Todd DePastino tells a good story. His 2008 book Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front—a biography of the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner known for his World War II cartoons of American soldiers Willie and Joe—is a fascinating read and won the prestigious Sperber Award, given for excellence in biography. But in the last two-and-a-half years DePastino has been concentrating on listening. And what stories he hears—some beautiful and heartbreaking, others gut wrenching and goosebump inducing. Some show the most horrific side of human nature; others prove that goodness survives even in the darkest hours.