James Carl Nelson is a journalist and author of Five Lieutenants: The Heartbreaking Story of Five Harvard Men Who Led America to Victory in World War I and The Remains of Company D: A Story of the Great War, which was given an Editor's Choice Award as one of 2009's best seven history books by Booklist. He lives in Minneapolis.
"A thrilling, smooth-flowing account...an action-packed study of Marines at war." --Leatherneck, the Magazine of the Marines "A great, riveting story that moves along like a novel."--Mitchell Yockelson, author of Forty-Seven Days: How Pershing's Warriors Came of Age to Defeat the German Army in World War 1 "Striking a perfect balance between literary craft and historic scholarship, James Carl Nelson paints a vivid portrait of young Marine Lieutenant Cliff Cates, who led men to victory after victory in the trenches and killing fields of World War I's Western Front and survived against insurmountable odds, forging a leader who would become Marine Corps Commandant and inspire legend. Guided by the voices of Cates and his fellow marines, Nelson takes the reader on a wartime journey at times triumphant and inspiring, at others poignant and harrowing, from the bloody woods of Belleau to the killing fields of Soissons and Saint-Mihiel up to the bank of the Meuse River. I Will Hold is essential historical literature and military history at its best." -- Matthew Davenport, author of First Over There: The Attack on Cantigny, America's First Battle of World War I "James Nelson has captured the enthusiasm and passion of Clifton Cates as a young officer of Marines in the First World War. This story amazes us, not just because Cates survived horrific battles against horrendous odds, but because this plucky lieutenant's infectious optimism and spirit also survived the days of relentless misery and moments of heart-stopping terror. Nelson writes the story beautifully, drawing upon Cates' own words and never before published eyewitness accounts by men who knew him. I Will Hold will not disappoint lovers of Marine Corps and Great War history." -- Peter F. Owen, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC (Retired), author of To the Limit of Endurance: A Battalion of Marines in the Great War. Praise for the military histories of James Carl Nelson The Remains of Company D: A Story of the Great War "The standard for research into the story of the American Expeditionary Force. Essential for all students of modern war."--Library Journal "A personal, moving journey that will be a welcome addition to any military-history bookshelf."--Kirkus Reviews Five Lieutenants: The Heartbreaking Story of Five Harvard Men Who Led America to Victory in World War I "The multiple voices, coupled with Mr. Nelson's narrative skills, create a powerful mosaic that captures the exhilaration and horror of war."--Wall Street Journal "This eloquent work of the toll of war builds moving stories through a wealth of personal detail."--Kirkus Reviews