From Wounded Knee to San Juan Hill, Braver Deeds tells the story of two young men who come to understand the many colors of courage. Sergeant Matt Davis is an African American “buffalo soldier” who rescues Comes Running, a survivor of the massacre by American soldiers of a handful of Indians trying to get to the Pine Ridge, Nebraska, Indian station. When they reunite eight years later they feel the spark between them, but do not act on it. The other young man, Carlos Estrada Palma, is a Cuban American working as a newspaper photographer. His own father died a revolutionary in Cuba just years before, and he is afraid that he will not be able to live up to the heroism of his father when he is sent to cover the Spanish American conflict in his ancestral country. In his first encounter with battle, Carlos reacts instinctively and runs from the violence. The two men, an unlikely pair, connect before and during the action in Cuba. Each is faced with fear, sacrifice, and forgiveness, but above all, with understanding that courage does not necessarily lead to performing one’s duty but may in fact point in quite another direction. History is full of erasures, of whole populations that are left out of the communal records. Braver Deeds focuses on many of these populations: African Americans, American Indians, immigrants, and even a pair of gay lovers. Rather than distracting from what we can learn from history, these stories drawn from the author’s imagination illumine and reveal so much more about love, honor, and courage. With luminaries such as Teddy Roosevelt, Stephen Crane, and Buffalo Bill Cody, it’s a revelation done with sensitivity, unapologetically, and will enrich the reader’s understanding of our common heritage.