(December 4, 2018) The first step in the review and approval process is now complete for American Hangman: MSgt. John C. Woods, The United States Army’s Notorious Executioner in World War II and Nürnberg.
The cover looks fabulous: red, white and black and includes two period photos of Woods. Too bad Robin Williams, the comedian, is not still with us, because the photo on the back cover shows that both men looked a lot alike! When I get permission, will post the cover.
Building a book with a publisher is simple and yet complex because there are so many factors involved. And it is not just the book’s content (the text): catalog information, public affairs information, constructing an index with the right page numbers on it, getting the title “right”, deciding which photographs to use, and many other items are involved. Equally important, you don’t want to under-deliver. If you say in the lead up to publication that there will be 100 photographs in the book, there better be that many or more when it hits the bookshelves.
I’ll go out on a limb and say that I think that American Hangman will be the best selling book that I have ever written. And even better, I can’t believe that it has so many photos and pages at such a reasonable price-point. It’s all there: the life story of John C. Woods; his executions of U.S. soldiers; hangings of Nazi war criminals at Landsberg Prison, Bruchsal Prison and Rheinbach Prison; Woods’ most significant life event — the executions of ten of the top Nazis officials following the International Military Tribunal at Nürnberg; and his mysterious death on Eniwetok Atoll. Hard cover, 7″ x 10″, it is the first, and thus the only, complete biography on one of the most significant figures of the Second World War and is the perfect companion book to the The Fifth Field: The Story of the 96 American Soldiers Sentenced to Death and Executed in Europe and North Africa in World War II, which is still in print and available at Schiffer Publishing.
For almost seventy years after World War II, only a few people knew what actually happened concerning almost one-hundred American soldiers that were executed in Europe. Concerning the hangman for many of these men, John C. Woods, the situation was even worse. Since 1950 the few magazine articles published on Woods were almost all inaccurate — not just minor errors but major false accounts.
Now with American Hangman, you can discover the truth, which is even more fascinating than the “legends.”