No Surrender: A Father, a Son, and an Extraordinary Act of Heroism That Continues to Live on Today
Hardcover – October 8, 2019
Spanning seven decades and linking a sprawling cast of heroes from every corner of the country, No Surrender is an unforgettable story of a father’s extraordinary acts of valor in the treacherous final days of World War II and a son’s journey to discover them.
Like most members of the Greatest Generation, Roddie Edmonds, a humble American soldier from East Tennessee, rarely spoke about his experiences during World War II. Not even his son Chris—who always considered his father a hero—knew the full details of Roddie’s capture at the Battle of the Bulge or his captivity at Stalag IXA, a Nazi POW camp. But when Chris’s daughter was assigned a family history project, Chris reread Roddie’s wartime diaries, which set in motion a series of life-changing events.
Called to learn his father’s story with a renewed sense of passion and purpose, Chris embarked on a years-long journey, interviewing surviving POWs under Roddie’s command, and retracing his father’s footsteps, from Fort Jackson, Georgia, where a boyish Roddie transformed into a seasoned leader of men, to the patch of grass near Zeigenhein, Germany, where he stared evil in the eye and dared a Nazi to shoot.
Chris Edmonds, along with New York Times bestselling author Douglas Century, takes us to the front lines of this inspiring multigenerational story, revealing in gripping, novelistic detail Roddie’s previously untold heroism—and the lasting effects his bravery had on the lives of thousands, then and now. “What was most remarkable about my journey to discover what my father did during the war,” Chris writes, “was the realization that any one of us has the untapped potential to do something incredibly courageous. We all have the potential to change the world simply by standing up for what’s right.”
A quintessential American story of bravery, compassion, and righteousness, No Surrender is a shining example of the transformative and redemptive power of moral courage and a celebration of faith, family, and service, the very characteristics that continue to define us today.
“After his father’s death, Chris Edmonds journeyed across the US and to Germany to discover his father’s heroic past. No Surrender is a quintessential American story of bravery, compassion, and righteousness told by an admiring son.” (James Bradley, New York Times bestselling author of Flags of Our Fathers)
“Roddie Edmonds is a hero for our age—or any age. His story of principled defiance in the face of evil is an inspiration and a challenge. In No Surrender, Chris Edmonds and Douglas Century have given us the one righteous man whose goodness spares us all.” (Mitchell Zuckoff, New York Times bestselling author of Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11)
“A fascinating war story... a you-are-there portrait of the horrors of war and the incredible effect one selfless person can have on hundreds.”
“In this page-turning memoir, Edmonds and Century chronicle the WWII experiences of Edmond’s late father, Army Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds…[and] have skillfully transformed war records, interviews, and archival data into a dramatic account…More than a story of brothers in arms, this work is a son’s labor of love.” (Publishers Weekly (Starred Review))
“There’s perhaps no greater untold story to come out of World War II. It’s a heck of a father-son story, but it’s also a tale of the power of one man to do something selfless that forever changes a life.” (Newsweek)
About the Author
Chris Edmonds is senior pastor of Piney Grove Baptist Church in Maryville, Tennessee, and chief executive officer of Roddie’s Code, LLC, and The Roddie Edmonds Foundation, organizations committed to extending the legacy and leadership of Master Sergeant Edmonds to future generations. He also teaches Leadership Development to military leaders at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. He earned his bachelor's degree in business at the University of Tennessee and, later, a master's degree in religion at Liberty Theological Seminary. He lives in Maryville, Tennessee, with his wife, Regina.
Douglas Century is an author, journalist, and screenwriter. Co-author of Hunting El Chapo (Harper, 2018), he also co-authored several New York Times bestsellers, including Under and Alone (Random House, 2005) and Takedown: The Fall of the Last Mafia Empire (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2002), a finalist for the 2003 Edgar Award in the category of Best Nonfiction Crime Book. He also co-authored If Not Now, When? Duty and Sacrifice In America’s Time of Need (Berkely, 2008), which won the 2010 Colby Award. A veteran investigative journalist, Century is a contributing editor at Tablet magazine and writes regularly for Billboard and The New York Times. He lives in New York City.
Douglas Century is the author or coauthor of such bestsellers as Under and Alone, Barney Ross, Street Kingdom, Brotherhood of Warriors and Takedown: The Fall of the Last Mafia Empire, a finalist for the 2003 Edgar Award in the category of Best Nonfiction Crime.