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Brave Men, Gentle Heroes: American Fathers…

Brave Men, Gentle Heroes: American Fathers and Sons in World War II and…

by Michael Takiff

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A remarkable collection of the stories of fathers who fought in WWII and their sons who fought in Vietnam. Although their individual battles are described, the greater interest is in the effect of the war on the returning servicemen and their families. It is doubtful if the extent of the mental damage from combat is ever understood or appreciated by noncombatants. The author has access to very thoughtful, colorful men some of whom are telling their stories for the first time. The fathers who have struggled with their own nightmares, now must relinquish their sons to the same horror. It would have been interesting to learn how the stories were gathered and why the aurthor undertook this project as it is certainly a work of unusual dedication. ( )
  seoulful | Nov 10, 2011 |
Not bad overall but a little lengthy. ( )
  historybuff17 | Sep 11, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006621081X, Hardcover)

Brave Men, Gentle Heroes presents the frank, moving, and harrowing stories of men who served in World War II and of their sons who served in Vietnam -- fathers and sons bonded as deeply by their common experience in war as by blood.

These are men who served in the army, navy, air force, and Marine Corps. Officers and enlisted men, career servicemen and citizen soldiers. Men of European, African, Asian, Latino, and Native American ancestry. Men who speak with the authentic voices of an Indiana farmer, a Brooklyn bus driver, a Louisiana businessman, a Seattle machinist. The contrasts between World War II and Vietnam are everywhere in these compelling accounts: the clear aims of World War II, the muddled goals of Vietnam; the heroes' welcome accorded World War II veterans, the scorn heaped upon their sons. But the stories in Brave Men, Gentle Heroes are also rich with elements intrinsic to all wars and all soldiers: courage, honor, service, duty, youth, adventure, fear, idealism, love of country and of family, exasperation with military bureaucracy. In these pages you will find war's carnage and war's heroism, war's purpose and war's futility, war's meaning and war's tragic meaninglessness.

Taken together, the stories in Brave Men, Gentle Heroes tell the history of two wars, each the defining experience of a generation. This is history told not at the level of presidents and generals, but through the recollections of men who shouldered the rifles, manned the ships, and flew the planes. We're familiar with the effects of the two wars on world politics. But what did they do to American families? Molded by the awful crucible of war, these seemingly ordinary men offer extraordinary insights into what it means to be a warrior, an American, a father, and a son.

Brave Men, Gentle Heroes is a book for those who have been to war and those who have been spared its horror. It is a book for individuals to reflect upon and families to share.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:30 -0400)

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Presents a journey through World War II and Vietnam narrated by fathers and sons who fought in very different battles, discusses the bond created between them, and examines how each war differed from generation to generation.

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