Tour of Duty

Tour of Duty

John Kerry and the Vietnam War

Book - 2004 | 1st ed.
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Covering more than four decades, Tour of Duty is the definitive account of John Kerry's journey from war to peace. Written by acclaimed historian Douglas Brinkley, this is the first full-scale, intimate account of Kerry's naval career. In writing this riveting narrative, Brinkley has drawn on extensive interviews with virtually everyone who knew Kerry well in Vietnam, including all the men still living who served under him. Kerry also entrusted to Brinkley his letters home from Vietnam and his voluminous "War Notes" -- journals, notebooks, and personal reminiscences written during and shortly after the war. This material was provided without restriction, to be used at Brinkley's discretion, and has never before been published.

John Kerry enlisted in the Navy in February 1966, months before he graduated from Yale. In December 1967 Ensign Kerry was assigned to the frigate U.S.S. Gridley; after five months of service in the Pacific, with a brief stop in Vietnam, he returned to the United States and underwent training to command a Swift boat, a small craft deployed in Vietnam's rivers. In June 1968 Kerry was promoted to lieutenant (junior grade), and by the end of that year he was back in Vietnam, where he commanded, over time, two Swift boats. Throughout Tour of Duty Brinkley deftly deals with such explosive issues as U.S. atrocities in Vietnam and the bombing of Cambodia. In a series of unforgettable combat-action sequences, he recounts how Kerry won the Purple Heart three times for wounds suffered in action and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Navy's Silver Star for gallantry in action.

When Kerry returned from Southeast Asia, he joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), becoming a prominent antiwar spokesperson. He challenged the Nixon administration on Capitol Hill with the antiwar movementcheering him on. As Kerry's public popularity soared in April-May 1971, the FBI considered him a subversive. Brinkley -- using new information acquired from the recently released Nixon tapes -- reveals how White House aides Charles Colson and H. R. Haldeman tried to discredit Kerry. Refusing to be intimidated, Kerry started running for public office, eventually becoming a U.S. senator from Massachusetts. But he never forgot his fallen comrades. Working with his friend Senator John McCain, he returned to Vietnam numerous times looking for MIAs and POWs. By the time Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992, Kerry was the leading proponent of "normalization" of relations with Vietnam. When President Clinton officially recognized Vietnam in 1995, Kerry's three-decade-long tour of duty had at long last ended.

Alternative Title: John Kerry and the Vietnam War
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : William Morrow, c2004.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780060565237
Branch Call Number: B KERRY JOHN
Characteristics: xii, 546 p. [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.


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Jan 15, 2016

Not sure about this character study on Kerry, although interesting item on Armistead Maupin (funny, you get really bad feelings about people such as Maupin and Howard Dean, and then are entirely proven right!): John Forbes Dudley Winthrop Kerry, who summered growing up at the Forbes family estate in France, didn't really push hard enough to establish the connections to the White House and BCCI during President Geo. H.W. Bush's time - - he once claimed American corporations were Benedict Arnolds for offshoring jobs, then immediately shut up about it??? - - Kerry did get those sailors back real quickly from Iran, but then Kerry's son-in-law's uncle just happens to be the Iranian foreign minister [who came to the wedding of Kerry's daughter, because his son was the best man to the groom].
Definitely Kerry really served in combat and earned his medals [in a questionable war, of course], could never figure out why McCain was awarded any: for bombing his own aircraft carrier? For piloting while drunk and losing three jets? For lasting less than 24 hours in combat, before being shot down and captured? Or because his daddy was the cover-up specialist for the attack on the USS Liberty?


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