In 1966, The Sand Pebbles captivated moviegoers across the United States, introducing many Americans to the little-known China Station of the 1920s. Based upon a novel by first-time novelist, Richard McKenna, the importance of The Sand Pebbles in contributing to popular history cannot be understated. Despite the importance of The Sand Pebbles, however, there is no book-length biography of its author.Brought to life by veteran historian Dennis Noble in this new book, McKenna’s life proved equally as fascinating as his novel. From his humble beginnings in poverty as a youth in Idaho (even living in a tent for a time) to his rise to chief petty officer in the Navy during World War II, McKenna’s unlikely rise to becoming a novelist was cut short by an untimely heart attack suffered while working on his second novel.In his biography, Noble not only chronicles McKenna’s life, but shows how it helped to illuminate the service of all those in the Navy between the 1930s and 1950s. With a number of never-before-published photographs of the author of The Sand Pebbles, it sheds new light on both the Navy of the time and one of the early American science fiction writers. This book also contains an exclusive McKenna short story, "Hour of Panic," written by McKenna and originally published in The Saturday Evening Post.