• The Indomitable Florence Finch

  • The Untold Story of a War Widow Turned Resistance Fighter and Savior of American POWs
  • By: Robert J. Mrazek
  • Narrated by: Dan Woren
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (180 ratings)

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The Indomitable Florence Finch

By: Robert J. Mrazek
Narrated by: Dan Woren
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Publisher's summary

The New York Times bestselling author of Fly Girls shares the riveting story of an unsung World War II hero who saved countless American lives in the Philippines.

When Florence Finch died at the age of 101, few of her Ithaca, NY neighbors knew that this unassuming Filipina native was a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, whose courage and sacrifice were unsurpassed in the Pacific War against Japan. Long accustomed to keeping her secrets close in service of the Allies, she waited fifty years to reveal the story of those dramatic and harrowing days to her own children.

Florence was an unlikely warrior. She relied on her own intelligence and fortitude to survive on her own from the age of seven, facing bigotry as a mixed-race mestiza with the dual heritage of her American serviceman father and Filipina mother.

As the war drew ever closer to the Philippines, Florence fell in love with a dashing American naval intelligence agent, Charles "Bing" Smith. In the wake of Bing's sudden death in battle, Florence transformed from a mild-mannered young wife into a fervent resistance fighter. She conceived a bold plan to divert tons of precious fuel from the Japanese army, which was then sold on the black market to provide desperately needed medicine and food for hundreds of American POWs. In constant peril of arrest and execution, Florence fought to save others, even as the Japanese police closed in.

With a wealth of original sources including taped interviews, personal journals, and unpublished memoirs, The Indomitable Florence Finch unfolds against the Bataan Death March, the fall of Corregidor, and the daily struggle to survive a brutal occupying force. Award-winning military historian and former Congressman Robert J. Mrazek brings to light this long-hidden American patriot. The Indomitable Florence Finch is the story of the transcendent bravery of a woman who belongs in America's pantheon of war heroes.

©2020 Robert J. Mrazek (P)2020 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

One of BookBub's 12 Best New Nonfiction Books This Summer!

One of Amazon's Best Books of July 2020!

"A riveting story of courage and sacrifice....Mrazek's book is a treasure, an eminently readable tribute to the wartime heroism of one brave woman."—The New York Times Book Review

"A monumental biography....Details of Finch's life are blended deftly with the chronology of the Philippines and the world at large....What is special about this biography is the fashion in which certain interesting and controversial topics come into view... historians have long debated whether or not America was really prepared for World War II....Robert Mrazek is to be praised for his serious research and superior writing style, both of which make this chronicle of Florence's real-life adventures an absorbing saga. Her receipt of the Medal of Freedom spotlighted her brave, fearless war effort, just as The Indomitable Florence Finch brings her life and service to our attention."—Washington Independent Review of Books

"This soul-stirring story of a true heroine of World War II brought tears to my eyes."—James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom