Mark Perlman

                                                             PRESS RELEASE

The Reluctant Soldier: A Novel by Connecticut Author Mark Perlman Revives the Fascinating Story of the Harlem Hellfighters and Much More

FAIRFIELD, CONN. — The Reluctant Soldier follows the adventures and misadventures of Virgil Carpenter, a teacher at the City College of New York, who becomes an unwitting combatant in World War I and joins the famous Negro regiment, the Harlem Hellfighters. His fictionalized story draws him into the most important events of the twentieth century. An extremely rich documentation on Black Americans in the369th Infantry Regiment.

Virgil becomes an ex-patriot in Paris during the exciting “jazz era” of interwar period and meets famous ex-patriots such as Josephine Baker, Ernest Hemingway, Eugene Bullard and Sylvia Beach, to name a few. When World War II breaks out, he is recruited into the intrigue of the French Resistance.

The post-war years, the interwar period in Paris, provides a vivid backdrop to Virgil’s traumatic and complicated life. Racial segregation and prejudice faced by African Americans are an integral part of American history. This novel addresses this difficult legacy. It also addresses the slow, but steady progress of Black minorities to be accepted and valued in the complex American culture.

Mark Perlman is a resident of Fairfield County, Conn. He has a passion for military history that has taken him to the battle fields and cemeteries of France. The French language version of the The Reluctant Soldier has been published in Europe under the title Le Soldat Involontaire.