Chris DeRose (JD '05) Releases New Book, The Fighting Bunch: The Battle of Athens
Pepperdine Caruso Law alumnus and New York Times bestselling author Chris DeRose (JD '05) released his new book, The Fighting Bunch: The Battle of Athens, on Election Day 2020. The book, published by St. Martin's Press, reveals the true story of a group of World War II veterans who brought their overseas combat experience to wage war against a corrupt political machine and the fate of voter ballot boxes in 1946 in Athens, Tennessee.
About The Fighting Bunch from Newsweek:
In August 1946, Newsweek reported from Athens, Tennessee, where veterans of World War II had won their final—and most unexpected—battle, dislodging a corrupt political machine after a six-hour firefight. Reporters described "tension growing" through a "hot, still day" and "300 armed special deputies brought in by Sheriff Pat Mansfield to 'guard' the ballot boxes." The scene sounded more like Germany or Japan than America: a voter shot for trying to cast a ballot; GI poll watchers arrested, assaulted and having to jump through glass to escape being held hostage.
The "[a]rmed deputies took two ballot boxes to the jail for counting, refusing to permit GI observers." A small group of veterans—the fighting bunch—demanded a public count of the ballots and, when they were refused, opened fire. The full story of the battle—the only successful rebellion on U.S. soil since the Revolution—remained shrouded in mystery. Newsweek readers wanted to know the full story. But the GIs weren't interested in talking. In my new book, The Fighting Bunch, I can finally reveal the full story of the Battle of Athens, Tennessee. Some of these long-sought details appear in Newsweek for the first time—nearly 75 years later.
The complete Newsweek article may be found here
Chris was formerly Senior Litigation Counsel to the Arizona Attorney General, a Professor of Constitutional Law, and Clerk of the Superior Court for Maricopa County, leading a team of over 700 professionals in serving America's fourth largest county. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Abraham Lincoln Association and Board of Scholarly Advisors for President Lincoln's Cottage, a historic site in Washington DC, and is a member of the Mystery Writers of America.
Chris has also authored several other books, including the Star Spangled Scandal, the President's War, Congressman Lincoln, and Founding Rivals. All of Chris's work can be found here