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After the War by H. R. Coursen
An illustrated novel about Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron

"... Coursen is an able, professional writer and flier who has dramatized these early air battles with knowledge and authority. His descriptions of the air battles are vivid and convincing. If his pilots seem to have been hermetically sealed from the ghastliness of the trench warfare near the Somme River, totally removed from the million men massacred in the foul-smelling mud and barbed wire of no-man's land, then that perhaps is the way it was. ...

"...The Red Baron is a legend around the world. To all those fascinated by this man who epitomizes the weird breed known as the Knights of the Air, Coursen's book After the War will be an enthralling treat." --Bill Caldwell, Portland Press Herald

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"Borrowing from today's communication jargon, After the War is a written docu-drama based on the life and exploits of World War I's foremost aviator, Baron Manfred von Richthofen. In a very fluid, and perhaps oversimplified style, the author presents a series of semi-fictitious episodes that highlight the short but illustrious life of the German ace. Unlike many historical novels, this book is eminently readable at any level. The accompanying photographs help enhance the value of the book." --V.R.L., Kliatt

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"After the War is an intriguing historical novel that captivates the reader not only with its action, but also with the philosophical questions Coursen raises about wars and their effects on the men who fight them.

"The book traces the Red Baron, Germany's foremost flying ace, from his early days in cadet school through his short, disastrous stint as a cavalry officer, to his life flying the rickety biplanes and triplanes that marked early air warfare.

"Coursen takes pains with his personal and technical research, and brings both the characters and the planes to life in his book. ...

"... Philosophically, the book is thought provoking. Historically, it is intriguing. ..." --Scot Lehigh, The Times Record

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"The latest book on the life and the legend of the 'Red Baron' is fascinating for one of these three reasons:

* The author makes no pretense of writing history -- he blends the 'best' of Richthofen without punctilious regard for critical veracity -- and does so in a charming and compelling way.

* The Baron emerges as a human being, not an incredible superman, whose feats of daring-do were inspired as much by normal coping-behavior as they were by his legendary courage. It is a series of images of life spun about a man who looms larger than life yet is totally immersed in it.

* The author of this thoroughly enjoyable (and brief) novel is a Brunswich resident and a professor of English at Bowdoin College.

"H. R. Coursen's After the War immediately impresses the reader with the author's credentials to write such a book. A veteran pilot in the Korean War, Coursen holds the Distinguished Flying Cross as the capstone of his numerous awards. He is a hero in his own right and clearly an astute and expert purveyor of the art of aerial combat. He emerges as well as a sensitive observer of his fellow man in every man's quest to let his humanity burst free. ...

"...Easily read and instantly captivating, ... It gives life to the spirit of adventure in all of us and it suggests purpose at a time when purpose may be our largest human need. It reminds, in a clearly theological epistemology, that human achievement pales quickly; that it is the quality of a life well-loved which endures." --Captain Norman E. Koehler, III, U.S.N., "The Blue Max," Brunswick Naval Air Station The Patroller

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"... Coursen recreates in bright colors those years in which airmen assumed the role that the cavalry had played until the machine gun ended their flashing charges. As a portfolio of photographs laconically notes, the moments of glory led many of the quickest and bravest to their death. ...

"... After the War reads at times like an old-fashioned novel of knighthood with its scenes of comradeship in the officers' mess and its chivalrous treatment of downed foes. If they survived, they were greeted as fellow combatants; those who died were ceremoniously buried." --Don King, Main Sunday Telegram

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"... Herb Coursen has given us a fascinating psychological study of von Richthofen. Like some detective of the soul, and using the convention of the historical novel Coursen hands us a lucid picture of what it was that drove the Red Baron on. This uncovering of the Red Baron's mind took quite a bit of research and creative speculation -- after all, the man was (and still is) a legend. Details about both his life and death are incomplete and often disputed. He was not the type of man to go around revealing his most private thoughts to others. His survival instinct dictated otherwise. H. R. Coursen had to dig. ..." --Mark Melnicove, Bittersweet

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"... 'My novel asks the question -- what was it that killed the Red Baron?' writes Coursen in the preface. He does not analyze the final event on 21 April 1918 when Richthofen, violating his strict injunction never to pursue an enemy aircraft across the lines at low altitude and with an east wind, did exactly that and was shot dead by ground fire. Coursen would have us believe that this was Richthofen's deliberate solution for the problems he faces 'after the war.' " --Douglas H. Robinson, M.D., Aerospace Historian

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"... What makes this a fascinating study of Manfred von Richthofen is the ability of Coursen, while suggesting a latent homosexuality, to never let it dominate or become sensational. Manfred von Richthofen's private conflict becomes part of a larger one -- the taste and feel and stink of air combat in a war as remote yet tragic as are all wars that we survive. H. R. Coursen has created a moving, a haunting, piece of fiction." --Gordon Clark, Maine Times

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After the War, ISBN 0-918606-05-5 pbk, $8.95, ISBN 0-918606-06-2 cloth, $13.95

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