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The Flying Tigers


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About the Author

Samuel Kleiner is a lawyer based in New York City. He was raised in Tucson, Arizona and holds a BA from Northwestern University, a doctorate in international relations from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a JD from Yale Law School. His writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, and The Atlantic.


"In the dark days after Pearl Harbor, a swashbuckling band of volunteer pilots gave America something to cheer about with their exploits against the Japanese in far-off China. Through long-lost letters and diaries, Sam Kleiner has brought these gallant warriors to life. The Flying Tigers is a rousing tale that will keep you turning the page."
-Evan Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Sea of Thunder

"This is a movie waiting to be made-a great adventure story that is all the more gripping because it really happened. These pilots remind us of why we're proud to be American, ordinary young men who became heroes at a time when American victories were scarce. Some were killed, leaving their hometowns grieving. Some spent years as prisoners of the Japanese, uncertain whether they'd ever make it home again. All should be remembered. Kleiner is a gifted researcher and storyteller. He does the story of these men justice, and that is saying something."
-Michael Punke, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Revenant

"The Flying Tigers is a meticulously researched work of history that reads like a thriller. Packed with characters that come off the pages, it draws the reader into a world of dare-devil flying and covert operations in China in the opening days of World War II. The Flying Tigers marks the debut of an incredibly talented new historian and is a must-read not only for World War II aficionados but for anyone who likes a good story. It is full of them."
-Amy Chua, Yale Law professor and New York Times bestselling author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and Political Tribes

"As the United States navigates a complex and challenging relationship with China today, The Flying Tigers offers a vivid reminder that our two countries have pulled together in the past to meet shared threats. Sam Kleiner artfully tells the story of the forgotten World War II alliance, and the role of dynamic individuals in shaping it-and anyone interested in understanding America's relationship with China should delve into this gripping history."
-Jake Sullivan, Former National Security Adviser to the Vice President and Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State

"The Flying Tigers has it all: aerial guerilla warfare, foreign intrigue, inspiring heroism, and a Hollywood-worthy cast of colorful misfits, rebels, and patriotic adventurers, all woven into an electrifying narrative."
-Thurston Clarke, author of Pearl Harbor Ghosts and The Last Campaign

"Sam Kleiner has bridged a critical gap in American military history with a gripping account of how the Roosevelt administration was secretly leading us into World War II a half-a-year before Pearl Harbor. This is a story with mercenaries, aerial dogfights, love affairs, burning cities and shadow diplomacy but more than that, this tells us how the U.S. got an early jump on its war against Imperial Japan at the beginning of the Pacific Century."
-Tom Zoellner, author of Uranium

"Kleiner's meticulous research provides crucial, unexplored background on Claire Chennault and the formation of the American Volunteer Group and lends important context to Roosevelt's decision to help China before Pearl Harbor pulled the United States into the war. He covers the topic from the operational perspective without becoming mired in tactical details or irrelevant controversies. His is thus the clearest narrative of the group we've been given yet and will doubtlessly capture the imagination of a new generation of readers who have not heard this incredible story."
-Dan Jackson, author of Famine, Sword, and Fire: The Liberation of Southwest China in World War II

"Sam Kleiner's book brings back memories of China and Burma. I'm glad he is continuing the legacy of the Tigers."
-Frank Losonsky, last surviving Flying Tiger

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