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Editorial Reviews

Thomas E. Simmons unearths the remarkable true story of John Charles Robinson, an American fighter pilot who aided Ethiopia in its attempts to fight the looming threat of Mussolini and Fascist Italy. DeMario Clarke's performance is riveting, with a remarkably rugged voice that magnifies the incredible theatre of Robinson's life - not that it needs it. The Man Called Brown Condor illuminates the racial climate in the early 1900s, as well as the League of Nations' initial reluctance to confront the threat of fascism, and how all of this led to the actions of a previously forgotten American hero.
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Publisher's Summary

The forgotten true story of American war hero John Charles Robinson, a.k.a. The Brown Condor of Ethiopia.
How did a black child, growing up in segregationist Mississippi during the early 1900s, become the commander of the Imperial Ethiopian Air Corps during the brutal Italo-Ethiopian War of 1935? In this gripping, never-before-told tale, biographer Thomas E. Simmons brings to life Robinson’s outstanding success in becoming a pilot, his expertise in building and assembling his own working aircraft, his influence on the establishment of a school of aviation at Tuskegee Institute (there would have been no Tuskegee Airmen without him), and his courageous wartime service in Ethiopia during the Italian invasion in 1935 - for which he won international fame.
It was during Robinson’s service to Ethiopia that he took to the air to combat the first Fascist invasion of what would become World War II. This remarkable hero may have been the first American to oppose Fascism in combat. When Ethiopia was freed by British troops during World War II, Haile Selassie asked Robinson to return to Ethiopia to help reestablish the Ethiopian Air Force. For Robinson and the five men he picked to go with him, just getting to Ethiopia in wartime 1944 was an adventure in itself.
Over the last 23 years, the author has performed original research on John C. Robinson when very little information on this remarkable American hero was available. The Man Called Brown Condor encompasses a vast amount of information based on obscure, forgotten, and heretofore undiscovered facts.
This work is more than the definitive biography of a black pilot who became a US hero, only to be unfairly forgotten. It provides insight on racial conditions in the first half of the 20th century and illustrates the political intrigue within a League of Nations afraid to face the rise of Fascism. The Man Called Brown Condor is a new, exciting, heroic adventure in history, and provides the reader with an unforgettable story of an incredible American hero.
©2013 Thomas E. Simmons (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Gregg Anderson on 05-31-17

Great book. Poor narration.

Excellent story of pioneer black aviator Charles Robinson. Fascinating on several levels, be it civil rights, aviation, military history, or the history of Ethiopia. The downside is the narration. Stilted and with mispronunciations that will make you wince, it's a testament to the book's strength that this barely hampers the enjoyment you will get from this story.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Betty on 04-01-13

Very interesting story about little known hero

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, It was written very well and the narrator brought the character to life.

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