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

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

The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam [Download] ➵ The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam By Tom Bissell – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk In April , 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, ra In of All Things: A PDF \ April , as of All PDF/EPUB ë 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, The Father PDF/EPUB or 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 Father of All PDF/EPUB ¶ diedOpening 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 than thirty years laterAt 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 generationThis 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.


10 thoughts on “The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam

  1. Margot Margot says:

    I learned a lotabout the history of the end of the Vietnam War than I knew before, but the book was oddly and I thought jarringly constructed The interweaving of very detailed history with personal story was not fully successful, especially in the first part of the book And the very final section brief personal testimonies from the children of Vietnam War vets, from both sides , which I found to be one of the most interesting parts of the book, was too short and, structurally speaking I learned a lotabout the history of the end of the Vietnam War than I knew before, but the book was oddly and I thought jarringly constructed The interweaving of very detailed history with personal story was not fully successful, especially in the first part of the book And the very final section brief personal testimonies from the children of Vietnam War vets, from both sides , which I found to be one of the most interesting parts of the book, was too short and, structurally speaking, just tacked on.The author has clearly struggled, and continues to struggle, with his relationship with his father, and the ways in which his father s war experience shaped that relationship My suggestion to him is, Don t end your therapy just yet You ve made progress, but there s still work to do


  2. Bryan Bryan says:

    If you are a history fan, you need to read this book Initially picked up because it was on sale, I was absolutely blown away i have attempted in the past to read books about the causes and effects of Vietnam, but they always were too dry This book tells the story of the war through the experience of a son and his veteran father returning to Vietnam The author does a great job balancing the autobiographical narrative and his descriptions of the war, as well as tying the two together His desc If you are a history fan, you need to read this book Initially picked up because it was on sale, I was absolutely blown away i have attempted in the past to read books about the causes and effects of Vietnam, but they always were too dry This book tells the story of the war through the experience of a son and his veteran father returning to Vietnam The author does a great job balancing the autobiographical narrative and his descriptions of the war, as well as tying the two together His descriptions and distillations of the issues, strategies, and mistakes were very easily understood, and provide great insight Because of this, I now feel I have a much better base to try those heavier book son Vietnam again


  3. Dawn Dawn says:

    I just couldn t get through this one The author goes back and forth between the history of the end of the vietnam war and what he imagines the actons of his father to be at that time What I read of it was okay I realized picking it up to read it was starting to feel like an assignment not something I wanted to do Maybe it s just me and I will finish it one day when I amready for this book.


  4. Steve Woods Steve Woods says:

    This book was a great disappointment to me The relationship between Vietnam veteran s and their children is a subject that is complex and densely emotionally charged full of pathos, tragedy and sometimes transcendence It is one well worth exploring This book was littlethan a miss mash of opinion informed by second hand sources and a travelogue It barely touches the heart of the matter bland at best banal at worst Not really worth the price f admission.


  5. Bob Schmitz Bob Schmitz says:

    My wife and I are leaving for a 3 week trip to Vietnam tomorrow and this book was recommended to me by a friend of hers It was a mix of a memoir, travel guide, father son story and history of Vietnam framed around a trip the liberal author son takes with his dad a Marine Vietnam vet The father has been haunted by his experience there in 1965 which contributed to his drinking an divorce and the son is interested in finding out about and helping heal his dad The writing is casual, touching, pro My wife and I are leaving for a 3 week trip to Vietnam tomorrow and this book was recommended to me by a friend of hers It was a mix of a memoir, travel guide, father son story and history of Vietnam framed around a trip the liberal author son takes with his dad a Marine Vietnam vet The father has been haunted by his experience there in 1965 which contributed to his drinking an divorce and the son is interested in finding out about and helping heal his dad The writing is casual, touching, profound and funny It was full of interesting tidbits of history that were unknown to me especially about the Vietcong and N Vietnamese during the American War from material available after the renewing of relations between the US and Vietnam It discusses a lot of the internal politics of the North and South as well as the US, France, China and Russia I did not realize the brutality of the French colonization and exploitation of country The specifics of the fall of the South and the aftermath of the reunification are discussed Mai Lai is discussed in interesting detail Towards the end of the book the author muses that the US won in Korea and now North Korea is a militaristic, unstable, hellhole of a country with a nuclear bomb while we lost in Vietnam which is now peaceful, increasingly prosperous and not bothering anyone And in the meantime Vietnam invaded Cambodia and deposed Pot Pol ending that monstrous genocide, occupying that country for 11 years loosing thousands of soldiers and we refused to recognize them in favor of the Khmer Rouge I came away with having read a lovely story learned some good words like quidnuncs and lycanthropic the dictionary here doesn t recognize,and learned once again that the world is just very complicated No simple explanation will do I was interested to learn that the American War is ancient history to most Vietnamese most of whom are less than 25yo and that it is now a lovely place to visit I hope so


  6. Audrey Audrey says:

    I really enjoyed this book largely because I ll be going to Vietnam shortly Tom Bissell has an amazing writing style and knows how to improbably place some of the funnier one liners in his historical commentary His interpretation of seemingly unimportant facts can lead to some interesting insights Today Hanoi really DID have a Hilton called, naturally, the Hanoi Hilton What was strange was how little comment such ironies elicited from the Vietnamese themselves Hien, for instance, saw not I really enjoyed this book largely because I ll be going to Vietnam shortly Tom Bissell has an amazing writing style and knows how to improbably place some of the funnier one liners in his historical commentary His interpretation of seemingly unimportant facts can lead to some interesting insights Today Hanoi really DID have a Hilton called, naturally, the Hanoi Hilton What was strange was how little comment such ironies elicited from the Vietnamese themselves Hien, for instance, saw nothing even slightly funny about an actual Hanoi Hilton or a billboard advertising the company once helmed by a man who, in living memory, had ordered bombs dropped on Vietnam This strange vietnamese mixture of obliviousness and shamelessness was not new At one point during the war, Saigon s Ministry of Tourism had sponsored a campaign that attempted to lure unarmed visitors to Vietnam The slogan Vietnam you ve heard about it, now come see it This book erred for me on the side of too much history lesson, not enough of the above cultural interpretation or the discussion and discovery about the author s own relationship with his father As I mentioned, going to Vietnam very shortly made some of the historyinteresting to me, but if I was really after pure history, I d read something else I think Tom Bissell still needs to balance his intense interest in other countries and histories with his desire to produce an engaging novel He has great skill interpreting history just as he does with sentence construction, humorous plot weaving, and impressive vocabulary, but all these things don t always come together for him


  7. Tripp Tripp says:

    As part of Citizen Reader s Book Menage, I read Tom Bissell s The Father of All Things A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam Bissell addresses the first question I had about this book in the opening sentences of the book Do we really need yet another book on Vietnam Bissell says that he has grown up with the war because of how it changed and affected his father Although the book centers on a trip to Vietnam that Bissell takes with his father, it is also a book with rich analysis of t As part of Citizen Reader s Book Menage, I read Tom Bissell s The Father of All Things A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam Bissell addresses the first question I had about this book in the opening sentences of the book Do we really need yet another book on Vietnam Bissell says that he has grown up with the war because of how it changed and affected his father Although the book centers on a trip to Vietnam that Bissell takes with his father, it is also a book with rich analysis of the war.The analysis may be too much for some people He spends pages and pages going over certain periods like the evacuation of Saigon, the Tet offensive and the My Lai massacre I found that Bissell was remarkably even handed Although he leans left and his father constantly calls him my son, the communist, depsite Bissell having written about the disastrous communist rule of Central Asia , he is just as prone to point out the wrongs of the Vietnamese as he is the wrongs of the United States in the war He opposes the war, but he does not believe the North or the NLF were the good guys.The sections of the book that deal with the father son relationship are touching and often sad Bissell was hoping to find and understand the happy man who went to Vietnam, only to be replaced by a quiet withdrawn man It seems that father and son become a little closer than they were before hand, but there is no great epiphany or reconciliation in the book I was left hoping that when they got back to the United States, they managed to engage deeper, but it wasn t clear what would happen.All in all, a very good book


  8. Gavin Gavin says:

    I really enjoyed this book, in many ways The history of the war is deep and broad, and it is clear that the author spent a great deal of time researching the war, for reasons that are very personal I have a lot of respect for him, and for his father, for making the journey to Vietnam, and for asking themselves hard questions while they were doing it That being said, the author does not seem to have done much reading about Vietnamese culture, or about orientalism or racism He regularly makes I really enjoyed this book, in many ways The history of the war is deep and broad, and it is clear that the author spent a great deal of time researching the war, for reasons that are very personal I have a lot of respect for him, and for his father, for making the journey to Vietnam, and for asking themselves hard questions while they were doing it That being said, the author does not seem to have done much reading about Vietnamese culture, or about orientalism or racism He regularly makes snide comments about the spiritual beliefs of the Vietnamese, especially their experience of ghosts, and he makes racist remarks about the romantic attraction between American men and Vietnamese women that soundlike imperialist fantasy than anything else To support such statements, he quotes passages from The Quiet American, which is a lovely novel, but one that clearly draws on the racial conceptions of the 1950 s I appreciate the complicated nature of real feelings, and I don t expect an American traveler in Vietnam to have only happy, non imperialist reactions to the experience, but his lack of self analysis in somewhat disturbing He even admits, in the book, that he is not interested in learning the Vietnamese language, because he is primarily there to immerse himself in the war One cannot read those works without thinking that this has always been precisely the problem with the American presence in Vietnam


  9. Eric Piotrowski Eric Piotrowski says:

    Tom Bissell is a tremendous writer I first learned of his existence through his video games book Extra Lives More than anything, I was impressed by his ability to criticize a game s faults, reward its successes, and avoid hyperbole, demonization, and hagiography So I was very keen to see how he would approach the contentious topic of Vietnam.I am woefully ignorant about that conflict, and I found this book to be a superb introduction Intensely personal, it follows a trip Bissell took to Viet Tom Bissell is a tremendous writer I first learned of his existence through his video games book Extra Lives More than anything, I was impressed by his ability to criticize a game s faults, reward its successes, and avoid hyperbole, demonization, and hagiography So I was very keen to see how he would approach the contentious topic of Vietnam.I am woefully ignorant about that conflict, and I found this book to be a superb introduction Intensely personal, it follows a trip Bissell took to Vietnam with his father But woven around that memoir is a careful exploration of the key issues surrounding Vietnamese communism, anti communist efforts in the region, and US involvement Again, the author displays incredible intellectual honesty and dexterity, when necessary in giving each truth its due without neglecting blame or honor.I ve been lucky indeed to speak and correspond with Mr Bissell I m amazed that a writer of his talent and profundity is kind and receptive enough to write back over and over when I email him questions and comments Read him Read his stuff now


  10. Marc Marc says:

    I ve read lots of Vietname books, both fiction and non fiction, and while this wasn t my favorite, it definitely belongs in the canon Of course, I m biased, since I spend lots of time kicking Tom s butt in video games, but he really does write beautifully, and his style blossoms in this book Tom also did an amount of research that would put any doctoral student to shame, and perhaps evenimpressive and I say this as someone who wrote a 500 page dissertation based primarily on secondary s I ve read lots of Vietname books, both fiction and non fiction, and while this wasn t my favorite, it definitely belongs in the canon Of course, I m biased, since I spend lots of time kicking Tom s butt in video games, but he really does write beautifully, and his style blossoms in this book Tom also did an amount of research that would put any doctoral student to shame, and perhaps evenimpressive and I say this as someone who wrote a 500 page dissertation based primarily on secondary sources is his ability to cleanly integrate the research into his narrative On the down side, there are a couple of jarring stylistic disjunctures, and I definitely could have done without the brief but distracting disquisition on the appeal of Vietnamese women, but aside from this the book works very well as a whole, and the combination of emotional intensity and self deprecation that endears Tom to friends and readers alike is present throughout


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