I, historic accounts, and photographs, Gail Buckley brings these heroes and their struggles to life. We meet Henry O. Flipper, who withstood silent treatment from his classmates to become the first black graduate of West Point in 1877. And World War II infantry medic Bruce M. Wright, who crawled through a minefield to shield a fallen soldier during an attack. Finally, we meet a young soldier in Vietnam, Colin Powell, who rose through the ranks to become, during the Gulf War, the first black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Fourteen years in the making, American Patriots is a landmark chronicle of the brave men and women whose courage and determination changed the course of American history.
About the Author
Gail Lumet Buckley is a journalist and the daughter of Lena Horne. Her family history -- "The Hornes" -- became an "American Masters "documentary, and she narrated a documentary on black American families for PBS. She has written for the "Los Angeles Times," "Vogue," the "New York Daily News," and "The New York Times," She lives in New York.
David Halberstam graduated from Harvard, where he had served as managing editor of the daily Harvard Crimson. It was 1955, a year after the Supreme Court outlawed segregation in public schools. Halberstam went south and began his career as the one reporter on the West Point, Mississippi, Daily Times Leader. He was fired after ten months there and went to work for the Nashville Tennessean. When the sit-ins broke out in Nashville in February 1960, he was assigned to the story as principal reporter. He joined the New York Times later that year, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for his early reports from Vietnam. He has received every other major journalistic award, and is a member of the Society of American Historians.
Tonya Bolden has authored and coauthored more than twenty books. She also worked with Mother Love on her book Forgive or Forget and with Eartha Kitt on Rejuvenate! (It's Never Too Late). To learn more about her work visit www.tonyabolden.com.
“A triumphant American success story.”
—Stephen E. Ambrose
“A remarkable human drama, one of struggle, betrayal and ultimate redemption . . . Buckley has written a book to fill a significant gap in our history.”
—The New York Times
“A mine of powerful anecdotes, characters and forgotten history. You can open American Patriots practically anywhere and find yourself fascinated.”
—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“With their blood and courage, they lift us all up. . . . A fascinating, stirring and important book.” —Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down
“A compulsive and humbling history of nobility in the face of American prejudice, and courage in the face of America’s enemies. Buckley writes with grace and authority—and an almost unearthly restraint.” —John le Carré