The University of Wisconsin Press

Biography / History / World War II

An Emotional Gauntlet
From Life in Peacetime America to the War in European Skies
Stuart J. Wright

Terrace Books

"An Emotional Gauntlet is as fresh as the smell of 100 octane on a crisp morning. Stuart J. Wright brings freshness to his topic that we thought had been burned away in the 1950s and 1960s. This is good stuff! READ IT AND ENJOY!”—John Brennan, 8th Air Force Historical Society, Massachusetts Chapter

Stuart J. Wright tells the gripping story of a World War II American aircrew of the 453rd Bomb Group serving under Operations Officer Major James Stewart (the Hollywood movie star) and flying missions from England in a B-24 Liberator bomber nicknamed Corky. In recounting the harrowing conditions and horrors of bombing missions over Europe, An Emotional Gauntlet emphasizes the relationships among the crew and the spirit these men shared.
In this true account based on years of research and correspondence with crewmembers and their families, Wright adds a dimension rarely explored in other World War II narratives, beginning the chronicle during peacetime and introducing the crewmen as civilians—kids during the 1920s. An Emotional Gauntlet follows the men as they mature through the years of the Great Depression to face a world at war: the Chinese American air gunner hoped to serve in the U.S. Army Air Force to fight against the Japanese invaders of his homeland; the Jewish navigator felt compelled to join the battle against Nazi Germany.

“A superb piece of research that relates the crew’s lives not just as airmen but paints the backdrop to their lives in an era and age leading into the maelstrom of war. An Emotional Gauntlet skillfully weaves the fortunes and misfortunes of one crew into a vast tapestry in a manner that makes the whole pattern understandable.”—Ian McLachlan, author of Eighth Air Force Bomber Stories

"[An Emotional Gauntlet] describes each mission in great detail, including the D-Day invasion. It is very informative, descriptive, awesome . . . filled with humor, chaos, horror, and tragedy."—Harriett Gustason, Freeport Journal-Standard

"A compelling story. Wright establishes the strong spirit these men shared, based on their pilot's pledge that he would bring them back—back from each mission and back to resume their peacetime lives. An Emotional Gauntlet stands out for its integration of prewar civilian life with wartime experiences. To me, this is the essence of America's story in the war, and I am glad to find a book that comprehends this and tells the story from this perspective."—Jerome Klinkowitz, author of Yanks over Europe: American Flyers in World War II

Portrait of author Stuart J. Wright in black and whiteStuart J. Wright was born and raised in Norfolk, England—surrounded by the remains of former American air bases of World War II that dotted the countryside and inspired this, his first book. He has lived in London since 1990. Research for his second book has so far taken him across the United States and to Canada, Australia, China, and Tibet.

Stuart Wright has a website with more information about this book. Visit

For our presskit with more reviews, photos and other information about Stua
rt Wright's An Emotional Gauntlet, click on Wright press kit. For pdf copy of our flyer, with more information about Wright's An Emotional Gauntlet, click on Wright pdf. For a full text version of this flyer, click on Wright flyer text.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

the cover of Wright's book is illustrated with a bomber in action over Europe.

First Paperback Edition
May 2008

LC: 2004005375 D
368 pp.  7 x 10
100 b/w photos, 8 maps, 1 drawing

The cloth edition, ISBN-13: 978-0-299-20520-1, is out of print, but the paperback is still available.

This UW Press Terrace edition is not for sale in the United Kingdom, the traditional British Commonwealth—excluding Canada—and is not for sale in Europe. However, through our copublisher, Pen and Sword, UK. this book is however in the UK, the traditional British Commonwealth, and Europe.

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"Superb. I highly recommend An Emotional Gauntlet. The main thread, about the Corky crew, is terrific."
—Martin W. Bowman, author of B-24 Liberator: Combat Legends and Wild Blue Yonder: Glory Days of the U.S. 8th Air Force in England 

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Updated September 14, 2011

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