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Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?



My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
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The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam

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The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

In April 1975, as Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese Army, John Bissell, a former Marine officer living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, was glued to his television. Struggling to save his marriage, raise his sons, and live with his memories of the war in Vietnam, Bissell found himself racked with anguish and horror as his country abandoned a cause for which so many of his friends had died.

Opening with a gripping account of the chaotic and brutal last month of the war, The Father of All Things is Tom Bissell’s powerful reckoning with the Vietnam War and its impact on his father, his country, and Vietnam itself. Through him we learn what it was like to grow up with a gruff but oddly tender veteran father who would wake his children in the middle of the night when the memories got too painful. Bissell also explores the many debates about the war, from whether it was winnable to Ho Chi Minh’s motivations to why America’s leaders lied so often. Above all, he shows how the war has continued to influence American views on foreign policy more than thirty years later.

At the heart of this book is John and Tom Bissell’s unforgettable journey back to Vietnam. As they travel the country and talk to Vietnamese veterans, we relive the war as John Bissell experienced it, visit the site of his near-fatal wounding, and hear him explain how Vietnam shaped him and so many of his generation.

This is the first major book about the war by an author who grew up after the fall of Saigon. It is a fascinating, all-too-relevant work about the American character–and about war itself. It is also a wise and moving book about fathers, sons, and the universal desire to understand who our parents were before they became our parents.

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

The Father of All Things is a riveting, haunting, and often hilarious account of a veteran and his sons journey through Vietnam. As his father recounts his experiences as a soldier, including a near fatal injury, Tom Bissell weaves a larger history of the war and explores the controversies that still spark furious debate today. Blending history, memoir, and travelogue, The Father of All Things is a portrait of the wars personal, political, and cultural impact from the perspective of the generation that grew up in the wake of the conflict. It is also a wise and revelatory book about the bond between fathers and sons.

About the Author

Tom Bissell is the author of Chasing the Sea and God Lives in St. Petersburg, and a contributing editor for Harpers Magazine and The Virginia Quarterly Review. In 2006 he was awarded the Rome Fellowship by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and his work has been selected several times by the Best American Short Stories, Best American Travel Writing, and Best American Science Writing series. He lives in Rome.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400075430
Author:
Bissell, Tom
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Author:
Tom Bissell
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Asia - Southeast Asia
Subject:
Veterans
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Subject:
Vietnam Description and travel.
Subject:
Travel : Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography : Personal Memoirs
Subject:
History-Asia - Southeast Asia
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Travel Writing-General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Departures
Publication Date:
20080331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
7 PHOTOS
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8.00x5.28x.90 in. .88 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam Used Trade Paper
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Product details 432 pages Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group - English 9781400075430 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The Father of All Things is a riveting, haunting, and often hilarious account of a veteran and his sons journey through Vietnam. As his father recounts his experiences as a soldier, including a near fatal injury, Tom Bissell weaves a larger history of the war and explores the controversies that still spark furious debate today. Blending history, memoir, and travelogue, The Father of All Things is a portrait of the wars personal, political, and cultural impact from the perspective of the generation that grew up in the wake of the conflict. It is also a wise and revelatory book about the bond between fathers and sons.
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