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Book Signing with Samuel Kleiner

Book Signing with Samuel Kleiner

November 03rd, 2018 1:00pm

“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


Join us on Friday, November 3, 2018, from 1 - 4 in the George H.W. Bush Gallery store as Samuel Kleiner signs his book, THE FLYING TIGERS: The Untold Story of the American Pilots Who Waged a Secret War Against Japan. Sam will be in the store signing his book and answering questions on his book from 1-4 on November 3rd. 


This event is free and open to the public. 


Sam Kleiner’s THE FLYING TIGERS: The Untold Story of the American Pilots Who Waged a Secret War Against Japan (Viking; On Sale May 15, 2018; 9780399564130; $28.00) tells the story of the young American men and women who crossed the Pacific before Pearl Harbor to risk their lives defending the embattled forces of Chiang Kai-Shek’s China. These 300 individuals were effectively paid mercenaries, secretly recruited by a mysterious shell company that the United States government had created to circumvent its official stance of non-intervention in the war. Drawn from across the armed services by the prospect of seeing the world and earning a good salary, they traveled to Burma under false identities in the late summer and fall of 1941 and began training under legendary (and leathery) general Claire Chennault. The pilots first saw action twelve days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor (the first Americans to take on the Japanese following the attack), and for the next seven months performed an invaluable strategic service by keeping the Japanese occupied in China, thus enabling the United States to build up its armaments before fully engaging in the conflict. For their daring exploits and a remarkable string of victories, they earned the nickname the Flying Tigers.

Kleiner takes readers into the cockpits of the Tigers’ iconic shark-nosed planes as they perform nail-biting missions against the Japanese, destroying some 297 enemy aircraft in Burma, Thailand, and China. He profiles the outsized personalities involved in the operation, including Chennault, whose aggressive tactics went against the prevailing wisdom of military strategy; Greg “Pappy” Boyington, the man who would become the nation’s most beloved pilot, and whose rescue from a P.O.W. camp would make him the stuff of legend; the two nurses who were the only women in the group; and Madame Chiang, who served as the intermediary between Chennault and her husband, and was designated the Tigers’ “honorary commander.” Meeting with the families of the Tigers, Kleiner gained access to never before published letters, diaries, combat reports and photographs that were scattered across the country. He brings the story of the Tigers to life and puts the reader in China and Burma. 


A dramatic story of covert operations whose very existence would have scandalized an isolationist United States, THE FLYING TIGERS is the unforgettable account of a group of Americans whose actions changed the world, and who today are viewed as heroes not only in our own country but are revered in China as well.


Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.



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.

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