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Fighting the Night by Paul Hendrickson
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Fighting the Night

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Fighting the Night by Paul Hendrickson
Hardcover $32.00
May 07, 2024 | ISBN 9780593321133

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    May 07, 2024 | ISBN 9780593321133

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  • May 07, 2024 | ISBN 9780593321140

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  • May 07, 2024 | ISBN 9780593825426

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“Here is another magnificent work of non-fiction literature from the master craftsman Paul Hendrickson. Like the others, this book is scrupulously honest, deeply felt and beautifully written. But now he turns his art to a timeless subject: a son’s quest to know—really know—his father.”​ —David Von Drehle, author of The Book of Charlie

“A beautifully written exploration of [the author’s] father’s World War II service as the pilot of a P-61 Black Widow night fighter… Paul Hendrickson…is a probing journalist who prioritizes facts over sensationalism…[in this] absorbing narrative…. Mr. Hendrickson spoke with a dizzying array of family members and friends… [and though] he never met the only enlisted man on the three-man crew… his research… is so evocative and perceptive that one might think the author knew him intimately…. The book is a journey into discovery…. a fascinating immersion in the melancholy yet somehow uplifting tale of one American family… One comes away…highly impressed.” —John C. McManus, The Wall Street Journal

“In Fighting the Night, Paul Hendrickson has managed to revive the vanished world of his father, whose formative moment came long ago, when he flew a fighter plane over the Pacific. This is a heroic act of reporting, which doubles as a son’s tribute to his dad.” —Dexter Filkins, author of The Forever War

“Tender, heartwarming, occasionally frightening, and written in a conversational style that invites the reader into his family, Hendrickson pilots this richly illuminating chronicle across Depression-era Kentucky farmlands to flight school and through his father’s deployment in the Pacific and his postwar career as a pilot for Eastern Airlines… An excellent, engrossing work of family and world history that leaves readers thinking in new ways about the consequences of military service.”—James Pekoll, Booklist

“Detailing the challenges of a young military family, Joe Paul’s dangerous wartime missions, and the lingering effects of war, Hendrickson poignantly examines a life and a historic time.”Library Journal

“[A] detailed, vivid narrative, which benefits from intensive archival research and exhaustive interviews…An expert account of a father’s WWII experiences that gives his fellow airmen equal attention.”Kirkus Reviews

“Biographer Hendrickson (Plagued by Fire) offers an intimate exploration of the life and military career of his father, U.S. Army Air Corps pilot Joe Hendrickson (1918–2003)… Coupling a poignant personal journey with propulsive aviation action, this WWII history flies high.”Publishers Weekly

“With deep vision, Paul Hendrickson narrates his search for what his Dad and his combat buddies experienced in the Pacific. It is beautifully reported and written, like all of Paul’s work. What makes this book special is that it’s a much larger journey into the collective psyche of the members of the Baby Boom generation who have lived in the light and shadow of their parents’ experiences in combat long ago.”—David Ignatius, columnist, The Washington Post

“Paul Hendrickson has long stood apart from other writers because of his singular, lyrical voice, and Fighting the Night is the work of a great author at his very best. The themes have universal appeal — fathers and sons, love and war — but the true heart of Fighting the Night is Hendrickson’s reckoning with the ghosts of a life in a book that is hypnotic, profound, achingly honest and compulsively readable.” —David Finkel, author of Thank You for Your Service

Fighting the Night is beautiful, searing, and poignant, an investigation of the human heart, of sky, and of father and son, prewar and postwar. I thought it might be another WWII book, and while there’s war, sure enough, it’s what happens in the hearts of men (and mothers on the home front) that distinguishes this book. Paul Hendrickson was walking toward the batter’s box through all his books, leading up to this moment. And when it came time to finally lay this one down, he swung with the fierceness of a Babe Ruth. It takes a certain kind of mountain climbing to write a book like this. Readers are going to be mighty grateful.”—Wil Haygood, author of Colorization

“There are countless books about World War II, the war in the Pacific, and the fight for Iwo Jima. Paul Hendrickson’s Fighting the Night is unique — a son telling the story of his father’s experiences as a combat pilot in the aftermath of the Iwo Jima campaign but written with extraordinary intimacy about how he got there, what he did there, and the impact it had on the rest of his life and on his family. It is a story of friendships forged, the emotional scars, and just coping after the war. Fighting the Night is more, though.  It is the story of every war, every man in combat, and the scars each man — and his family — bears. It is a beautiful book, a stark and raw one in many ways, and a magnificent tribute to the author’s father.”—Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense 2006-2011

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