A Higher Call

An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

by Adam Makos, Larry Alexander

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER: “Beautifully told.”—CNN • “A remarkable story...worth retelling and celebrating.”—USA Today • “Oh, it’s a good one!”—Fox News
A “beautiful story of a brotherhood between enemies” emerges from the horrors of World War II in this New York Times bestseller by the author of Spearhead

December, 1943: A badly damaged American bomber struggles to fly over wartime Germany. At the controls is twenty-one-year-old Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown. Half his crew lay wounded or dead on this, their first mission. Suddenly, a Messerschmitt fighter pulls up on the bomber’s tail. The pilot is German ace Franz Stigler—and he can destroy the young American crew with the squeeze of a trigger...

What happened next would defy imagination and later be called “the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.”

The U.S. 8th Air Force would later classify what happened between them as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention for fear of facing a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search the world for each other, a last mission that could change their lives forever.

  • Penguin Publishing Group; December 2012
  • ISBN: 9781101618950
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: A Higher Call
  • Author: Adam Makos; Larry Alexander
  • Imprint: Dutton Caliber

In The Press

Praise for A Higher Call

“A remarkable story...worth retelling and celebrating.”—USA Today

“Beautifully told.”—CNN

“A riveting story of humanity and mercy set against the ghastly backdrop of war.”—Publishers Weekly

“Oh, it’s a good one!”—Fox News

“Deeply felt by its author and deeply affecting to read.”—The Times (London)

“A truly awe inspiring story of wartime chivalry.”—Daily Mail (London)

“Incredible.”—New York Post

“Inspiring.”—Kirkus Reviews 

“Simply told, splendid, and well worth the read.”—*Joe Galloway, co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller We Were Soldiers Once...and Young 

“This book grips you like a movie. It’s part Top Gun, part Valkyrie, and more.”—Marcus Brotherton, co-author of the New York Times bestseller Tough as They Come

“It is often said that ‘war is hell’—and it is—however, this story reveals how the human spirit can shine in the darkest hours.”—Colonel Charles McGee, Tuskegee Airman, WWII

A Higher Call exemplifies beautifully the brotherhood of warriors and will forever change how you look at World War II.”—Eric Blehm, author of the New York Times bestseller, Fearless

“Can good men be found on both sides of a bad war? The author asks the question and delivers the answer. A powerful, haunting read.”—Chuck Tatum, author of Red Blood, Black Sand

About The Author

Hailed as “a masterful storyteller” by the Associated Press, Adam Makos is the author of the New York Times bestseller A Higher Call, Spearhead, and the critically-acclaimed Devotion. Inspired by his grandfathers’ service, Adam chronicles the stories of American veterans in his trademark fusion of intense human drama and fast-paced military action, securing his place “in the top ranks of military writers,” according to the Los Angeles Times. In the course of his research, Adam has flown a WWII bomber, accompanied a Special Forces raid in Iraq, and journeyed into North Korea in search of an MIA American airman.  

Larry Alexander is the author of the New York Times bestselling biography Biggest Brother: The Life of Major Dick Winters, the Man Who Led the Band of Brothers. He is also the author of Shadows in the Jungle: The Alamo Scouts Behind Japanese Lines in World War II and In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers: A Return to Easy Company’s Battlefields with Sgt. Forrest Guth. Alexander has been a journalist and columnist for the Intelligencer Journal in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for nearly twenty years and has won numerous state-level awards for excellence in journalism.

Customer Reviews

Tyler S.
Why you should get this book
I have read over 125 pages of the book, A Higher Call by Adam Makos, and it is a great book. He got me hooked on reading and I hated to read but for my class we had to choose a book. I first thought of getting a flight manual for a cessna because I love planes and want to become a pilot. So Far in the pages in the book that I have read he was a pilot instructor he joins the military because he is mad and angry when he gets to his first place he eats a bunch of flies when he gets his first victory he pees in his pants and is scared. He gets the new G model of Bf 109 he said the engines are known for failing and he ejected later but the parachutes were made out of hemp and he was scared of it snapping then the gestapo wanted to talk to Franz (Franz is the guy in the main person of the german side) I think I like reading this book so much is because I love almost anything that has to do with planes and it is WWII which had really great planes be created like the HO 229 and the ME 262 P-51 F4u P-38 He 280 looks allot like the Me 262 but my most favorite thing of this book is that I can picture stuff in my brain maybe from playing Warthunder and like to look at old WWII pilot pictures and I also love this book because the story is being told by a pilot and that makes it even better. People who should read this book should definitely love World War Two or stories from that time also other people who like planes should definitely read this book because that’s what it is about two pilots of different sides telling their stories of the war.
Verified Buyer
Not what I expected, but better!
Very well written story about a WW2 German fighter pilot the crew of an American bomber. I gained a lot of insight into how badly the German fighter pilots were treated by their own leaders as the war progressed. Humanity shines in the midst of great darkness in this book.