Reviews

Praise for Be Free or Die

Be Free or Die makes you want to stand up and cheer. Cate Lineberry has done us all a great service by telling this incredibly moving, thrilling, and important story about an American hero who deserves to be remembered, and admired.” ―Candice Millard, New York Times bestselling author of Hero of the Empire

“A fast-paced, well crafted work that properly and accurately portrays the incredible feats of Robert Smalls during the Civil War. Born a slave in Beaufort, South Carolina, Smalls is most noted for leading fellow slaves in seizing the Confederate steamer Planter in Charleston in May 1862 and turning her over to the United States navy, but his story is much more than this one event. Smalls served as a pilot for the United States navy. He captained an army quartermaster vessel (the Planter) and served in combat during numerous campaigns off Charleston. His actions proved to doubters that blacks could and would serve the United States in the pursuit for victory. He met with President Lincoln and Secretary of War Stanton and raised awareness and support for former slaves, backed the enlistment of black troops and was a participant in reconstructing the South and creating a new community of former slaves in the South Carolina Sea Islands. Cate Lineberry has captured the essence of Robert Smalls and his wartime career. Robert Smalls inspired and still inspires people of all races and is truly an American hero.” —Stephen R. Wise,Ph.D. Historian and author of Gate of Hell: The Campaign for Charleston 1863 and with Lawrence Rowland, Rebellion, Reconstruction and Redemption: The History of Beaufort County Volume 2, 1861-1893

“From his birth as a slave in Beaufort, South Carolina in 1839 to his death in the same house seventy-five years later, the life story of Robert Smalls has few equals in the annals of American history. Smalls was an enterprising youngster, a Civil War military hero and a distinguished five-term U.S. Congressman. He is the archetype of the American Dream. In Be Free or Die, Cate Lineberry has brought diligent research, compelling descriptions and high drama to this all American story.” ―Lawrence S. Rowland, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of South Carolina-Beaufort

Praise for The Secret Rescue

“Battling vermin, hunger, thirst, and Nazis as meticulously recounted by Lineberry, they trudged more than 650 miles and miraculously made it home. Yet these members of the 807th kept mum until 2011 when the author interviewed the only living survivor, 89-year old Harold Hayes, at a retirement home in Oregon. With a cast of characters that includes British star Anthony Quayle as an undercover agent, survivalists and history buffs will relish the daily escapades of this heroic American contingent.”— Publishers Weekly

“The book combines all of the elements that draw us to WWII stories: the daring of The Guns of Navarone, the suspense of The Great Escape, and the bravery reminiscent of Ill Met by Moonlight. It’s the inclusion of so many women, though, that makes this story unique. It’s always good to be reminded that by no means did men have a monopoly on grace-under-fire during the world’s greatest conflagration.” The Daily Beast

“Drawing on recent interviews with the sole surviving member of the group, previously classified information, archives, and published and unpublished memoirs, Lineberry deftly describes the Americans’ struggles yet doesn’t stoop to unnecessary drama or emotion. She shows the group’s bravery but also their frustrations, despair, and debilitating lack of understanding of Albanian culture.” Library Journal

“Lineberry draws on interviews, diaries, and archival material to recount an amazing WWII survival-and-rescue story that had remained untold by the military and the survivors themselves, who were fearful of the cost to those who helped them. Their secret was kept until the fall of communism in Albania in 1990, when their story of courage and endurance could finally be revealed.”— Booklist

“Cate Lineberry has written a touching, thrilling, completely engrossing story of great courage under harrowing circumstances. This is a World War II story that few people have ever heard, but, after reading this book, no one will forget.”— Candice Millard, author of The River of Doubt and Destiny of the Republic

“Cate Lineberry has unearthed a little-known episode of World War II that has all the elements of a classic escape adventure. Carefully researched and compellingly told, The Secret Rescue is a suspenseful story of courage, audacity, and endurance behind enemy lines. I couldn’t stop reading it.”— Gary Krist, author of City of Scoundrels

“American nurses and medics, trapped behind enemy lines, hungry and haggard, dodging Nazis, hope dimming as winter gains strength. In Cate Lineberry’s gifted hands, the true story of The Secret Rescue is a gripping and suspenseful tale, alive with rich details that carry readers along every step of this remarkable journey.”— Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Lost in Shangri-La and Frozen in Time

The Secret Rescue is narrative history at its best. Cate Lineberry uncovers a fascinating, long-forgotten drama that captured the world’s attention during the darkest days of World War II and transforms it into a gripping story of courage under fire.”— Daniel Stashower, author of The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War

“Cate Lineberry’s The Secret Rescue is the kind of great story that makes you wonder, ‘how come I didn’t know about this?’ A thrilling story of courage behind enemy lines.”— Christopher S. Stewart, author of Jungleland: A Mysterious Lost City, a WWII Spy, and a True Story of Deadly Adventure

“Lineberry takes us into a part of World War II often neglected in war histories – the vantage point of nurses and medics. The medical air evacuations were as dangerous as they were heroic, and after this group of men and women crash lands in Nazi-held Albania, they face daunting physical and cultural challenges. Their story is a courageous journey across not only a foreign landscape, but the topography of the human spirit as well.”— Molly Caldwell Crosby, author of The Great Pearl Heist and The American Plague

The Secret Rescue is an intriguing and spellbinding story. Cate Lineberry has created an amazing piece of work and research that highlights the critical role played by the British clandestine Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in these dramatic events.”— Art Reinhardt, OSS Veteran (China) and OSS Society, Treasurer