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"Impressively informative, exceptionally well written, thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Fighting Back: Stan Andrews and the Birth of the Israeli Air Force" is an inherently riveting read from cover to cover."

LIBRARY BOOKWATCH (AUGUST 2022)

Also available in Audible and eBook Versions 

Book by
Jeffrey Weiss & Craig Weiss

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Fighting Back

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.

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    Jeff's Story

    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” and in the 2000 documentary “Israel’s Forgotten Heroes,” narrated by Hal Linden.  In addition to a law degree, he holds Master’s degrees in International Law (Georgetown University Law Center) and in Biotechnology (Johns Hopkins University) and has been writing on Middle East security issues for more than 20 years. He is passionate about fitness and is a two-time Ironman and ultramarathoner.   

    Craig's Story

    Craig Weiss is a Venture-Capitalist, serial entrepreneur, and published author.  Craig is the Managing Member of Flagstaff Ventures, a Venture Capital firm focused on early-stage consumer products and services.  He is also the Co-Founder & CEO of venture-backed Retainer Club & Mouthguard Club.  Craig has founded or co-founded half a dozen companies.  During his three and half years as President & CEO of NJOY, Inc. he led the company to a $1B valuation. 

     

    Before becoming an entrepreneur, Craig Weiss was a patent attorney, where he focused on the drafting and prosecution of patent applications for medical device, e-commerce and business method inventions.  An inventor, Craig Weiss has 14 patents to his own name, including five for medical devices. 

     

    A published author, Craig co-authored I Am My Brother's Keeper, which features a foreword from Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu.  The book is also the subject of the Nancy Spielberg produced documentary, "Above & Beyond,” in which Craig appears as one of the historians.  Craig's newest book, "Fighting Back" was published on May 17, 2022. 

     

    Craig is a frequent speaker at A.S.U's W.P. Carey School of Business and has also spoken numerous times Harvard Business School. 

     

    A lifelong resident of Arizona, Craig lives in Paradise Valley with his wife, two children and six dogs. 

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    Stan's Art

    Below is just a small representation of Stan's diverse artistic talent.

    In the Press

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    "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

    Book Signings

    Upcoming Events

    Book Club Guide

    For those who are interested in selecting Fighting Back for a Book Club please feel free to use hte discussion questions below:

    Discussion Questions

    Question 1

    Stan wrote to his brother that he didn’t “give a damn about Zionism.”  What do you think he meant by that?  Was that statement consistent with his actions? 

    Question 2

    Stan also wrote: “When these guys get through, when you hear the word Jew mentioned you’ll think of something else besides a pawnbroker or shopkeeper.”  What do you think people in America think today when they hear the word “Jew”?  Or when they hear the word “Israeli”? 

    Question 3

    The World War II expression “there are no atheists in foxholes” intrigued Stan, who wrote several short stories that were inspired by it.  What do you think of the quote?  Do you think a confrontation with the possibility of imminent death would cause the typical person to reach out to God?  What do you think went through Stan’s mind after his Beaufighter crashed in the desert? 

    Question 4

    Stan was raised without any formal Jewish education and never set foot in a synagogue.  Yet his father was upset when his older siblings put up a Christmas stocking for him.  Is that a common American Jewish orientation – to be defined negatively by what offends our sensibilities rather than positively by what draws us to our Jewish identity?  Are there examples from your own life?

    Question 5

    The authors argue that Stan was an unexpected volunteer for the cause of a Jewish state.  The authors describe several motivations that led Stan to go – fighting back against anti-Semitism, flying fighters, becoming a writer.  What do you think most drove his decision?  Were you bothered by the fact that he had, in Nancy Spielberg’s words, “layered motivations.”

    Question 6

    Is there a cause in your life that could sufficiently stir you to dramatic action – in the way that the struggle for a Jewish state moved Stan to risk everything in its pursuit?

    Question 7

    Stan was in a committed relationship with Virgnia Carvel before going to Israel. Was he wrong to leave her?  What do you think would have happened to their story had he returned from the war?  In general, what do you think Stan’s life would have been like had he survived?

    Question 8

    The anti-Semitism that Stan encountered in 1940s America caused him to reclaim his Jewish identity.  Have things changed - is anti-Semitism still something that American Jews worry about?  Should they be worried? 

    Question 9

    It is hard for those of us born after 1948 to imagine a world without a State of Israel, yet that was the world that Stan grew up in.  What do you think life as a Jew would be like today if there was no Israel – if the Arabs had won the war and prevented a Jewish state from becoming a reality?  Do American Jews benefit from having a strong Jewish state, even if they don’t live there?  If so, how?

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