Random House this month [October 2013] is releasing the paperback publication of WE BAND OF ANGELS (Random House, on sale 10/29), now with an all-new chapter about the late Mildred Dalton Manning, the last Angel of Bataan. In its 1999 hardcover publication, WE BAND OF ANGELS was called “A grippingly told story of power and relevance” by The Washington Post, “Poignant and powerful…riveting” by the Dallas Morning News, and “Remarkable and uplifting” by USA Today. In this gorgeous new paperback edition, author Elizabeth Norman returns to the Angels — specifically the late Mildred Dalton Manning — in an all-new final chapter that bids farewell to Manning, who passed away in the Spring of 2013. Celebrated in obituaries worldwide including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer and across the internet, here Norman gives a personal account of her time with Manning in her last days.

WE BAND OF ANGELS is a true-life adventure story of women on the battlefield–a compelling novel-like narrative of the seventy-seven American military nurses captured by the Japanese during the battle for the Philippine Islands (the first American land battle of World War II and the worst defeat in our military history), this is the story of independent and self-possessed women ready for both adventure and an exotic life in a foreign post. Volunteers all, they were eager to take risks and confident in their professional skills – models for the generation of young women now reshaping modern society.

Before the Japanese came storming ashore in December 1941, these daughters of cotton farmers and factory workers danced under the stars, romanced handsome officers, and had the time of their lives in paradise.

After the bombs started falling, their story-book lives came to an end, and they found themselves in the middle of a battlefield, setting up hospitals in the jungle, working with dwindling supplies and starving along with their patients and the other 76,000 men on the peninsula of Bataan. The army moved them to an underground hospital on the island of Corregidor, where they were captured by the Japanese and imprisoned for three years, the largest group of female POWs in our country’s history.

In 1945 they came home heroes, “The Angels of Bataan.” The military patted them on the back but refused to recognize their endurance, ingenuity, courage and leadership. So they returned to society – mothers, wives, career women. In WE BAND OF ANGELS Elizabeth Norman draws on letters, diaries, and riveting firsthand accounts to create a powerful narrative, a women’s adventure story unlike any other, a compelling chronicle for a new generation of women.


About the Author:

Elizabeth M. Norman, R.N., Ph.D., is a professor at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She is the author of Women at War: The Story of Fifty Military Nurses Who Served in Vietnam, and co-author with Michael Norman of Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath, a The New York Times best seller, one of the top ten nonfiction books of 2009 and a 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist.