(2011 New York Times Notable Book of the Year) This sweeping, surprisingly moving story from the author of The Orchid Thief chronicles Rin Tin Tin's real-life journey from orphaned puppy to movie star to international icon, beginning with his rescue on a World War I battlefield by American soldier Lee Duncan. Susan Orlean's biography is a highly personal one, as she uncovers the history of a canine hero who loomed large in her childhood and considers how "Rinty" is as much an immortal ideal as he was a flesh-and-blood dog.
"Truly exceptional ... a book so moving it melted the heart of at least this one dogged Lassie lover.... Calling Rin Tin Tin the story of a dog is like calling Moby-Dick the story of a whale."—Boston Globe
"A story of magnificent obsession. Nearly a decade in the making, combining worldwide research with personal connection, it offers the kind of satisfactions you only get when an impeccable writer gets hold of one heck of a story."—LATimes
"By the end of this expertly told tale, [the author] may persuade even the most hardened skeptic that Rin Tin Tin belongs on Mount Rushmore with George Washington and Teddy Roosevelt, or at least somewhere nearby with John Wayne and Seabiscuit."—NYTBR