Thursday, January 7, 2010

OHP Radio Spotlight - Gregory A. Freeman

Gregory A. Freeman is an award-winning writer with more than 20 years' experience in journalism and historical nonfiction. His latest book is Fixing Hell: An Army Psychologist Confronts Abu Ghraib,co-authored with Col. (ret.) Larry C. James, the mental health professional sent to correct the shocking conditions at the U.S. prison in Iraq. The book tells the story of Abu Ghraib from a new perspective, revealing previously unknown information about the prison, the scandal, and how it affected a dedicated military officer.

Prior to Fixing Hell, Freeman's most recent book was The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II. Like his other books, The Forgotten 500 reads like a fast-paced novel but tells a fascinating true story -- this time, the amazing rescue of airmen trapped behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied Europe.

Critics hailed Freeman's recent book, Sailors to the End: The Deadly Fire on the USS Forrestal and the Heroes Who Fought It, published by William Morrow, as an example of master storytelling. In Sailors to the End, Freeman tells the story of the young men aboard an aircraft carrier in 1967, following their life-and-death struggles through an accidental fire that threatens to destroy the world's most powerful ship.

Freeman also wrote Lay This Body Down: The 1921 Murders of Eleven Plantation Slaves. In this true story, Freeman paints a vivid picture of a plantation run with slave labor 56 years after the Civil War. He is now working on a book about Operation Halyard, the largest rescue of downed airmen in U.S. history and a little known episode of World War II.

Freeman's work also appears in Reader's Digest, Rolling Stone, World War II, American History, and many other publications.

Freeman's books are scrupulously researched and entirely factual, yet they read more like novels because he weaves the personal stories of his subjects into a compelling narrative. For the book about the aircraft carrier, Freeman spent two years interviewing surviving crew members and poring through Navy records, including some the Navy did not want to release. Through his contacts in the Navy, he was able to visit an active duty aircraft carrier at sea for first-hand research.

Freeman has won more than a dozen awards for his writing, including the coveted Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence from the Society of Professional Journalists -- twice in five years. He received his degree from the University of Georgia in Athens, worked for The Associated Press in Atlanta, and spent several years as executive editor of a publishing company. He then became a freelance writer and continues to to write for a number of publications.

Freeman is represented by Mel Berger of the William Morris Agency in New York. He lives in Roswell, Georgia, with his wife Caroline.

To find out more about this author please visit his website