Max Brooks Q&A: See how 'The Harlem Hellfighters' earned their name

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After I read the novel, I did some homework to see if you had embellished the slights that black U.S. soldiers endured from their own government. Of course, you hadn’t embellished at all.
Since I’ve been working on this for 15 years, there were a couple moments where I had to actually go back and revisit my research material, because I didn’t believe it. That secret letter from General Pershing to the French [telling them not to commend black soldiers], you can read it in its entirety in the library. It’s shocking, the lengths that our own government would go to — the energy expended on defeating its own soldiers instead of defeating the Germans.

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