Hold the Line: The Insurrection and One Cop’s Battle for America’s Soul

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An urgent warning about the growing threat to our democracy from a twenty-year police veteran and former Trump supporter who nearly lost his life during the insurrection of January 6th.

When Michael Fanone self-deployed to the Capitol on January 6, 2021, he had no idea his life was about to change. When he got to the front of the line, he urged his fellow officers to hold it against the growing crowd of insurrectionists—until he found himself pulled into the mob, tased until he had a heart attack, and viciously beaten with a Blue Lives Matter flag as shouts to kill him rang out.

Now, Fanone is ready to tell the full story of that fateful day, along with exploring our country’s most critical issues as someone who has had firsthand experience with many of them. A self-described redneck who voted for Trump in 2016, Fanone’s closest friend was an informant—a Black, transgender, HIV-positive woman who has helped him mature and rethink his methods as a police officer. With his unique insight as an undercover detective and intense desire to do the right thing no matter the cost, Fanone provides a nuanced look into everything from policing to race to politics in a way that is accessible across all party lines.

Determined to make sure no one forgets what happened at the Capitol on January 6th, Fanone has written a timely call to action for anyone who wants to preserve our democracy for future generations.


“A true American hero.” – John Fetterman, US Senator-elect, Pennsylvania

“A true American hero.” John Fetterman, US Senator-elect, Pennsylvania

“Officer Michael Fanone is an American hero who courageously answered his nation’s call on January 6th to protect the Capitol, the Congress and the Constitution against a terrorist insurrection.  In his new memoir, Hold the Line, Officer Fanone shares his powerful story of that terrible day at the Capitol, when he faced unimaginable horror and brutality that left him with indelible trauma and physical scars.  This timely book offers a stark message for this uncertain moment, making crystal clear the urgency and importance of defending our precious democracy.”—Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives

“I wish Hold The Line would be required reading for every American. Mike Fanone is a rare voice and witness to the ongoing crippling of our Constitution. His courage in battle on January 6th is matched only by his relentless commitment to tell this story from the inside. Mike’s seemingly tough-hewn melody of character and words catch us by surprise in their straight-shooting clarity and knowledge. If bravery could be taught, Mike would be one helluva a professor.” —Sean Penn, Academy Award-winning actor, author, and activist

“Dedicated, profane, and quick-witted, it’s clear Fanone strikes fear among the Republican legislators whom he protected that frightening day. Kevin McCarthy comes in for a shellacking early on, so weak that he effectively admitted, “I can’t control my fringe members.” Adds Fanone, “In public, McCarthy praised the police. Behind closed doors, he didn’t really give a shit.” [Fanone] is unafraid to name names—from Trump, who, after three hours, sent a Tweet to the rioters to ask for an end to the violence (Fanone: “Too little, too late, asshole”), to “the MAGA-hat-wearing loser who electrocuted me with a stun gun.” Fanone’s closing thoughts on police reform will be of interest to activists everywhere. Justifiably angry and an important addition to the growing literature surrounding the chaotic last days of the Trump regime.”—Kirkus

“I admire Officer Fanone and consider him a brother in arms, especially in defense of democracy. His experience resonates with me deeply—a plainspoken and direct public servant who didn’t flinch when challenged with his life on the line. You don’t have to guess where we stand: for our country.” —Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Alexander Vindman, former National Security Council staff, and New York Times bestselling author of Here, Right Matters.

“Michael Fanone deserves the nation’s gratitude. Sadly, that’s not what he’s always gotten.”The Washington Post Editorial Board

“In HOLD THE LINE, Michael Fanone speaks even more bluntly than he does on TV about the Capitol insurrection, Trump’s culpability, and another key issue of our time: policing. Our conversations have moved me and I’m proud to call Mike a friend. His courage and insight extend well beyond January 6th, and Mike’s message is profoundly American: No one is above the law.” —Don Lemon, CNN anchor

About the Author:

Michael Fanone served as a Metropolitan Police Department Officer assigned to the First District for twenty years. Working briefly as a patrol officer and then spending the majority of his career as a vice investigator in various small mission units, Fanone participated in over 2,000 arrests for violent crimes and narcotics trafficking, served as a special task force officer for the FBI, ATF, and DEA, and earned more than three dozen commendations for his work. Fanone currently serves as an analyst for CNN, a security consultant, and a firearms instructor. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

John Shiffman is an investigative reporter for Reuters and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Washington, DC. Follow him on Twitter @JohnShiffman.

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