Today, Brooks explores the consequences of failed leadership, making the leap from mythos to American History with the release of his latest book, The Harlem Hellfighters. The graphic novel chronicles the little-known story of the first African-American regiment mustered to fight in WWI. They spent longer than any other American unit in combat and displayed remarkable valor on the battlefield. Despite extraordinary struggles and overt racism, the ‘Hellfighters’, as their enemies named them, became one of the most successful—but least celebrated—regiments of the war. Once again, Brooks drills down to help find what lessons can be learned from the triumph and tragedy of the Harlem Hellfighters.
At the Podium – Learn More About Brooks’ Speaking Program Here
Using fictional metaphor (like zombie lore) and historical events to prompt serious discourse on large-scale problem-solving, Brooks explores new ways to attack old problems and new concerns. On stage, as with his writing, Brooks tackles the tougher questions, like what are the threads that hold society together, and what’s really at stake when those threads are stressed, loosed, or torn. From the basic responsibilities of civilians and corporations to the over-arching role of government and the military, Brooks sheds light on what each can—and should—be prepared to do, to not only survive, but thrive in the face of real-world threats, disaster, and the unexpected.
The son of Hollywood legends Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft, Max Brooks is dedicated challenging and encouraging systems and institutions to think outside the box when problem solving. Even his fiction, while undeniably entertaining, works to raise awareness on the issues of disaster preparedness, crisis management, and survival for the common reader—all under the thematic guise of a zombie apocalypse.
Born in New York City in 1972, Brooks’ introduction to the living dead began with a traumatic childhood incident, an incident he still refuses to discuss. Since that time, he has devoted much of his life to the study and development of “anti-ghoul” security, culminating in a genuine interest in the fundamentals and logistics that go into keeping our world safe from natural and man-made disaster threats.
After working for the BBC in Great Britain and East Africa, Brooks began writing The Zombie Survival Guide. Brooks’ New York Times best-seller, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War), has been made into a major motion picture starring Brad Pitt. The book tells the story of the world’s desperate battle against the zombie threat with a series of first-person accounts “as told to the author” by various characters around the world. Publishers Weekly called the novel “surprisingly hard to put down.”