by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anthony Walton
Here is a wholly different perspective on the "greatest generation" celebrated by the Tom Brokaws and Steven Spielbergs of the world. It's the story of one of World War II's first all-black tank crews, the men of the 761st "Black Panther" Battalion.
These pioneers endured racism yet persevered to fight in the Battle of the Bulge under Patton and helped liberate northern Europe. In his third work of history, basketball great Abdul-Jabbar, along with coauthor Anthony Walton, shows off some painstaking research, finding factual nuggets the U.S. military never cared to publicize.
From the idealistic citizen who learned he could not volunteer for the segregated Army Air Corps to the soldier returning to a nation that—racially—was willing "to go on as if the war had never happened" to vignettes of the seven African-American winners of the Medal of Honor, the book gives welcome salutes to the war's black fighting men.