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Note: Max Brooks is available to Skype(R) with classrooms that adopt the book for course use. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS is a fictionalized account of the 369th Infantry Regiment—the first African American regiment mustered to fight in World War I. From the enlistment lines in Harlem to the training camp at Spartanburg, South Carolina, to the trenches in France, bestselling author Max Brooks tells the thrilling story of the heroic journey that these soldiers undertook for a chance to fight for America. Despite extraordinary struggles and discrimination, the 369th became one of the most successful—and least celebrated—regiments of the war. The Harlem Hellfighters, as their enemies named them, spent longer than any other American unit in combat and displayed extraordinary valor on the battlefield. Based on true events and featuring artwork from acclaimed illustrator Caanan White, these pages deliver an action-packed and powerful story of courage, honor, and heart.
"The Harlem Hellfighters brings to life a long forgotten piece of American history. Bravo, Max Brooks, bravo." —Spike Lee
"An utterly fresh and shocking blend of storytelling and graphic art that takes us back to the global conflagration at the dawn of the last century and the heroic and outsized role brave African American soldiers played in turning the tide for the Allies. In an injustice oft repeated throughout our history, the heroic feats of the "Harlem Hellfighters" were not just forgotten but deliberately suppressed by a nation eager to accept the Black man's sacrifice but terrified to give him the slightest credit for it. Denied the ability to even defend themselves back home, the Hell Fighters tear up the Western Front and terrify the Germans, facing down machine guns, rats, and poison gas with stoic relentlessness and deflected fury. White's illustrations explode off the page and Brooks' storytelling brings gripping action and anger to every page." —Tom Reiss, author of THE BLACK COUNT
“The Harlem Hellfighters is perhaps the first graphic novel taking as its theme a major episode in African American History, the heroic performance of black men in combat during World War I. Brilliantly dramatized by Max Brooks—author of such national bestsellers as World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide--and stunningly illustrated by Canaan White, one of our foremost African-American comic book illustrators, the novel tells the gripping story of the often overlooked black men who served their country in combat against enemy forces during “the Great War.” The Harlem Hellfighters served in combat longer than any other American unit, losing neither men nor ground, even as they fought entrenched racism within the U.S. military. Brooks and White tell a thrilling saga of noble perseverance, individual valor and sacrifice and collective triumph, showing how combat abroad in war contributed to the larger quest for civil rights at home. Informed by judicious historical research and vividly illustrated storytelling, this book itself is an historical “first,” and is a major contribution to our understanding of Black History.” —Henry Louis Gates, Jr., The Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University