The Father of All Things

The Father of All Things

A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam

Book - 2007
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Random House, Inc.
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.

Baker & Taylor
In April 1975, as Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese Army, former Marine officer John Bissell was glued to his television, racked with anguish and horror as his country abandoned a cause for which so many of his friends had died. This book is his son Tom's reckoning with the Vietnam War and its impact on his father, his country, and Vietnam itself. Bissell also explores the many debates about the war, and shows how the war has continued to influence American views on foreign policy more than thirty years later. At the heart of the book is John and Tom Bissell's 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.--From publisher description.The author describes his journey to Vietnam with his war veteran father, offering a glimpse of a land that had shaped both of their lives while reflecting on his father's war experience and the war's continuing political, cultural, and personal influence.

Baker
& Taylor

The author of God Lives in St. Petersburg describes his and his war veteran father's odyssey to Vietnam some forty years after serving during the war, offering a fascinating glimpse of a land that had shaped both of their lives while reflecting on his father's war experience and the war's continuing political, cultural, and personal influence. 35,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c2007
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780375422652
037542265X
Branch Call Number: 959.7043 B543f 2007
Characteristics: xiii, 407 p. : ill. ; 25 cm

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