The Harlem Hellfighters

The Harlem Hellfighters
A Graphic Novel
Max Brooks
Illustrated by Caanan White
Price: £
  • Paperback
29 Jan 2015
  • History
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In 1919, the 369th infantry regiment – the Harlem Hellfighters as the Germans called them - marched home triumphantly from World War I.

They had spent more time in combat than any other American unit, never losing a foot of ground to the enemy, or a man to capture, and winning countless decorations.

Though they returned home from the trenches of France as heroes, this overlooked African American unit faced tremendous discrimination, even from their own government thus having to fight on two fronts as they helped to secure victory for America and their European allies.

Based on true events and featuring artwork from acclaimed illustrator Caanan White, The Harlem Hellfighters delivers an action-packed and powerful story of how a group of exceptional individuals showed extraordinary courage, honour and heart in the face of terrible prejudice and in the midst of the unprecedented horrors of the Great War.


‘The Harlem Hellfighters brings to life a long forgotten piece of American history. Bravo, Max Brooks, bravo' Spike Lee

'Brooks’s new graphic novel, shines a literary klieg light on a woefully overlooked chapter of World War I… Brooks tells their riveting tale by creating some fictional members of the unit and depicting actual heroes, including Lt. James Reese Europe, the bandleader who helped introduce Europe to jazz. The winning effect is that no matter how far specific characters venture into narrative invention, the novel marches in time with the history books…A powerful comic that may do more than any previous work to illuminate the heroism of the 369th. And now that Sony and Will Smith have optioned the film rights, perhaps an entire nation will come to salute its sacrifice' The Washington Post

‘…this is a brutally visceral tale….Brooks has found a way to bring their journey to life with an intensity that merges historical events with the momentum of tightly plotted fiction… The propulsive vigour of his narrative makes for compelling storytelling; an angry, restless testament to the soldiers and their struggles on and off the battlefield’ The Independent 

'Stunning... Like the regiment of African American soldiers it depicts, Harlem Hellfighters can’t be stereotyped or pigeon holed. It might not be your typical history book, but it packs one hell of a punch' Newsweek

‘Brooks apparently spent several decades researching the overlooked heroes, and it’s his and White’s devotion to the smallest detail that makes The Harlem Hellfighters a history lesson that’s as absorbing as it is educating'

Max Brooks

About Max Brooks

Max Brooks is the acclaimed author of the two bestsellers The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z. He has also written for Saturday Night Live, for which he won an Emmy. He lives in New York City but is ready to move to a more remote and defensible location at a moment's notice.

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