Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War (Paperback)
Covering more than four decades, this is the first full-scale, definitive account of Kerry's journey from war to peace. Brinkley has drawn on extensive interviews with virtually everyone who knew Kerry in Vietnam. Kerry also relegated to Brinkley his letters home from Vietnam, voluminous "war notes" journals 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.
Throughout, Brinkley deftly deals with issues such as U.S. atrocities in Vietnam and the bombing of Cambodia. Using information from the newly released Nixon tapes, Brinkley reveals how White House aides Charles Colson and H. R. Haldeman tried to discredit Kerry. Refusing to be intimidated, Kerry ran for public office, eventually becoming a Senator from Massachusetts. But he never forgot his fallen comrades returning to Vietnam numerous times to look for MIAs and POWs. When President Clinton officially recognized Vietnam in 1995, at long last Kerry's thirty-year-long tour of duty ended.
About the Author
Douglas Brinkley is the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and Professor of History at Rice University, a CNN Presidential Historian, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. In the world of public history, he serves on boards, at museums, at colleges, and for historical societies. The Chicago Tribune dubbed him “America’s New Past Master.” The New-York Historical Society has chosen Brinkley as its official U.S. Presidential Historian. His recent book Cronkite won the Sperber Prize, while The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast received the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He was awarded a Grammy for Presidential Suite and is the recipient of seven honorary doctorates in American studies. His two-volume, annotated Nixon Tapes recently won the Arthur S. Link–Warren F. Kuehl Prize. He is a member of the Century Association, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the James Madison Council of the Library of Congress. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and three children.