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In the Shadow of Freedom

In the Shadow of Freedom

The inspirational story of one man’s journey from child soldier to U.S. Marine. Featured in the New York Times, Booklist, The Daily Beast,  and Kirkus, on CNN, and received positive reviews in more than 100 newspapers nationwide!

Travis Sentell named notable debut author by Writer’s Digest.

Published by Atria Books, a division of Simon and Schuster in 2010.



In an exciting contemporary immigration story, Missamou celebrates the shining perfection of America, where he has found a home as a marine leader. Always he remembers growing up in Brazzaville, in the Republic of Congo, where he witnessed and participated in unspeakable atrocities as a child soldier, until he escaped at 19 and traveled first to Europe and then, at last, to the U.S. After enlistment in the marines, he sailed through boot camp in California, graduating at the top of the class. The narrative weaves together past and present, Missamou’s memories of home and of leaving, and then his service in Iraq and as an American marine in Brazzaville in 2004. The fast and bloody action unfurls from the perspective of both victim and victor: Look your enemy in the eye when you kill him. That celebration of the glory of war in the pursuit of freedom does not really match with the many inspirational quotes interspersed in the text from Mandela, King, and Obama. But the patriotic message about America, my true home, is hard-earned and heartfelt. –Hazel Rochman, Booklist

”A true story as riveting as any thriller, In the Shadow of Freedom kept me on the couch all day Sunday. From his bravery as a child soldier in the Congo, to his courage serving our country, Tchicaya Missamou is the new American hero. You’ll never forget his inspiring life.” – Judy A. Bernstein, Co-Author of They Poured Fire On Us From the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys of Sudan

“Sgt. Missamou’s journey from child soldier in central Africa to United States Marine to American entrepreneur reads like a thriller, but there are powerful lessons in his story. With great love for his family, friends, and his adopted homeland, his life is testimony that what violence destroys, people of courage can rebuild.” –Charles London, author of One Day the Soldiers Came

“A compelling story of ordeal and courage. Tchicaya beautifully shares his struggles as a militia during Congo’s civil war, his daring escape to Europe and America, and his bravery as a United States marine serving in Iraq.” –Joseph Sebarenzi, author of God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation

“This book reads like an epic poem. Briskly paced, each image and experience sharply crafted, In the Shadow of Freedom relates the story of a heroic journey that is both timeless and contemporary. Tchicaya Missamou should be commended not only for his outstanding service as a U.S. Marine, but for his extraordinary gifts as a masterful storyteller.” –Andrew Carroll, editor of bestsellers War Letters and Behind the Lines

“A polished, engaging story of courage and will.” –Kirkus Reviews

Morning News Clip

Greater Diversity Review

Reuters Review
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