When Adam Makos was a kid, he was fascinated with World War II stories. He especially loved the stories of American pilots and eventually he made it his mission to interview as many of these brave men as he could to preserve their stories for the rest of us. You can imagine how much he looked forward to interviewing Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown, whose heroics included flying a nearly destroyed B-17 bomber out of heavily defended German territory all the way back to Britain. When he sat down to talk to Mr. Brown, Charlie told him he wouldn’t do the interview until the author first interviewed German fighter pilot Franz Stiegler for his side of the story regarding that same B-17 bomber. The author admits he was taken aback, because he was never interested in hearing “the enemy’s” story. But he really wanted Charlie’s story, so he sought out Franz Stiegler. This book is the culmination of the interviews of both men. Their story is not just one of heroics or duty. Their story is one that stands higher than that – it is about preserving humanity in the midst of war.
I can’t recommend this book enough. The stories of both of these men is important and heartwarming and it will make you cry. But I think you will find, like I did, that it is a fantastic story that can change your perspective on war. And while most of us aren’t on one side of a violent conflict, the idea that our value lies in our humanity, is one we can employ in our daily lives. Wonderful book!
5 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2012