Many people knew Bob Inama, he was a professor at BYU-Idaho for 51 years, but many people don’t know his story before that. But now they will thanks to a new book from Heather B. Moore, called “The Slow March of Light.”
Inama was an American spy in East Berlin during the Cold War. His quiet, gentle demeanor was perfect for undercover work as an American attending a university in Berlin. Inama was eventually caught and held prisoner in Germany where he was tortured and beaten constantly. Eventually, Germany traded Inama for two German prisoners.
After many years of nobody but high-ranking generals knowing Inama’s story, he finally told his family. They reached out to Deseret Book Publishing, hoping to get his story published. Deseret Book approached Moore with the idea, and initially she felt intimidated. Moore wanted to meet with Inama’s family to make sure she was the right fit to cover Inama’s fascinating story.
“I think he knew he had been preserved or saved for a higher purpose. When he was released he was told because of the trauma and abuse and beating he endured, he needed to choose his career carefully,” Moore said in an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio.
She said before he was drafted into the Army he was set to go to law school at George Washington University. After he was traded back to the U.S. and released from the Army, he was told to choose his career carefully because of the brain damage he received from his torture and beatings.
“A family friend reached out to him and said they had a one year teaching assignment at Rick’s College,” Moore said.
He stayed for 51 years teaching history and law.
Moore ended up writing a historical fiction novel based heavily on Inama’s story. It intertwines fictional characters with Inama to create a captivating story. It took about four months of non-stop writing, meetings and questions with Inama to make sure Moore got it right. She said she poured over countless documentaries about the Cold War and did hours of research to make sure she could write a good story. She said she was a freshman in college when the Berlin wall fell, and her own memories weren’t going to cut it.
Moore hopes that readers can feel inspired by Inama’s resilience and faith during his trials.
“He truly lived a life that was Christ-like, even in the worst of times,” she said, “If anything, this book can give you that sense of hope and peace.”
“The Slow March of Light” is now available at Deseret Book, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.