What They’re Saying

“A gripping story about the Greatest Generation reminds us that the freedom we enjoy today came at a steep price. Fields of Battle vividly captures the uncertainty, fear, sacrifice, and heroism of a critical time in our history, and serves as a tribute to those who carried the scars of war with them—and to those who never came home.”
—Senator John McCain
Author of Faith of My Fathers

“The compelling true tale of how a Pacific wind blew the Rose Bowl from the West Coast to the East Coast and scattered its participants around the world to win history’s largest war.”
—James Bradley
Author of Flags of Our Fathers and The China Mirage

“In this remarkable book, Curtis masterfully connects two seemingly unrelated events: the 1942 Rose Bowl and WWII.”

“This book has much in common with Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling “Unbroken” (2014) and should evoke similar strong emotions.”

9 OSC Train Trip

“A fine sports book with a stirring extra dimension.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“College football aficionados know that the 1942 Rose Bowl was played in North Carolina, but the stories of the men who played that game and went on to fight in World War II were, until now, largely unknown. In Fields of Battle, Brian Curtis brings the WWII generation alive through the stories of these young men who moved so rapidly from the big game to the war to defeat the German, Japanese, and Italian fascists…[A] vivid, invaluable portrait of life as it was lived in the face of so much uncertainty and danger.”
—Jeremy Schaap
Author of Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics and Cinderella Man: James J. Braddock, Max Baer and the Greatest Upset in Boxing History

“Sports and history buffs will love Fields of Battle.”
—Keith Jackson
Legendary Hall of Fame broadcaster

61 RBG Action Photo Tom Davis

“Where another, less careful observer might have found coincidence in these events, Brian Curtis’s keen eye found a confluence of historical circumstance. In Fields of Battle, Curtis chronicles, contextualizes, and makes meaning of the meeting of boys and men on both the ball field and the battlefield…Where Curtis most profoundly succeeds is in never once allowing the reader to forget that what happens on the gridiron isn’t war, and that what war has never been—and never will be—is a game. It’s a timely message.”
—Julie Checkoway
Author of The Three-Year Swim Club

“With meticulous research and elegant writing, Brian Curtis has put together a page-turning narrative about a group of football players turned war heroes, men who entered gridiron lore and then did their part as members of the Greatest Generation. Football fans will enjoy reading about the unusual circumstances that enveloped the 1942 Rose Bowl, but all readers will appreciate the chance to learn about the times these men lived in and the sacrifices they made for all of us. This is a terrific piece of work.”
—Seth Davis
CBS Sports and Sports Illustrated and author of Wooden

42 1941 OSC Team Picture

“In Fields of Battle, Brian Curtis takes you back to a time when honor and duty were more than mere video game taglines and athletes placed their patriotic duty above sport. Yes, it’s a football story. But really, it’s an American story.”
—Jeff Pearlman
New York Times bestselling author of Sweetness and Showtime

“Fields of Battle is a riveting account of the men who faced off against each other in the 1942 Rose Bowl…. Football fans and military buffs will enjoy this powerful tale of courage, leadership, grit, and greatness.”
—Bobby Bowden
Former head coach of Florida State University’s football team

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