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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Jewish
  • Language:English
  • Pages:552
  • Format:Paperback
  • Paperback ISBN:9780998700878

The Trumpets of Jericho

a novel

by J. Michael Dolan

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TTOJ is an attempt to resurrect forgotten heroes, and villains, from the dustbin of Holocaust history, real-life players in a drama few have heard of though it remains one of the more remarkable episodes of Jewish resistance to the Nazis. 

Dolan chose historical fiction with which to tell his tale for its ability to bring characters to life in ways nonfiction can't touch. The SS death camp Auschwitz, where the story is set, is so deeply drawn--its institutions, procedures, machinery, its tastes and smells--as to become one of those characters itself.

Trumpets in that sense, among others, is as much a window into the present as the past in that it shows how horribly things can go wrong when the tiniest spark of prejudice is allowed to grow into a raging fire of deadly hate and persecution.

  • Imagine the horror that was Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest and most lethal of the six Nazi annihilation camps.
  • Imagine it 1944 and a prisoner uprising at that terrible place, the rebels blowing up one crematorium, damaging another, and killing many of their SS masters.
  • Imagine it Jews leading this revolt, a people those same SS thought incapable of fighting.
  • Now imagine one of those leaders a 22-year-old girl, arguably the greatest Jewish heroine to come out of the Holocaust.
  • Finally, imagine her and three other young female inmates arrested by the Gestapo during the investigation that followed the rebellion and savagely tortured for weeks without giving up a single fellow conspirator. 

Imagine all that and more and you have The Trumpets of Jericho, the only novel ever to tell this extraordinary, true-life story in its entirety.

It has everything you could ask of historical fiction: intensive research, action and adventure, heart-wrenching emotion, heroes and villains brought to life with a vividness straight history can't touch. Its main character, Roza Robota, exists to this day as an example of female empowerment at its gutsiest. No one in the book is more courageous than she. Most readers will have never heard of this remarkable girl barely out of her teens, but after Trumpets it's just as likely none will forget her. The same can be said of the other heroic men and women who inhabit its pages, in which there are as many of the latter as the former. Indeed, without its contingent of female conspirators, the revolt of the Sonderkommando (those Jewish wretches forced to work the gas chambers and ovens) could not have happened, at least not the way it did.

With so star-studded a distaff cast, Trumpets bears resemblance to Kelley's WWII novel Lilac Girls. Devoted as it is to Jews fighting back, it also mirrors Uris's towering saga of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Mila 18. The sheer horror and certain thematic elements of Wiesel's iconic Night can be seen in it as well, even a feel-good ending to rival that of Schindler's List. In comparison to noted movies about the Holocaust, it rates as moving as the latter, as horrific as "Son of Saul," as heroic as "The Grey Zone," as personal as "The Pianist."

In short, the award-winning novelist and historian J. Michael Dolan has produced a sweeping epic of a work that he believes will stir you as deeply as its subject has him. In conjunction with resurrecting this fascinating slice of history, he explores, among other themes, religion and the existence of God, the psychology of genocide, friendship and romantic love, sexual and other pathologies, the nature of good and evil, right and wrong. Above all, he shows how the most monstrous crime ever committed was in the end no match for the indomitability, the grandeur of the human spirit.

Silver Medalist in the Military/Wartime fiction category of the 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards, or "Ippy's." Silver Medalist in the War and Military fiction category of the 2017 Foreword INDIES Book Awards. 2017 Notable Book of the Year from Blue Ink Review.

The author feels compelled to state here that the above awards were won despite him putting TTOJ on the market too early. This new Second Edition is the product of fifteen months of rewriting, refining, and adding to his material, making it in his opinion not only a vastly better read than its first incarnation but more deserving of the tale entrusted to it.

About the author

A precocious reader as a child, at the age of twelve Dolan happened upon the searing I Cannot Forgive by Rudolf Vrba, thus beginning a deep, lifelong interest in the Holocaust. For reasons that elude him today, though, he never thought of writing about it.

A wanderer for much of his adulthood, he's lived in a lot of places, many of them exotic, where he combined the education only travel can give with that of the written word to produce a variety of published short stories and articles.

Upon revisiting an extraordinary piece of history he'd all but forgotten, however, and finding to his surprise it still lacked the book it deserved, he decided to write that book. The result is his unique The Trumpets of Jericho, the only novel ever to tackle the defiant 1944 Jewish armed revolt at Auschwitz.

He has since settled down outside of Austin, Texas to be near his grandchildren, and because it is a magnet of a city for the free-thinking young. Or in his case, he says, the young at heart.

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