Fiction John Katzenbach Hart's War

ISBN 13: 9780345426253

Hart's War

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9780345426253: Hart's War

Second Lieutenant Tommy Hart, a navigator whose B-25 was shot out of the sky in 1942, is burdened with guilt as the only surviving member of his crew. Now he is just another POW at the fiercely guarded Stalag Luft 13 in Bavaria.

Then routine comes to a halt with the arrival of a new prisoner: First Lieutenant Lincoln Scott, an African American Tuskegee airman who instantly becomes the target of contempt from his fellow soldiers. When a prisoner is brutally murdered, and all the blood-soaked evidence points to Scott, Hart is tapped to defend the soldier. In a trial rife with racial tension and raw conflict, where the lines between ally and enemy blur, there are those with their own secret motives, and a burning passion for a rush to judgment, no matter what the cost.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

Review:

Stalag 17 meets the best of John Grisham in this tremendously exciting and moving new thriller, about a murder trial inside a German prisoner-of-war camp during World War II. John Katzenbach has taken elements of his own father's history in such a camp, added a racial twist (the defendant is a black pilot, a member of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen), and created a memorable adventure story that soars with hope and cries out to be filmed.

The first thing that former law student Tommy Hart does after his B-25 is shot down and he--the only survivor--is captured, is to fill out a form for the International Red Cross, telling his family he's alive and requesting, under "Special Items Needed," a copy of Edmund's Principles of Common Law. Amazingly, the book is waiting when he arrives at Stalag Luft Thirteen in the Bavarian woods. Hart soon puts it to good use, defending (with the help of two other prisoners, a former London barrister and a Canadian police detective) the prickly, proud Lieutenant Lincoln Scott when he is charged with killing a racist and corrupt fellow prisoner. The Nazis, especially a resident SS observer, have their own reasons for wanting the trial to be seen as a fair one, and it takes place against the backdrop of a planned mass escape.

Katzenbach deftly balances a dozen major characters with credible scenes of legal and extra-legal action. His previous thrillers, available in paperback, include Day of Reckoning, In the Heat of the Summer, Just Cause, The Shadow Man, State of Mind, and The Traveler. --Dick Adler

From the Author:

Finding Hart's War

By John Katzenbach

When my father was a young man, he went to war, as so many others of his generation did. When he returned home in 1945, after a year of air combat and nearly three years in a German POW camp, he eagerly went about the routine business of restarting his life. School, family, and career. It was important for him, as it was for so many other veterans, to set aside the horrors they'd experienced, and move directly on to the greater challenge of the normal world.

And so, by the time I was born in 1950, the war, and all the wreckage it caused within him, had been shunted aside, replaced with the promises that post-World War II America enthusiastically held out. What happened to him overseas was shelved, like an old book out of print and out of date, destined to gather cobwebs and dust in a darkened corner of some library. He did not speak of his friends on the Green Eyes and how they'd been shot down. Nor did he talk of the cold and deprivation at Stalag Luft 3, or the deadly combination of total boredom coupled with constant fear and doubt as to whether they would survive to live another day. The only lessons we learned from that time was how he'd acquired all his books to complete his undergraduate degree at Princeton, and how he'd used his time in captivity to study. In other words, how he'd helped to create his future, while trapped in near-despair.

There were some moments, few and far between, when the memories of those times came to the surface. Once, while arguing with my older brother over the division of some item -- we couldn't have been older than eight and nine -- my father, in frustration, pointed out that when he was in POW camp occasionally a cake or some other delicacy would arrive from the States. He told us that this was always shared among the men in the bunkroom -- with one proviso: whoever divided the cake selected last from the slices. He laughed and told us that men invented sophisticated means of measuring the total, so that each portion would be utterly equal. And so we adopted the same rule in our family, forgetting really where the rule came from, and failing to see the emotional underpinnings of the rule, because what it really said was that every morsel and crumb that arrived in Stalag Luft 3 might be the difference between surviving or not.

He took us to see The Great Escape when it came out, and I remember him muttering throughout the film, "Yes, that's right..." at various scenes. He nodded when James Garner scrounges the tools for the tunnel, and shuddered when Charles Bronson nearly suffocates from claustrophobia inside the tunnel. When Steve McQueen jumps the first barbed wire fence on his motorcycle, my father surged forward, as if he could help will the actor over the next obstacle and into Switzerland and freedom. When McQueen's motorcycle slides into the wire, my father leaned back and sighed.

But then, because life was so busy in other directions, these memories all returned to that shelf within him. It was not for decades that POW camp was ever mentioned. And then it came in the form of a question.

The ideas for novels come from many sources. I have always found them in the near-territory of my imagination, jump-started by something I saw or did in my career as a journalist, inspired by a conversation, an observation, something noticed in a news column, or mentioned by a friend. But as I entered the novelist's middle-age, I found myself reflecting on my family and their pasts, and prominent amidst those long-ignored memories, was my father's POW experience. And so, really with no agenda other than understanding a little bit better where I had come from, I started to ask him some questions about that time. He was, surprisingly, eager to answer. It had been so long, he said, since he had spoken of those times, it was a little like greeting an old, difficult, but valuable acquaintance. And, in the midst of those initial conversations, he said something that resonated within me.

I asked him what sort of men he'd known in POW camp, and he'd replied they were mostly fine men, good soldiers and men that went on to accomplish much. But then, he'd added, almost as an afterthought: "...But you know, there could be just about anyone in that camp, because it was a cross-section of the whole Air Corps. Anyone could get shot down: a lawyer, a ballplayer, a teacher, a crook -- anyone. Because there could be just about anyone flying in those planes over Germany."

Anyone. This intrigued me. If there could be criminals, could there be a crime? And what sort of crime? And how would it be handled by the Americans in the camp and their German captors? Because, for a mystery and thriller writer such as myself, there can only be one sort of crime: the worst.

I began to fire questions rapidly. Questions about race. About the Tuskagee airmen who'd arrived at the camp in 1944. About the men who were there, about the fire some felt to escape, and the fear others felt about surviving. I wanted to know about the food and the wire, the cold and the boredom. I asked him about the Germans and about the British. I wanted to know everything I could. When I thought I had enough information, I sat down at the computer and wrote "Prologue" at the top of the page, indented three or four times, and then typed: "Now he was an old man who liked to take chances."

It's probably not a bad idea, to sometimes take those old and ignored memories from the shelves and dust them off. It's a fine way of remembering at least a little bit of lessons learned early, that have stayed with one for years. I believe my writing Hart's War became such a moment for my father. Memory is a fine thing, whether it creates the basis for a novel, or establishes for a family a fair method for cutting cake.

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

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Descripción Random House USA Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Mass Market.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Second Lieutenant Tommy Hart, a navigator whose B-25 was shot out of the sky in 1942, is burdened with guilt as the only surviving member of his crew. Now he is just another POW at the fiercely guarded Stalag Luft 13 in Bavaria. Then routine comes to a halt with the arrival of a new prisoner: First Lieutenant Lincoln Scott, an African American Tuskegee airman who instantly becomes the target of contempt from his fellow soldiers. When a prisoner is brutally murdered, and all the blood-soaked evidence points to Scott, Hart is tapped to defend the soldier. In a trial rife with racial tension and raw conflict, where the lines between ally and enemy blur, there are those with their own secret motives, and a burning passion for a rush to judgment, no matter what the cost. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9780345426253

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Descripción Random House USA Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Mass Market.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Second Lieutenant Tommy Hart, a navigator whose B-25 was shot out of the sky in 1942, is burdened with guilt as the only surviving member of his crew. Now he is just another POW at the fiercely guarded Stalag Luft 13 in Bavaria. Then routine comes to a halt with the arrival of a new prisoner: First Lieutenant Lincoln Scott, an African American Tuskegee airman who instantly becomes the target of contempt from his fellow soldiers. When a prisoner is brutally murdered, and all the blood-soaked evidence points to Scott, Hart is tapped to defend the soldier. In a trial rife with racial tension and raw conflict, where the lines between ally and enemy blur, there are those with their own secret motives, and a burning passion for a rush to judgment, no matter what the cost. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9780345426253

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Descripción Random House USA Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Mass Market.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Second Lieutenant Tommy Hart, a navigator whose B-25 was shot out of the sky in 1942, is burdened with guilt as the only surviving member of his crew. Now he is just another POW at the fiercely guarded Stalag Luft 13 in Bavaria. Then routine comes to a halt with the arrival of a new prisoner: First Lieutenant Lincoln Scott, an African American Tuskegee airman who instantly becomes the target of contempt from his fellow soldiers. When a prisoner is brutally murdered, and all the blood-soaked evidence points to Scott, Hart is tapped to defend the soldier. In a trial rife with racial tension and raw conflict, where the lines between ally and enemy blur, there are those with their own secret motives, and a burning passion for a rush to judgment, no matter what the cost. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780345426253

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