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One of the great untold stories of World War II finally comes to light in this thrilling account of Torpedo Squadron Eight and their heroic efforts in helping an outmatched U.S. fleet win critical victories at Midway and Guadalcanal. These 35 American men--many flying outmoded aircraft--changed the course of history, going on to become the war's most decorated naval air squadron, while suffering the heaviest losses in U.S. naval aviation history.
Mrazek paints moving portraits of the men in the squadron, and exposes a shocking cover-up that cost many lives. Filled with thrilling scenes of battle, betrayal, and sacrifice, A DAWN LIKE THUNDER is destined to become a classic in the literature of World War II.
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Bob Mrazek is 62 years old and grew up in Huntington, N.Y. He graduated from Cornell University in 1967 with an AB degree in political science. From 1967-1968, he served in the U.S. Navy.
After working on the Washington staff of U.S. Senator Vance Hartke (D-Ind.), he was elected in 1982 to the U.S. Congress, defeating John Le Boutillier, the Republican incumbent in Long Island's "Gold Coast" district on the north shore of Long Island. Just the fourth freshman in the history of the House to be elected to the Appropriations Committee, he served ten years, announcing in 1991 that he would not stand for re-election.
In 1990 Bob Mrazek authored the law that saved the 17 million acre Tongass National Forest in Alaska from being clear-cut by the two largest pulp companies in the U.S. Mrazek also authored the Amerasian Homecoming Act, a law that brought more than 16,000 sons and daughters of American military personnel from lives as street children in Saigon to the U.S. Congressman Mrazek was also the original sponsor of the Landmark Preservation Act, a law that saved the Manassas Civil War battlefield from becoming a "mega-mall." He also wrote the National Film Preservation Act, a law that established the National Federal Registry of master film works in the Library of Congress, for which he received a career achievement award from the Director's Guild of America.
Mrazek was named Conservationist of the Year by the National Parks and Conservation Association and earned the Commissioner's Preservationist Award from the Governor of New York. Since his retirement from Congress, he has served on the boards of several charitable organizations, including ten years as Chairman of the Washington-based Alaska Wilderness League. In 2004, he received the first annual Happel Award from the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust for his work in battlefield preservation.
His first novel, Stonewall's Gold, was chosen as a featured selection of the Literary Guild, a main selection of Reader's Digest Select Editions, and won the Michael Shaara prize for the best Civil War novel of the year. His second novel, Unholy Fire, was published by St. Martin's Press, and received similar critical acclaim. His third novel, The Deadly Embrace, was published by Viking Press, and won the W.Y. Boyd prize for the best military fiction of 2007.
A Dawn Like Thunder is Mr. Mrazek's first non-fiction book. It was chosen as a main selection of the Military and History Book Clubs.
Bob Mrazek lives and writes in upstate New York and Maine.
For more information, visit www.adawnlikethunder.com.
Torpedo Squadron Eight was based on the USS HORNET, and its members saw action at Midway and Guadalcanal during WWII. The squadron finished the war as the most decorated naval air squadron while suffering the highest losses in the Navy's aviation history. Its men are the focus of this work. Mrazek was able to track down those who survived and tells the human, as well as the military, history of the unit. Dick Hill gives this work an excellent reading. He easily performs the narrative and without missing a beat switches to a quote with an appropriate and believable accent, and then goes back to the narrative. His expressive and easygoing manner makes the art of narration seem effortless. M.T.F. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine
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