Hawley is a writer. His books are
highly eclectic. He has written about 16th-century East Asian history,
19th-century Korean-American relations, Olympic sprinting and land
speed racing and a circus elephant named Topsy who was electrocuted in 1903. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.
SPEED DUELThe Inside Story of the Land Speed Record in the Sixties
the late 1950s an intrepid handful of American hot rodders began to vie
for the world land speed record, in British hands since the 1920s. It
stood at 394 mph. A total of eight men would attempt to break it:
Mickey Thompson, Athol Graham, Donald Campbell, Nathan Ostich, Glenn
Leasher, Craig Breedlove, and Art and Walt Arfons. It would be racing
of the most dangerous kind, a game in which nearly all of them would
suffer high-speed crashes and two would be killed. By the mid-1960s
only two were left standing, Craig Breedlove and Art Arfons, locked in
a speed duel from which neither would back down. They would create the
most powerful cars ever seen and risk their lives driving them on the
Bonneville Salt Flats, pushing the LSR up through 400, 500 and 600 mph
and experiencing some of the most spectacular crashes in motor sport
history. Speed Duel tells this remarkable story through the eyes of the drivers themselves, their crews, their friends and their families.
who’s ever sat behind a wheel and wondered what it would feel like to
floor it will find this cinematic account difficult to put down.”
(Publishers Weekly - starred review)
“…well-told...a gripping read that will provide a jet-fueled adrenaline rush.”
- starred review)
“I guarantee you’ll be captivated by the book.”
(Canadian Hot Rod)
“…a detailed and highly personal narrative that puts the reader in the cockpit traveling at insane speeds.”
“Hawley brings the highest standards to bear...an inspiring story.”
a doubt the best story ever written about the battle for the Land Speed
Record in the 1960s...one of my favorite reads in quite some time." (Vintage Motorsport) "The author's storytelling style reminds me of Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand, engaging and atmospheric, yet factual and detailed...Very highly recommended."
"Interesting and complex...The best job I've seen done on the subject so far."
book covers the era in stunning fashion and is written in a very
readable manner--this is not an easy book to put down...a real keeper."
I JUST RANPercy Williams, World's Fastest Human
Independent Publisher Awards silver medal winner!
the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics a young Vancouver runner named Percy
Williams came out of nowhere to win the 100- and 200-metre gold medals.
The following winter he swept the US indoor track circuit, silencing
critics who claimed his Olympic wins were a fluke. In 1930 he broke
Charlie Paddock’s longstanding record for the 100 metres, setting a new
mark that would stand until the advent of Jesse Owens. In 1932 he went
to the LA Olympics to defend his double sprint crown, something never
before successfully accomplished. And in between he engaged in an
ongoing duel with some of the fleetest men on the planet, a battle for
track supremacy and the title World’s Fastest Human. And yet through it
all he remained a reluctant and enigmatic hero. When asked to explain
his secret, he sometimes shrugged and said: “I just ran.”
"If you're into memoirs or biographies, I strongly recommend I Just Ran
by Samuel Hawley about the life of Percy Williams, a Canadian athlete
who was the Ben Johnson of his era--without the illegal drugs." (Literary Press Group)
"This book is a good read."
fine biography...a masterful account of Williams' spactacular rise and
fall, drawing on the sprinter's private letters, diary, and scrapbooks."
(Ottawa Citizen) "I was really moved at the end....Very well written."
(Philippe Falardeau, director of 2012 Academy Award-nominated"...captures
the essence of the world of athletics in the period surrounding the
1928 and 1932 Olympic Games...The fastidious and personal details of
the athlete's perspective on training and competing are uncannily
accurate. You can share the agony anfd ecstacy that every competitor
ultimately experiences....Everyone involved in the sport of track and
field should run, not walk to order the new book on Percy Williams."
Best Foreign Language Film Monsieur Lazhar))
(Canadian Olympian Doug Clement)"Hawley
flawlessly describes the Olympic races...my heart was beating in
anticipation with every yard gained by Percy's lightning speed. This is
a story for every Canadian."
BUY THE BOOK EXTRAS
THE IMJIN WARJapan's Sixteenth-Century Invasion of Koreaand Attempt to Conquer China(Co-published by the Royal Asiatic Society, Seoul,and the Institute of East Asian Studies Press, UC Berkeley)
May of 1592 Japanese dictator Toyotomi Hideyoshi dispatched a
gargantuan invasion army from Kyushu to Pusan on Korea’s southern tip.
Its objective: to conquer Korea, then China and then the whole of Asia.
The resulting seven years of fighting, known in Korea as imjin waeran,
the “Imjin invasion,” after the year of the water dragon in which it
began, involved 300,000 combatants and claimed more than two million
lives. It dwarfed any contemporary conflict in Europe and was one of
the most devastating wars to grip East Asia on the past thousand years.
The Imjin War is the most comprehensive account ever published in English of this cataclysmic event, so little known in the West.
The Imjin War positions the reader well to follow the unfolding drama
in a war involving three nations, with fighting and diplomacy on
multiple fronts...Hawley is exhaustive in his research.” (South China Morning Post)
“An engrossing narrative that reads almost like a novel.”
(International Institute of Asian Studies Newsletter)
“A wonderful read...superbly organized.”
(JoongAng Daily News)
“An epic tale with a cast of fascinating and colorful historical figures.”
“The scope of [Hawley’s] work is truly vast.”
“Lucidly written...reads more like a “Prelude” to Shogun than a dry academic text.”
“A brilliant study...”
over 600 pages, this book is a feast for one looking for a well-rounded
narrative of the war. I was hooked as soon as I started reading about
the pre-invasion diplomatic posturing and blundering. Well researched
and documented, Hawley deserves a big round of applause for this work.”
(Shogun-ki, official blog of the Samurai Archives)
AMERICA'S MAN IN KOREAThe Private Letters of George C. Foulk, 1884-1887(Lexington Books, 2007)
story of America's initial involvement in Korea as told through the
private family letters of U.S. Navy ensign George Clayton Foulk,
Washington's representative in Seoul in the mid-1880s. "The Hermit
Kingdom," as Korea was known, was no ordinary diplomatic posting at
this time. Emerging from centuries of self-imposed isolation, Korea was
struggling to establish itself as an independent nation amid the
imperial rivalries of China, Japan, England, and Russia; anti-foreign
violence remained a simmering threat; the Korean government was a
hotbed of intrigue and factional strife, its monarch King Kojong
casting about for help. Foulk, fluent in Korean and the foremost
western expert on the country, was an astute observer of this country's
transformation. In his private letters, published here for the first
time, Foulk recounts his struggle to represent the U.S. and to help
Korea in the face of State Department indifference.
decades, George Clayton Foulk, and his ill-fated service in Korea in
the 1880s, have captured the imagination of students of early
Korean-American relations. Samuel Hawley's timely edition of Foulk's
private letters is comparable in significance to the pioneering
documentary work done by George M. McCune and John A. Harrison more
than a half century ago. Scholars in modern Korean history, American
diplomatic history, and American-East Asian relations will all benefit
from the publication of this remarkable collection of letters."—Robert
R. Swartout, Jr., Carroll College
the first American to master the Korean language and one of the first
Americans to penetrate the previously closed kingdom of Korea in the
1880s, George Foulk provides an intimate look at the customs of late
Choson Korea and the personalities of some of that country's
highest-ranking officials. Thrust into diplomatic service, Foulk also
provides a brutally frank assessment of some of the first American
diplomats and missionaries and a scathing indictment of US policy
toward Korea. His letters constitute an invaluable resource for
understanding the complex events swirling around Northeast Asia in the
late nineteenth century."—Wayne Patterson, St. Norbert College
INSIDE THE HERMIT KINGDOMThe 1884 Korea Travel Diary of George Clayton Foulk(Lexington Books, 2007)
ensign George Foulk made a 900-mile journey through southern Korea
during which he kept a detailed record of everything he observed and
experienced. This travel diary, part of the George Clayton Foulk
collection in the Bancroft Library at the University of California,
Berkeley, has been almost entirely overlooked by scholars and yet is of
inestimable value. First, it is an account of a trip no Westerner had
ever undertaken before or would ever experience again: a long-distance
sedan chair journey in the manner of a Choson-dynasty government
official. Containing his private thoughts, penned in the heat of the
moment, Foulk's diary is immediate, raw, and honest, laying bare his
experience. It gives readers is a superbly descriptive and perceptive
record of Korea. Inside the Hermit Kingdom stands unique as a firsthand
account of the kingdom of Choson in its pristine condition, before the
intrusion of the outside world.REVIEWS“An immediate, raw, and sometimes embarrassingly honest account.”