- Author Bio
An engrossing, epic history of the U.S. Army in the Pacific War
“Out here, mention is seldom seen of the achievements of the Army ground troops,” wrote one officer in the fall of 1943, “whereas the Marines are blown up to the skies.” Even today, the Marines are celebrated as the victors of the Pacific. Yet the majority of fighting and dying in the war against Japan was done not by Marines, but by unsung Army soldiers.
John C. McManus, one of our most highly acclaimed historians of World War II, takes readers from Pearl Harbor—a rude awakening for a ragtag militia woefully unprepared for war—to Makin, a sliver of coral reef where the Army was tested against the increasingly desperate Japanese. In between were nearly two years of punishing combat as the Army transformed, at times unsteadily, from an undertrained garrison force into an unstoppable juggernaut, and America evolved from an inward-looking nation into a global superpower.
At the pinnacle of this richly told story are the generals: Douglas MacArthur, a military autocrat driven by his dysfunctional lust for fame and power; Robert Eichelberger, perhaps the greatest commander in the theater yet consigned to obscurity by MacArthur’s jealousy; Vinegar Joe Stillwell, a prickly soldier miscast in a diplomat’s role; and Walter Krueger, a German-born officer who came to lead the largest American ground force in the Pacific. Enriching the narrative are the voices of men otherwise lost to history: the uncelebrated army grunts who endured stifling temperatures, apocalyptic tropical storms, rampant malaria and other diseases, as well as a fanatical enemy bent on total destruction.
This is an essential, ambitious book, the first of two volumes, a compellingly written and boldly revisionist account of a war that reshaped the American military and the globe, and continues to resonate today.
Story Locale: Pacific Theater of WWII
UNIQUE: Whereas most Pacific histories focus on the Navy and Marine Corps, this is the first to tell the full story of the Army’s enormous role in the defeat of Japan.
MARKET POTENTIAL: Follows the tradition of Rick Atkinson’s bestselling Liberation Trilogy, about the U.S. Army’s fight against Nazi Germany.
PAST SUCCESS: For his previous book, McManus was interviewed on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show and Here & Now, as well as MSNBC’s Morning Joeand The Daily Rundown; the book was met with great coverage in USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, among others.
WIDE-RANGING: War is more than combat—McManus explores POWs, logistical challenges, medics and engineers, the perspective of Japanese combatants, as well as the culture of racial segregation in the 1940s military.
THE FIRST OF TWO VOLUMES: Fire and Fortitude is the first in a two volume history of the war, allowing for incredible attention to detail that will appeal strongly to avid readers of military history.
Marketing: National print and online publicity
Pitch author op-eds and essays
Targeted online advertising
Social media promotion
Academic marketing campaign
Author Website: johncmcmanus.com
Praise for Fire and Fortitude:
“This eloquent and powerful narrative is military history written the way it should be.”—James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize winner
“One of the finest epics of World War II.”—James M. Scott, Pulitzer Prize finalist
“A very fine account of war in the Pacific founded on wide research and excellent judgement.”—Sir Antony Beevor