Gregory A. Freeman is an award-winning writer with more than 25 years experience in journalism and narrative nonfiction. Known for writing books that make a true story read like a gripping, fast paced novel, Freeman is quickly becoming one of the most respected and successful authors in the field of narrative nonfiction.
Freeman's books are scrupulously researched and entirely factual, yet they read more like novels because he weaves the "stranger than fiction" personal stories of his subjects into a compelling narrative. Each project requires intensive research - getting to know the subjects personally and probing for previously undisclosed documents. Freeman also explores the subject matter himself, whether that means flying onto the deck of an aircraft carrier at sea or gaining access to the most restricted parts of the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, military prison. But the most important parts of the books are the often intensely personal, emotional interviews with the men and women who were there. Their personal stories make up the heart of Freeman's work, the part that most connects with the reader.
In addition to his books, Freeman writes for a wide range of magazines and other publications, including Reader's Digest, Rolling Stone, American History, and World War II.
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 attended the University of Georgia in Athens and began his writing career there, working for newspapers while studying journalism and political science.
After receiving his degree, he went on to work for The Associated Press in Atlanta and then spent several years as executive editor of a publishing company. He then became a freelance writer, editor, and author.
Known for writing narrative nonfiction that makes a true story read like a gripping, fast paced novel, Freeman’s latest work is The Gathering Wind: Hurricane Sandy, the Sailing Ship Bounty, and a Courageous Rescue at Sea, released October 29, 2013, by New American Library, an imprint of Penguin Books. This book tells the story of the tall sailing Bounty, which was lost off the coast of North Carolina during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Answering many of the questions prompted by that terrible loss, The Gathering Wind is a compelling drama about the crew, the Coast Guard rescuers, and the investigations that followed.
Freeman’s earlier book The Last Mission of the Wham Bam Boys tells the story of a World War II bomber crew that is shot down over Germany and then lynched by local townspeople, leading to the first war crimes trial after the conflict ended. Kirkus Reviews called it “A chilling tale” and “a riveting narrative.”
Freeman also published Troubled Water: Race, Mutiny and Bravery on the USS Kitty Hawk in September 2009, also with Palgrave Macmillan. Troubled Water tells a little known story of a race riot on the carrier Kitty Hawk in 1972, focusing on the two senior officers who will determine whether this already tragic episode ends peacefully or spirals down into one of the darkest moments in Navy history. Just prior to that, Freeman co-authored a book with Col. Larry C. James, the U.S. Army psychologist who was sent to stop the abuse at the notorious military prison in Abu Ghraib, Iraq. Fixing Hell: An Army Psychologist Confronts Evil at Abu Ghraib, released in August 2008, tells the harrowing tale of a man struggling to be both a military officer and a medical professional, while also revealing previously unknown details about the prison scandal and how the system was improved.
James Bradley, bestselling author of Flags of Our Fathers, Flyboys, and The Imperial Cruise praises Freeman as a talented author whose books provide an important service to the country. Bradley says of Freeman's latest, Troubled Water: "Gregory Freeman has dug out the true hidden story of the first mutiny in the history of the U.S. Navy. You'll enjoy this high-seas thriller."
Freeman won wide acclaim for The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II, published in 2007 by New American Library. This popular book tells the fascinating but previously unknown story of Operation Halyard, a super secret and ultra risky rescue mission to save downed American airmen in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia. Malcolm McConnell, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of American Soldier, says of The Forgotten 500: "Freeman chronicles [the story] with a master's touch for detail. Although this book reads like a fast paced novel, it is based on scores of probing interviews and meticulous archival research." Gregg Olsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Deep Dark, says The Forgotten 500 is "a literary and journalistic achievement of the highest order, a book that illuminates, thrills and reminds us that heroes sometimes do live among us. It will take your breath away."
Before that, Freeman saw great success with Sailors to the End: The Deadly Fire on the USS Forrestal and the Heroes Who Fought It, originally published in July 2002 by William Morrow. 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. Sailors to the End was enthusiastically embraced by the military community and general interest readers alike. One reviewer said, "The book grabs readers and leaves them emotionally exhausted. In particular, the description of the death of sailor James Blaskis in a remote and inaccessible part of the ship cannot leave a reader unmoved." A Kirkus Reviews writer called Sailors to the End "a compassionate account of a dramatic incident in modern naval history, told with cinematic immediacy and narrative skill." Senator John McCain, who was injured in the fire, endorsed the book and called it "a riveting account" that honors the men who died.
In Lay This Body Down: The 1921 Murders of Eleven Plantation Slaves, Freeman paints a vivid picture of a plantation run with slave labor 56 years after the Civil War. Melissa Fay Greene, author of The Temple Bombing and Praying for Sheetrock, called Lay This Body Down a "magnificently well-written book." Library Journal's Robert C. Jones wrote that "this moving narrative account is arguably the most complete history of this event available."
See the author's web site at www.gregoryafreeman.com.