For readers of Unbroken comes an unforgettable tale of courage from America's "forgotten war" in Korea, by the New York Times best-selling author of A Higher Call.
Devotion tells the inspirational story of the US Navy's most famous aviator duo, Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the marines they fought to defend.
A white New Englander from the country-club scene, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighters for his country. An African American sharecropper's son from Mississippi, Jesse became the navy's first black carrier pilot, defending a nation that wouldn't even serve him in a bar.
While much of America remained divided by segregation, Jesse and Tom joined forces as wingmen in Fighter Squadron 32. Adam Makos takes us into the cockpit as these bold young aviators cut their teeth at the world's most dangerous job - landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier - and a line of work that Jesse's young wife, Daisy, struggles to accept.
Deployed to the Mediterranean, Tom and Jesse meet the Fleet Marines, boys like PFC "Red" Parkinson, a farm kid from the Catskills. In between war games in the sun, the young men revel on the Riviera, partying with millionaires and even befriending the Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Taylor. Then comes the war no one expected, in faraway Korea.
Devotion takes us soaring overhead with Tom and Jesse and into the foxholes with Red and the marines as they battle a North Korean invasion. As the fury of the fighting escalates and the marines are cornered at the Chosin Reservoir, Tom and Jesse fly, guns blazing, to try to save them. When one of the duo is shot down behind enemy lines and pinned in his burning plane, the other faces an unthinkable choice: watch his friend die or attempt history's most audacious one-man rescue mission.
A tug-at-the-heartstrings tale of bravery and selflessness, Devotion asks: How far would you go to save a friend?
©2015 Adam Makos (P)2015 Random House Audio
"My great respect for Tom Hudner knows no bounds. He is a true hero; and in reading this book, you will understand why I feel that way." (President George H. W. Bush)
"This is aerial drama at its best - fast, powerful, and moving." (Erik Larson, New York Times best-selling author of Dead Wake)
"Lovingly rendered and meticulously researched, here is a tale of true friendship across the racial divide. Though it concerns a famously cold battle in the Korean War, make no mistake: Devotion will warm your heart." (Hampton Sides, New York Times best-selling author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice)
Aviation geek, computer & database geek, bad hockey player, recovering CPA
Boy, I enjoyed this audio book!!! I generally don't take the time to write reviews but just felt that this book was so entertaining that I'd like folks to know about it.
I'm an aviation geek who has only read a few stories about aviation in the Korea War. And, while it's not very technical (in fact, I wish it was a bit more technical), there was some very cool flying in this book. But, the story also covered gripping and heartbreaking stories about marines on the ground.
While I wouldn't say it delved very deeply into issues of racism (I was a bit surprised that Jesse Brown didn't seem to encounter more of it), the coverage it did provide really made me think about what it means to face it from childhood and the powerlessness it must make its victims feel.
At times DEVOTION had me biting my lip with scared anticipation. At other times it had me in tears. I really do recommend it to anyone who loves great stories about people struggling through incredibly tough circumstances.
A FEW, MINOR ISSUES
While, overall I loved it, I guess I did have a few, minor issues with DEVOTION. It is 'pop' history written not only to educate but also to entertain a target audience. As such:
1) I felt it was a bit too rah-rah America and freedom. I don't disagree with the sentiment but books like FLYBOYS present a bit more of a balanced approach to treating the enemy, as cruel a they might have been, as humans.
2) In the effort to draw the reader in emotionally, I felt like the book was a bit 'syrupy' at times. For example, including Jesse's last letter home, at the end of the book, was an attempt to build emotion that, at least to me, seemed a bit inappropriate.
Minister, MDiv, Outdoor Education
This is one of those few all-around great audio books. Incredible story, good writing, and good narrator. There is an awful lot to process after reading this, and I don't want to ruin the process for anyone else. Let's just say that this book gave me a profound appreciation for the African-Americans who sacrificed for a country that forced them to endure awful racism trusting that the future was bright. Like I said, there is much more to process, but I suggest you read it for yourself.
Most people have a few good friends and those relationships are forged in many ways but those forged under adversity with respect form a special bond that cannot be put in words.
The author captures this as he did in A Higher Call...Excellent work!!
dedication, and love. I actually met the real person who is representative of Tom in the book. He is an American hero!
This is a powerful story of friendship between two pilots. It is also a superb introduction to the Korean War for those who know little about it. I had often heard of the Chosin Reservoir, now I can visualize it. While the interracial friendship between the pilots is the cornerstone of the book, it is also a beautiful illustration of everything that goes into a strong marriage . The narration is excellent, the writing strong and evocative. I couldn't stop listening.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it.
Jesse Brown's mother advice to her children: Words can mean everything or nothing at all, it is up to you.
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