Crop Duster: Authentic, Cinematic New Novel Showcases Humanity That Surfaces During Wartime; Told Through "Brotherhood of the Air"

Masterfully crafted by John D. Beatty, ‘Crop Duster’ fuses fact with fiction to depict the fellowship of intrepid airmen whose lives have been defined by the wars they have fought. Spanning both World Wars, the novel’s story is told from the perspective of two men embroiled in the First Bomber War. Nobody and nothing is safe, yet humanity transcends all danger and conflict to eventually redeem the brave.

West Allis, WI -- (SBWire) -- 12/31/2014 --While WWI has lost all of its heroes and those who endured "round two" are telling their final stories, few novels capture the brevity, kinship and humanity that became the best weapon to millions. However, author John D. Beatty's latest release, as one critic puts it, "immerses the reader in the war experience" with gripping aplomb.

'Crop Duster' poignantly yet beautifully captures the lives of those who have fought a are forced to fight one war too long many; German and American airmen who fired up their engines daily to defy physics, nature and remaining all odds in order to protect their countries. This is their story – first of war, but ultimately of redemption.


From the ashes of the Great War of 1914-1918 arose a brotherhood of the air made of intrepid flyers in delicate machines who braved the odds and the skies. Between Germany and America there came two different ideas of air power, and what it might mean to fight and win wars from the air, and how peace might be preserved.

From these ideas arose the new breed of air warriors: flyers of bombers that devastated cities, and flyers of fighters that tried to stop them. Still the odds and the laws of physics were against both. But still there was the brotherhood of the air, the kinship between flyers that united them against outsiders.

This is the story of two such men caught up in the First Bomber War; a war not of their making, but theirs to fight, and to survive if they could.

"When a war's curtains close many are dead, entire cities are reduced to ash and a country's identity is often shaken for generations to come. However, humanity often lives through the fire to emerge victorious. The fact that this happens at all is miraculous," explains Beatty. "This book captures that one constant, told through the eyes of the brave men who were war's real victims."

Continuing, "The action flips between American and German viewpoints, in an attempt to show how one war and even one day's battles are viewed from both the good guys and the enemy – whichever way around those titles are stamped. Readers will enter pilots' minds to experience their intimate thoughts, motivations and dreams. Often, the dream was simply to land in one piece."

Since its release, the book has garnered a string of rave reviews. One Amazon reader comments, "In Crop Duster John D. Beatty unfolds an account of warfare seen through the eyes of pilots and fighters on both sides of World War II. This ambitious tale has broad appeal for history buffs, airplane lovers and regular folks. Skillfully and carefully, Beatty constructs the narrative by switching chapters back and forth between the Americans and their allies and the Germans. Both sides demand understanding and sympathy in the reading. As the pace quickens near the end, the switches become fast and furious giving the reader insight into the fears and commitments that each flier carries."

Candace George Thompson adds, "Want to know what it was like to fly a B-17 Fortress or a German JU-88 FW-190 fighter in World War Two? Have you ever wondered what goes on inside the mind of a pilot before, during and after an in-air battle? Don't let the term "novel" fool you: "Crop Duster" is the real thing."

'Crop Duster' is available now:

About John D. Beatty
John D. Beatty is a professional writer of more than forty years' experience in military science and in industry. He retired from the US Army Reserve after 27 years of service. He is the author of Crop Duster: A Novel of World War II; The Devil's Own Day: Shiloh and the American Civil War (2011, Booklocker); and co-author of What Were They Thinking: A Fresh Look at Japan at War 1941-1945 (2008, Merriam Press), and numerous other articles, essays, and encyclopedia entries on military history. He lives and works in Wisconsin.

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