• The Indomitable Florence Finch

  • The Untold Story of a War Widow Turned Resistance Fighter and Savior of American POWs
  • By: Robert J. Mrazek
  • Narrated by: Dan Woren
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (150 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"An American hero-long forgotten-finally gets her due in this riveting narrative. You will absolutely love Florence Finch: her grit, her compassion, her fight. This isn't just history; she is a woman for our times." (Keith O'Brien, the New York Times best-selling author of Fly Girls)

The riveting story of an unsung World War II hero who saved countless American lives in the Philippines, told by an award-winning military historian.

When Florence Finch died at the age of 101, few of her Ithaca, NY, neighbors knew that this unassuming Filipina native was a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, whose courage and sacrifice were unsurpassed in the Pacific War against Japan. Long accustomed to keeping her secrets close in service of the Allies, she waited 50 years to reveal the story of those dramatic and harrowing days to her own children.

Florence was an unlikely warrior. She relied on her own intelligence and fortitude to survive on her own from the age of seven, facing bigotry as a mixed-race mestiza with the dual heritage of her American serviceman father and Filipina mother.

As the war drew ever closer to the Philippines, Florence fell in love with a dashing American naval intelligence agent, Charles "Bing" Smith. In the wake of Bing's sudden death in battle, Florence transformed from a mild-mannered young wife into a fervent resistance fighter. She conceived a bold plan to divert tons of precious fuel from the Japanese army, which was then sold on the black market to provide desperately needed medicine and food for hundreds of American POWs. In constant peril of arrest and execution, Florence fought to save others, even as the Japanese police closed in. 

With a wealth of original sources including taped interviews, personal journals, and unpublished memoirs, The Indomitable Florence Finch unfolds against the Bataan Death March, the fall of Corregidor, and the daily struggle to survive a brutal occupying force. Award-winning military historian and former congressman Robert J. Mrazek brings to light this long-hidden American patriot. The Indomitable Florence Finch is the story of the transcendent bravery of a woman who belongs in America's pantheon of war heroes.

©2020 Robert J. Mrazek (P)2020 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Thanks to Robert Mrazek's rich and fast-paced narrative, we can add Florence Finch's name to the honor roll of World War II heroes such as Raoul Wallenberg and Oskar Schindler who risked their lives to save others from certain death. Her thrilling story, expertly told by Mrazek, proves that there are still stories of Second World War heroism that remain untold." (Thurston Clarke, author of Pearl Harbor Ghosts and the New York Times best-selling The Last Campaign)

"The richly detailed account of a courageous woman's life." (Kirkus Reviews)

"This soul-stirring story of a true heroine of World War II brought tears to my eyes." (James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom)

What listeners say about The Indomitable Florence Finch

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inspiring story well written and read

This is an inspiring story of courage and selflessness amidst the atrocities of war. Written in a way that allows reader to
understand the trials without getting dragged down in overwhelming gorry details.

8 people found this helpful

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Mistakes

The narrator did not pronounce many of the Filipino terms and locations accurately and that should have been corrected

6 people found this helpful

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Amazing story!

This is a remarkable story of an ordinary woman who played a key role in the resistance to the brutal occupation of the Phillipines by the Japanese during WWII. There's also much detail about the American POWs that she helped. Narration was excellent.

5 people found this helpful

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An inspiring story

This is a riveting, inspiring biography of a heroic woman whose courageous efforts against the Japanese invaders of the Philippines during World War need to be told. Thoroughly captures the reader’s attention! Highly recommend.

3 people found this helpful

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not true to its OWN TITLE

I do NOT mean to deprecate, in the least, this lady's deeds. But, the book is primarily detailed history of WWII in Philippines. In that regard ,it seemed well done, in that respect. I could not help but remember the atrocities of Teddy Roosevelt and his henchman, Taft after the U.S. so brutally conquerred the Philippines as U.S. began our formal empire building.
We are SO blind to our own atrocities, all of them inflicted on hapless residents

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing story!

This is an incredible story of one incredible woman, a hero, as well as many others who lived and died during this time. The history given in this book is unbelievable. I highly recommend this book!!!

2 people found this helpful

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Incredibly Moving!

Florence Fitch was an honorable member of The Greatest Generation. Her story and Carl Englehart’s story highlight their courage and the sacrifices they made to save the lives of others, ahead of their own best interests. I dare you to read this without shedding tears. This book should be required reading at every high school!

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Unforgettable…

This is an unforgettable true story of many heroes! Seen through the eyes of Florence Finch, parts of it are very hard to read or listen to! But that should not stop anyone from purchasing this retelling of the war in the Philippines! Everyone should know about the sacrifices made in the name of war and the extreme need for freedom! Florence Finch had such spirit and that spirit helped her and was shared with those she touched! I learned so much and will never forget this brave woman and others who fought in the Pacific war, including my father!

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Indomitable Florence Finch

This story is amazing and inspiring. It makes us all realize how precious freedom is and how we need to honor those who have made this freedom possible.

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Great idea for a deep dive, but...

... this isn't really a book about Florence Finch, who is largely portrayed two- dimensionally. This is more generally about a variety of characters in the Philippines during World War II. The history itself is fascinating, but the writing seems stilted, hyperbolic, and unknowingly sexist. I learned a lot, but I doubt feel better for it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-25-21

moving and heroic

Little is written about individual experiences of WWII in the far east. This is a remarkable tale of courage and endurance of Florence and her aquaintances. Well read.