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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Jaw Dropping Ground and Air Combat Realism

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. It made feel as if I was back in Korea again.
And today's events sound as if its all going to happen again.

What does Dominic Hoffman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Mr. Hoffman's tone and pace make it sound as if he's actually a witness to the story.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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A must read, not only for history enthusiasts

Where does Devotion rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top 5 for sure

Who was your favorite character and why?

I can't really pick one. The author did a great job leading us through the story using multiple main characters.

What does Dominic Hoffman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He's a great narrator. Very nice tone of voice, and he really understood what he was reading, but without overdoing the acting part.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Not sure, but this book would make a VERY good movie!

Any additional comments?

Somehow the reviews and summaries don't do justice to this one. Even though I loved "Higher Call" I was hesitant to buy this one. Well, it's just as good as the author's first book. At times it made me laugh out loud, and times I had to fight my tears while listening to it on public transportation. A fascinating story that is well written, and read by a very talented narrator.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Loved It !

If you are into the history and personal stories of the men and women who have fought in the wars of America, I think you will really enjoy this audiobook of courage and friendship of this little known true story. I found it very difficult to stop listening, wanting to know what would happen to these men who fought in the Korean War. As it is a true story, not all things end well, but it makes one very proud, and educates us about this forgotten war, and the men who served and died there.
Narration was very good, and I've listened to the author's other book 'A Higher Call', which was equally as good.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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BUY A HIGHER CALL FIRST - IS MUCH BETTER


A solid book, beautifully written, but not nearly as good as the authors first book, A Higher Call. The first half of this book, near six hours is about the lives of the pilots and soldiers prior to them joining the military. I felt this was way too much, as they had very mundane lives.

Saying that when one does get to the action then the authors research & eloquence really come to the fore. I would buy A Higher Call first & if that suits you, then buy this one. This book is very slow going at times.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Astounding True Story

I am so happy that I decided to listen to “Devotion.” Once the story of Jesse Brown, the first black naval aviator, and his unlikely friend and wingman Tom Hudner began I could not put it down.

They met as ensigns serving in the same squadron before the outbreak of the Korean War. Brown was the son of poor Mississippi sharecroppers. In spite of the racism of the era, Jesse managed both a college education and a commission, through the ROTC, to become the first aviator of color in the history of the US Navy.

Tom Hudner came from a wealthy, white New England family. He went to the best schools and had a bright future ahead of him in the family’s chain of grocery stores. Instead, Tom wanted to fly airplanes. It was that desire that led to his meeting Jesse when they were assigned to the same squadron.

The story takes the reader through Tom and Jesse’s formative years and into the Navy. Then to a Mediterranean cruise on the USD Leyte, and eventually to the Korean Peninsula and to war.

The story is about Jesse’s love and devotion to his wife, and Tom and Jesse’s devotion to each other. It is about unbounded loyalty, friendship and heroism. It is a story to remember.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Why didn’t I know more?

This story is so important !! It. Shows how we are not a racist nation. Not a country without honor or tested faith and respect for life, in war or peace. It is a story untold that needs to be shouted aloud as a banner to show a weaker generation a path to follow. Respect is lost courage that falters in times of stress and need. It was a story that needed to be told. Thank you. I wish my Dad was still alive to thank him for his service in Korea and the Army.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • B Taub
  • Ann Arbor, MI United States
  • 01-26-16

Really well done! Really entertaining!

GREAT BOOK!
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.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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A beautiful story from a forgotten time

So many people may not even know what the Korean War was or how the people there endured. This a terrific glimpse at what it was like to be a fighting man at that time and how the bonds of friendship and love go beyond measure. Highly encourage to be read!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Scott
  • Covington, KY, United States
  • 07-20-18

Powerful work

Couldnt be a more appropriate time in history for this book. Men denied the rights of other Americans with different colored skin still volunteering for the very country committing this terrible act. Here we are 70 years later and now we are trying to kick men of color out of our military. Citizen or not, if you are qualified and want to, you should be allowed to serve.
If you like a good war story, this will be great book to read. I actually served in the Marine Corps and visited many of the same places these gentlemen did in the Mediterranean. So many things change, but so many stay the same. The Korean war is called the forgotten war, although many of havent forgotten. I thank these men and marvel at their bravery, honor and dedication to God Country and Corps!!!! Semper Fi and Anchors Away!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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WOW

From beginning to end, a grand documentary of heroism, grit, bravery and the tragedy of war. Mrs Brown was right, we do need more Jesses and Toms.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful