Part contemporary detective story, part World War II historical narrative, No Surrender is the inspiring true story of Roddie Edmonds, a Knoxville-born enlistee who risked his life during the final days of World War II to save others from murderous Nazis, and the lasting effects his actions had on thousands of lives—then and now.
Captured in the Battle of the Bulge, Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds was the highest-ranking American soldier at Stalag IXA, a prisoner of war camp near Ziegenhain, Germany. A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Roddie was a simple, soft-spoken man of deep inner strength and unwavering Christian faith. Though he was driven to the limits of endurance, Roddie refused to succumb to Nazi brutality toward the Jewish-American GIs with whom he was serving. Through his inspiring leadership and bravery Roddie saved the lives of hundreds of U.S. infantrymen in those perilous final days of the Second World War. His fearless actions continue to reverberate today.
Growing up, Pastor Chris Edmonds knew little of his father’s actions in the war. To learn the truth, he followed a trail of clues, a journey that spanned seven decades and linked a sprawling cast of heroes, both known and unknown, from every corner of the country. In No Surrender, Pastor Chris, joined by New York Times bestselling co-author Douglas Century, chronicles his odyssey to tell the unforgettable story of his father and his remarkable valor. He also provides startling details (and vantage points) of some of the major events of World War II and United States Army initiatives that helped the Allies win the war, including the Battle of the Bulge, the massacre at Malmedy, and the now-little-known Army Specialized Training Program which prepared brilliant young “soldier-scholars”—or “Quiz Kids”—from across the nation to battle the Nazis.
As compelling as the number-one New York Times bestsellers Unbroken, Boys on the Boat, Band of Brothers, and Schindler’s List, illustrated with photographs and historical documents throughout, No Surrender is an epic story of bravery, compassion, and faith, and an inspiring testament to man’s goodness. It is also a clarion call for our narcissistic age—a shining example of the transformative and redemptive power of moral courage.
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.
“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.”
“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.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“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)