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Fighting Back

Stan Andrews and the Birth of the Israeli Air Force

Published by Wicked Son
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

Fighting Back is the story of Stan Andrews, an assimilated American Jew and World War II veteran who became one of the first fighter pilots in the history of the Israeli Air Force.

In 1948, Stan Andrews left a comfortable postwar life in Los Angeles to travel to the war-torn Middle East, where a four-front Arab invasion threatened to destroy the newly-declared State of Israel. There he joined the Israeli Air Force and became one of its first fighter pilots.  Andrews was an unexpected volunteer for the fight for a Jewish state. He was many things—an artist, writer, assimilated Jew, ladies’ man, pilot, and combat veteran of the Pacific War. He had previously been aloof from the struggle for Jewish independence but found himself so roused by the anti-Semitism of 1940s America that he decided to go to Israel and risk everything. Stan made the most of his time in Israel, serving in fighter and bomber squadrons and leaving his mark on an Israeli Air Force that has since become the stuff of legend.

Jeff Weiss is the co-author of I Am My Brother’s Keeper (Schiffer Military History, 1998), which tells the story of American and Canadian volunteers in all branches of the Israel Defense Forces during the 1948 War of Independence. He is fluent in Hebrew, having completed a year of law school at Bar Ilan University. He is featured in the 2014 Nancy Spielberg documentary Above and Beyond. He is passionate about fitness and is an Ironman and ultramarathoner. In 2022 he made Aliyah to Israel.

Craig Weiss, the co-author of I Am My Brother’s Keeper, is fluent in Hebrew and lived in Israel for four years. He is also featured in Above and Beyond. As part of the research for I Am My Brother’s Keeper, Craig personally interviewed more than one hundred of the volunteers. Craig is a venture capitalist and award-winning entrepreneur whose first company achieved unicorn status (a valuation in excess of $1 billion).

“Jeffrey and Craig Weiss have uncovered the story of a Jewish hero in the mold of a Leon Uris character. Readers will enjoy trying to keep up with Stan Andrews—a typical Jewish New Yorker turned daring combat pilot—as he chases history from the air force planes of the United States and the nascent state of Israel.”

– Dan Senor, New York Times bestselling co-author of "Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle"

“Absorbing and beautifully written, Fighting Back tells the thrilling story of an unlikely American Jewish hero. At a time when some American Jews are distancing themselves from the Jewish state, this book is a powerful reminder of the deep roots connecting American Jewry and Israel.”

– Yossi Klein Halevi, senior fellow, Shalom Hartman Institute, author, "Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor"

“Jeff and Craig have once again done a great job in presenting this incredible and exhilarating piece of history. They have succeeded in bringing to life the multi-faceted character of Stan Andrews––his passions, his personality, his ambivalence, his layered motivations. Stan is an ideal representative of the American volunteers who went to Israel in 1948 and who played such a pivotal role in establishing the Israeli Air Force. You will love him and you will love his story.”

– Nancy Spielberg, Movie Producer, “Above and Beyond,” “On the Map,” “Who Will Write Our History.”

“A compelling story of grit but also of deep loyalty––to fellow pilots, to a state just forming and to the Jewish people––Fighting Back is a powerful reminder that there was nothing at all inevitable about Israel’s surviving its first months, and that the miracle of that survival was due, first and foremost, to women and men of courage and passionate convictions. By bringing Stan Andrews to life once again, Jeffrey and Craig Weiss leave us, the reader, determined to stand for more than we do and to aspire to do more with our own lives.”

– Daniel Gordis, Author of "ISRAEL: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn"

Fighting Back gives a nuanced glimpse into a fascinating and poignant moment in time. Stan Andrews is one of a small group of people who subtly made history. The Weiss brothers’ research is meticulous. They develop their characters responsibly and tell their story beautifully.”

– Tal Keinan, Lt. Col. (ret.) Israel Air Force and author of "God is in the Crowd: Twenty First Century Judaism"

Fighting Back gives a nuanced glimpse into a fascinating and poignant moment in time. Stan Andrews is one of a small group of people who subtly made history. The Weiss brothers’ research is meticulous. They develop their characters responsibly and tell their story beautifully.”

– Tal Keinan, Lt. Col. (ret.) Israel Air Force and author of "God is in the Crowd: Twenty First Century Judaism"