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Publisher's Summary

Four days before Christmas in 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail - a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber with the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would defy imagination and later be called the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.

This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day - the American - Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a former farm boy from West Virginia who came to captain a B-17 - and the German - Second Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II.

A Higher Call follows both Charlie and Franz’s harrowing missions. Charlie would face takeoffs in English fog over the flaming wreckage of his buddies’ planes, flak bursts so close they would light his cockpit, and packs of enemy fighters that would circle his plane like sharks. Franz would face sandstorms in the desert, a crash alone at sea, and the spectacle of one thousand bombers, each with eleven guns, waiting for his attack.

Ultimately, Charlie and Franz would stare across the frozen skies at one another. What happened between them, the American Eighth Air Force would later classify as top secret. It was an act that Franz could never mention without facing a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for 40 years until, as old men, they would search for one another, a last mission that could change their lives forever.

©2012 Adam Makos (P)2013 Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Critic Reviews

“This book grips you like a movie. It’s part Top Gun, part Valkyrie, and more!”(Marcus Brotherton,  New York Times best-selling author
“It is often said that ‘war is hell’ - and it is - however, this story reveals how the human spirit can shine in the darkest hours. A Higher Call is an eye-opener.” (Col. Charles McGee, Tuskegee Airman, WWII)
“‘Can good men be found on both sides of a bad war?’ The author asks the question and delivers the answer. A powerful, haunting read.” (Chuck Tatum, author of  Red Blood, Black Sand)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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Story

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Five Stars

Truly outstanding.... The Human Spirit. This is truly one of the top five books I have ever listen to in my life.

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amazing!

This is my new favorite WWII book. Very well written, and the audio performance was fantastic.

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Honorable Combat Pilots WW II - Highly Recommended

This story of faithful honorable pilots from WW II whose generous service and willing self-sacrifice lead to their famous noble knightly encounter and eventually becoming friends although they were on opposing sides.

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Blessed Men

I heard of this story in my Tallahassee Northside Rotary meeting from a former Miami Rotarian who knew Charlie And Franz well. I couldn’t wait to read the book after hearing the story first hand. It did not disappoint. There are honorable men on both sides of any war and monsters as well. These were honorable men that became friends for life after a fateful encounter over war torn Germany one December 20th. Because of this encounter there are probably 75 Americans that have been born to the survivors in the generations since. We

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A history lesson about real men

Not only a great story but a great lesson of history! Told by the men who lived it.

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Unbelievable listen!

I read this book on my own three years ago, and was so eager to read it again I decided to listen to it here. And let me tell you, listening to it was even better than hearing the story for the first time. The narrator has such a warming voice and is able to bring the characters to life so well! This remains one of my all-time favorite books! I recommend this book not just to those who enjoy history! This book has so much more than facts about the war! It is filled with love, hate, brotherhood, duty to yourself and country, personal inner-conflicts, and IT’S ALL COMPLETELY TRUE!!

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amazing!

loved it... I have recommended this book to everyone, and I'm not even fond of war stories.

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Best Read In A Long Time

This is one of the best WWII books I have ever read. Actually, best book of any type in a long time. This should be a movie. I'm going to get it in hardback so I can also read it. Don't miss this one.

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beautiful love this story.

amazing story from the German side of the war wish there were more like this stories and this one should be make into a movie

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  • Adam A
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • 08-13-17

Changes your perspective on the enemy

This book helps you appreciate what it was like to be a pilot during war war two. The tough decisions that had to be made makes things complicated when you put yourself in their shoes. The narration was excellent. If you loved this book the next on your list need to be fate is the hunter and legend.