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The First Heroes: The Extraordinary Story of the Doolittle Raid - America's First World War II Victory

Nelson, Craig (AUTOGRAPHED)

241 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0670030872 / ISBN 13: 9780670030873
Published by Viking 1st printing, NY, 2002
From Barbarossa Books Ltd. (IOBA) (Bainbridge Island, WA, U.S.A.)

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SIGNED BY AUTHOR, xviii, 430 p., photos, notes, biblio, index, 8vo; VG/VG dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 56831

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The First Heroes: The Extraordinary Story of...

Publisher: Viking 1st printing, NY

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


The Doolittle Raiders, as they became known, were a squadron of eighty scarcely trained young men led by the famous daredevil aviator Jimmy Doolittle. Their mission-the daring World War II bombing raid of Tokyo and other cities in April 1942-was successful until Japanese spies forced most of the squadron to crash-land in enemy-occupied China, where pilots were ferried underground across the country to safety. One plane landed in the Soviet port of Vladivostok, where the crew was eventually smuggled out of the country through Persia. Others were captured by the Japanese, confined to years of imprisonment and torture. The fact that 90 percent of the men involved came home alive was little short of a miracle.

Extensively researched, including interviews with twenty of the twenty-seven remaining survivors, The First Heroes vividly recreates America's first great victory of World War II. Craig Nelson follows the Doolittle Raiders from their secret training on a Florida airfield to their tense days in transit across the Pacific to the bombing itself and finally to their courageous accounts of survival against astonishing odds. This story of America's striking back at its enemies after a vicious surprise attack will resonate widely with the general public today and is sure to appeal to all readers of Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation.

From the Inside Flap:

Advance praise for Craig Nelson's THE FIRST HEROES:

"The Doolittle Raid was Franklin Roosevelt's answer to Pearl Harbor. The gutsy mission shocked the Japanese, electrified America, and determined the shape and tenor of the entire Pacific War. If you want to read one book to understand how a humbled America rose to defeat mighty Japan, you hold that book in your hands. Read about the original 'Mission Impossible' of World War II. Read about the boys who flew off into history, believing they would never come back. Read about the boys who were the first heroes." (James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers)

"The First Heroes is epic in sweep. The story of the Doolittle Raid lifts off the page, as rich and engrossing as any legend, and Craig Nelson proceeds to bring to vivid life the dramatic story behind the story. This is an astonishing feat - the hours breathe with even the tiniest gesture of young men desperately fighting to stay alive, against the panorama of modern war and a turbulent century in the making. Nelson is an amazing storyteller." (Doug Stanton, author of In Harm's Way)

"In this passionate and intimate history, Craig Nelson reminds us that America's first response to Pearl Harbor was neither tepid nor undramatic, but rather one of warfare's boldest chapters of righteous revenge." (Hampton Sides, author of Ghost Soldiers)

"I vividly remember as a boy, in the demoralizing months following Pearl Harbor, the disbelief and elation that greeted news that American bombers had actually struck Tokyo! Now Craig Nelson has given us every detail, every secret, every story behind this raid, which first taught an insecure nation that we could hit this enemy and, in time, defeat him." (Joseph E. Persico, author of Roosevelt's Secret War)

"Craig Nelson has produced a book that is, quite simply, unforgettable. The First Heroes lives and moves with staggering power and vitality. I never wanted it to end." (Leon Bing, author of Do or Die)

"The First Heroes is the best kind of history: important, thoughtful, and wonderfully gripping. Craig Nelson has done a splendid job of making America's first victory in World War II seem so vital, so relevant, that reading it feels like living it." (Susan Isaacs, author of Long Time No See and Compromising Positions)

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