“It takes generosity of spirit, and often the talents of a fine detective, to find poetry in the life of a common man. Adam Henig has those qualities, and the tale he tells of the life of Frank Wills is both tragic, and illuminating, in his capable hands.” -John A. Farrell, Richard Nixon: The Life
“Absorbing…compelling biography.” —Herb Boyd, Black Detroit: A People’s History of Self Determination and Baldwin’s Harlem: A Biography of James Baldwin
“[Henig] reveals some surprising details about a man who found himself in the middle of a crime that shook America’s political foundation to its core.” —Joseph Rodota, The Watergate: Inside America’s Most Infamous Address
“The major difference between Adam Henig’s thoroughly researched and beautifully written narrative and every other account of the Republican break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters in June 1972 is its sensitive exploration of the life-altering—some would even say tragic—impact on the young black security guard who discovered the break-in at the Watergate office building. After leading us at perfect pace through details of the night that ultimately and incredibly brought down the President of the United States, Henig expands the context to a panoply of race, privilege, media, and the complexities of mental health as security guard Frank Wills battles both internal and external, historic and contemporary forces far beyond his control. Of all the conclusions the reader might draw from this moving exposition, Henig’s is the most compelling: Frank Wills should never be forgotten.”—Carol McCabe Booker, contributor, Shocking the Conscience: A Reporter’s Account of the Civil Rights Movement
“Adam Henig, through his exhaustive research, gives Wills his dignity and honor back in detailing a footnote to history who never sought fame in the first place and yet who became one of America’s first reality superstars. This book should be must reading each February during Black History Month and every month afterward of a sad life that could have had a happier ending.”—Don Rhodes, columnist, The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle
Click here to read an excerpt.
“Henig recounts the highs and lows of Haley’s life with sympathy, addressing the critiques honestly.” – Publishers Weekly’s Booklife
“Some critics accused Alex of making up significant portions of Roots. Did he? Adam Henig tackles this touchy question head on. Result: A highly readable story.” – Edward T. Thompson, Editor-in-Chief, Reader’s Digest 1976-1984
“Powerful.” – New York Post
“An inspirational story.” – Peter Golenbock, New York Times bestselling author
Adam Henig is the author of Watergate’s Forgotten Hero: Frank Wills, Night Watchman (2021, McFarland & Company, Inc.). He’s also written Alex Haley’s Roots: An Author’s Odyssey (2014) and Baseball Under Siege: The Yankees, the Cardinals, and a Doctor’s Battle to Integrate Spring Training (2016). He’s currently working on a biography of 1970s Detroit Tiger star, Ron LeFlore.
Adam has been featured on the podcasts, New Books Network: African American Studies and Baseball by the Book, and was interviewed in the award-winning television documentary, “Baseball From the Beginning in Tampa Bay: Breaking Barriers” (2016). An active member of the Biographers International Group and Society of American Baseball Research, Adam also has spoken at various events and venues including book clubs, bookstores, community centers, libraries, and senior centers. His writings have appeared in the following publications: