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Synopsis: NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER · From the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the remarkable story of the heroic rescue of priceless horses in the closing days of World War II
In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find—his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine—an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food.
With only hours to spare, one of the U.S. Army’s last great cavalrymen, Colonel Hank Reed, makes a bold decision—with General George Patton’s blessing—to mount a covert rescue operation. Racing against time, Reed’s small but determined force of soldiers, aided by several turncoat Germans, steals across enemy lines in a last-ditch effort to save the horses.
Pulling together this multistranded story, Elizabeth Letts introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters: Alois Podhajsky, director of the famed Spanish Riding School of Vienna, a former Olympic medalist who is forced to flee the bomb-ravaged Austrian capital with his entire stable in tow; Gustav Rau, Hitler’s imperious chief of horse breeding, a proponent of eugenics who dreams of genetically engineering the perfect warhorse for Germany; and Tom Stewart, a senator’s son who makes a daring moonlight ride on a white stallion to secure the farm’s surrender.
A compelling account for animal lovers and World War II buffs alike, The Perfect Horse tells for the first time the full story of these events. Elizabeth Letts’s exhilarating tale of behind-enemy-lines adventure, courage, and sacrifice brings to life one of the most inspiring chapters in the annals of human valor.
Praise for The Perfect Horse
“Winningly readable . . . Letts captures both the personalities and the stakes of this daring mission with such a sharp ear for drama that the whole second half of the book reads like a WWII thriller dreamed up by Alan Furst or Len Deighton. . . . The right director could make a Hollywood classic out of this fairy tale.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“Letts, a lifelong equestrienne, eloquently brings together the many facets of this unlikely, poignant story underscoring the love and respect of man for horses.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The Perfect Horse raises the narrative bar. Applying her skills as a researcher, storyteller and horsewoman, Letts provides context that makes this account spellbinding.”—Culturess
“The Perfect Horse is an enthralling and moving story that I could not put down. This is a riveting and unique perspective on World War II.”—Molly Guptill Manning, author of When Books Went to War
“Passionately told and dazzling in scope, The Perfect Horse charges headlong into an unforgettable tale of World War II, when good men were given a final mission—to save beloved horses—at an hour when no one wanted to die. In Elizabeth Letts, the saga of World War II’s white stallions has found its perfect guardian.”—Adam Makos, author of A Higher Call
“Elizabeth Letts’s beautiful prose, woven together with meticulous research, takes you for a ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end.”—Robin Hutton, author of Sgt. Reckless
Review: An Amazon Best Book of August 2016: Many of us have heard the heroic story of the “Monuments Men”—Allied troops tasked with retrieving iconic artworks stolen by the Nazis during WWII. In The Perfect Horse, Elizabeth Letts sheds light on another of Hitler’s infamous heists, that of prized stallions from Hungary, Poland, Yugoslavia, and other parts of Europe, with the aim of employing eugenics to breed the consummate war horse (of course, of course). The harrowing mission to save these magnificent creatures, not just from the clutches of the Nazis, but the advancing--and very hungry—Russian army, was approved by General George S. Patton, evidently no slouch on the polo field. But consent came with a worrying caveat: if things went south, the ragtag band of rescuers were on their own. So why, in the midst of so much human suffering, did these men willingly risk their lives in this equine endeavor? The answers to this question lend Lett’s narrative its emotional power, and are just as relevant today as they were then. Whether you’re a history buff, a horse fan, or can appreciate how doing one positive thing can have enormous impact, The Perfect Horse is the perfect read for you. --Erin Kodicek, The Amazon Book Review
Title: The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission ...
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: 2016
Book Condition: Used: Good
Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Sound copy that may show minimal signs of wear or previous ownership. Bookseller Inventory # 3IIEND000EC2
Book Description Ballantine Books 2016-08-23, 2016. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. Bookseller Inventory # 9780345544803B
Book Description Book Condition: Good. [ No Hassle 30 Day Returns ][ Ships Daily ] [ Underlining/Highlighting: NONE ] [ Writing: NONE ] [ Edition: First ] Publisher: Ballantine Books Pub Date: 8/23/2016 Binding: Hardcover Pages: 400 First edition. Bookseller Inventory # 5781538
Book Description Ballantine Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. 0345544803 solid and clean. Bookseller Inventory # SKU1073321
Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. GOOD Condition -- Book has visible wear with highlightings and writings inside -- Overall in GOOD & readable condition -- Book ONLY -- Does NOT INCLUDE supplementary materials or accessories such as CD, DVD, access code etc. -- Great DEAL !! Fast Shipping -- Friendly Customer Service -- Buy with Confidence!. Bookseller Inventory # RP0345544803GO
Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. VERY GOOD condition -- Slightly used book with little highlights and markings inside -- Minor cover wear -- Book Only -- Great DEAL !! Fast Shipping -- Friendly Customer Service -- Buy with Confidence!. Bookseller Inventory # RP0345544803VG
Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: As New. AS NEW in Excellent condition -- Appears Unread -- Great DEAL !! Fast Shipping -- Friendly Customer Service -- Buy with Confidence!. Bookseller Inventory # RP0345544803LN
Book Description BALLANTINE BOOKS, 2016. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. HARDCOVER Legendary independent bookstore online since 1994. Reliable customer service and no-hassle return policy. General. Book: USED, Good. Dust Jacket: Good. Bookseller Inventory # 02978034554480302. Bookseller Inventory # 02978034554480302
Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Bookseller Inventory # P-351-373
Book Description BALLANTINE BOOKS, 2016. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. HARDCOVER Legendary independent bookstore online since 1994. Reliable customer service and no-hassle return policy. General. Book: USED, Good. Dust Jacket: Good. Bookseller Inventory # 02978034554480304. Bookseller Inventory # 02978034554480304