The Fighting Bunch: The Battle of Athens and How World War II Veterans Won the Only Successful Armed Rebellion Since the Revolution

The Fighting Bunch: The Battle of Athens and How World War II Veterans Won the Only Successful Armed Rebellion Since the Revolution

by Chris DeRose


View All Available Formats & Editions
Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on May 3, 2022


In The Fighting Bunch: The Battle of Athens and How World War II Veterans Won the Only Successful Armed Rebellion Since the Revolution, New York Times bestselling author Chris DeRose reveals the true, never-before-told story of the men who brought their overseas combat experience to wage war against a corrupt political machine in their hometown.

Bill White and the young men of McMinn County answered their nation's call after Pearl Harbor. They won the freedom of the world and returned to find that they had lost it at home.

A corrupt political machine was in charge, protected by violent deputies, funded by racketeering, and kept in place by stolen elections - the worst allegations of voter fraud ever reported to the Department of Justice, according to the U.S. Attorney General.

To restore free government, McMinn's veterans formed the nonpartisan GI ticket to oppose the machine at the next election.

On Election Day, August 1, 1946, the GIs and their supporters found themselves outgunned, assaulted, arrested, and intimidated. Deputies seized ballot boxes and brought them back to the jail. White and a group of GIs - "The Fighting Bunch" - men who fought and survived Guadalcanal, the Bulge, and Normandy, armed themselves and demanded a fair count. When they were refused the most basic rights they had fought for, the men, all of whom believed they had seen the end of war, returned to the battlefield and risked their lives one last time.

For the past seven decades, the participants of the "Battle of Ballots and Bullets" and their families kept silent about that conflict. Now in The Fighting Bunch, after years of research, including exclusive interviews with the remaining witnesses, archival radio broadcast and interview tapes, scrapbooks, letters, and diaries, Chris DeRose has reconstructed one of the great untold stories in American history.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250808523
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/03/2022
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.38(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

CHRIS DEROSE is the New York Times Bestselling Author of Founding Rivals: Madison vs. Monroe, the Bill of Rights, and the Election that Saved a Nation, and The Presidents' War: Six American Presidents and the Civil War That Divided Them. He was formerly Senior Litigation Counsel to the Arizona Attorney General, a Professor of Constitutional and International Law, and Clerk of the Superior Court, where he led a team of 700 in serving America's fourth largest county.

Table of Contents


A Note on Names
Prologue: In Search of History

1. Home, Sweet Home
2. On the Little Tennessee River
3. Warrior Roots
4. The Rise of Paul Cantrell
5. The Best Fights of the Season
6. Civics at McMinn High
7. "Politicos in McMinn Split over Vote Robots"
8. The King of Tennessee
9. "For the Duration of the National Emergency"
10. Everything I Needed to Know About Geopolitics, I Learned from Frank Capra
11. George the Ripper
12. "We Were Like Young Tigers"
13. "A Monstrous, Shocking, and Revolting State of Affairs"
14. "High, Dry, and Bare Assed"
15. "Six Indicted for Vote Fraud"
16. "Come to the Rescue of a Helpless People"
17. "Say a Prayer for Your Pal on Guadalcanal"
18. United States v. Lattimore et al
19. "No Atheists on Tarawa"
20. United States v. William Rucker
21. From Athens to Normandy
22. "I Don't Know Which Way Is Up"
23. "Killed in the Service of his Country in Athens, Tennessee"
24. "The American Way of Life"
25. The Best Year of Their Lives
26. In the Basement of the Robert E. Lee Hotel
27. "A Thorn in the Flesh"
28. The Ballad of Otto Kennedy
29. Your Vote Will Be Counted as Cast
30. "Do You Think They're Going to Let You Win This Election?"
31. The Fourth of July
32. "The Hearts and Votes of McMinn County"
33. Election Day, 1946
34. The Battle of the Garage
35. Democracy, Athens Style
36. The Guns of August
37. The Night Watch
38. "Groping Back to Normalcy"
39. Fort Athens
40. Glorious Victory
41. Unknown Subjects
42. "Let Us Live Together and Love One Another"



Customer Reviews