The Last Thing You Surrender: A Novel of World War II
Leonard Pitts Jr (Author)
DescriptionCould you find the courage to do what's right in a world on fire? Pulitzer-winning journalist and bestselling novelist (Freeman) Leonard Pitts, Jr.'s new historical page-turner is a great American tale of race and war, following three characters from the Jim Crow South as they face the enormous changes World War II triggers in the United States. An affluent white marine survives Pearl Harbor at the cost of a black messman's life only to be sent, wracked with guilt, to the Pacific and taken prisoner by the Japanese . . . a young black woman, widowed by the same events at Pearl, finds unexpected opportunity and a dangerous friendship in a segregated Alabama shipyard feeding the war . . . a black man, who as a child saw his parents brutally lynched, is conscripted to fight Nazis for a country he despises and discovers a new kind of patriotism in the all-black 761st Tank Battalion. Set against a backdrop of violent racial conflict on both the front lines and the home front, The Last Thing You Surrender explores the powerful moral struggles of individuals from a divided nation. What does it take to change someone's mind about race? What does it take for a country and a people to move forward, transformed?
February 05, 2019
5.6 X 1.6 X 8.4 inches | 1.1 pounds
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About the Author
Leonard Pitts, Jr., is the author of the novels Grant Park, Freeman, and Before I Forget, as well as two works of nonfiction. He is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Miami Herald and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, in addition to many other awards. Born and raised in Southern California, Pitts lives in Maryland outside Washington, DC.
Praise for Leonard Pitts, Jr.'s novel THE LAST THING YOU SURRENDER "Seamlessly integrates impressive research into a compelling tale of America at war--overseas, at home, and within ourselves, as we struggle to find the better angels of our nature. Pitts poignantly illustrates ongoing racial and class tensions, and offers hope that we can overcome hatred by refusing to sacrifice dignity." --Booklist, starred review. "The Last Thing You Surrender is a story of our nation at war, with itself as well as tyranny across the globe. It's an American tapestry of hatred, compassion, fear, courage, and cruelties, leavened with the promise of triumph. A powerful story I will not soon forget." --James R. Benn, author of the Billy Boyle WWII Mystery series "Leonard Pitts, Jr. does it again. He interweaves stories that grip you from beginning to end. Set during WWII, it shows how race relations in America haven't advanced much. The Last Thing You Surrender will have you entranced with the story, and it will stick with you even after you complete the last page." --Southfield Public Library "I couldn't put it down, and it left me stunned! It's such a harsh novel, yet at the same time, it's a hopeful novel that is so relevant today. I'm already telling people about it." --Pete Mock, McIntyre's Books, Pittsboro, North Carolina Praise for Leonard Pitts, Jr.'s novel GRANT PARK "Grant Park is layered, insightful, and passionate. Pitts's subtly explosive language grips readers with the delicate subject matter and earnestly implores them to understand that '[race] has always meant something and it always will.' The scars will remain, but stunningly powerful examinations like Grant Park can be the salve that helps heal open wounds." --Shelf-Awareness, starred review "Leonard Pitts has written a taut thriller that weaves together a stark look at America's tortured racial past with a fast-paced tale of terrorist conspiracy and love rekindled." --Neil Steinberg, Chicago Sun Times ." . . these ideas [are] perennially salient, and doubly so today, given a growing litany of American sorrows, from Ferguson to Charleston and beyond. . . . lays bare the extent to which Americans, black and white, still struggle to articulate the basic elements of our shared past." -- Vinson Cunningham, New York Times Book Review "The book is a page-turner, but also one that commands deep reflection on history, racism, and personal choices." --Blanca Torres, The Seattle Times "A novel as significant as it is engrossing." --Booklist, starred review "Pitts masterfully revisits [election night on November 4, 2008] and four decades of the civil rights struggle to create one of the most suspenseful and spectacular fictitious moments you'll experience this fall." --Patrik Henry Bass, Essence "Pitts does a skillful job of building tension in the novel's historical sections as well as on Election Day. . . . He also does something not every political thriller writer does: builds believable, complex characters." -- Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times "[A] high-stakes, hard-charging political thriller. . . . The sharply etched characters, careful attention to detail, and rich newspaper lore propel Pitts's socially relevant novel." --Publishers Weekly "And then there are those thrills--gasping, mouth-gaping page-turners that author Leonard Pitts Jr. weaves through another realism: truthful, brutal plot-lines about racial issues of the last five decades, mulling over exactly how far we've really come. That makes this will-they-live-or-won't-they nail-biter into something that also made me think, and I absolutely loved it." --Terri Schlichenmeyer, The Bookworm Sez "An important book, one that honestly examines the current, tumultuous racial divide in our country and demands we not turn away from its harsh realities." --Amy Canfield, Miami Herald "Grant Park is a book that's both socially relevant and a lot of fun." --NewCity "In the aftermath of this summer's racially motivated mass murder in Charleston, South Carolina, by an avowed white supremacist, there's near-eerie prescience in Pitts' historical novel. . .[Grant Park], with urgency and passion, makes readers aware that the mistakes of the past are neglected at the future's peril." --Kirkus Reviews "Grant Park is a monumental work, so all-encompassing in scope that reviewers will be hard-pressed to do it justice. Pitts's passion for a solution holds strong to the end of his novel even as his central character seems to give up. Readers will find Grant Park is real." --Bookpleasures.com "Grant Park is a thriller, and readers will find themselves turning pages accordingly, although the interior stories of Bob and Malcolm regarding their younger selves may be the real action." --Brian Burnes, The Kansas City Star Praise for Leonard Pitts, Jr.'s previous novel FREEMAN "A uniquely American epic. . . by a knowledgeable, compassionate and relentlessly truthful writer." --Howard Frank Mosher, Washington Post "A pretty powerful love story." --Audie Cornish, All Things Considered "Gorgeously written; a searing, wrenching read. Fans of Cold Mountain and Cormac McCarthy will love this story." --Jennifer Weiner, author of The Next Best Thing "Leonard Pitts has a passion for history and a gift for storytelling. Both shine in this story of love and redemption." --Gwen Ifill, PBS, author of The Breakthrough "Freeman is a myth of what's humanly possible, a needed story about little-known heroism, and a shadow thrown forward to the struggles of American families in the 21st century." --John Timpane, Philadelphia Inquirer "A wonderful, moving, riveting novel." --Gabrielle Union, actress "Post-Civil War America is fertile ground for novelists, but few have tilled it with such grace and majesty as Leonard Pitts." --Herb Boyd, co-editor of By Any Means Necessary--Malcolm X: Real, not Reinvented "This book is an eye-opening commentary on devotion during this tangled chapter of American history." --Wendi Thomas, Memphis Commercial Appeal "Leonard Pitts, Jr. crafts a novel as well as the great storytellers of our time. Freeman captured my attention from the very first sentence and my heart throughout." --Sybil Wilkes, The Tom Joyner Morning Show "Freeman reminds us of our humanity." --Nancy Olson, owner of Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, North Carolina