12, 20 & 5: A Doctor’s Year in Vietnam

Open Road Media
8
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The wry and heart-wrenching memoir of a young doctor’s year behind the frontlines in Vietnam.
Assigned to the marine camp at Phu Bai, Dr. John A. Parrish confronted all manner of medical trauma, quickly shedding the naïveté of a new medical intern. With this memoir, he crafts a haunting, humane portrait of one man’s agonizing confrontation with war. With a wife and two children awaiting his return home, the young physician lives through the most turbulent and formative year of his life—and finds himself molded into a true doctor by the raw tragedy of the battlefield. His endless work is punctuated only by the arrival of the next helicopter bearing more casualties, and the stark announcements: “12 litter-borne wounded, 20 ambulatory wounded, and 5 dead.”

12, 20 & 5 is an intimate and unique look at the effects of war that Library Journal calls “an autobiographical M*A*S*H* . . . phenomenal.”
  
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About the author

John A. Parrish, MD, is the cofounder and CEO of the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT) and the former director of the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program. He is a distinguished professor emeritus of dermatology at Harvard Medical School and has served as chief of the department of dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Parrish is also a member of the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine. He is the author of Autopsy of War: A Personal History and 12, 20 & 5: A Doctor’s Year in Vietnam.
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3.8
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Sep 3, 2013
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Pages
289
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ISBN
9781480437883
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Medical (incl. Patients)
Biography & Autobiography / Military
History / Military / Vietnam War
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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On the outside, John Parrish is a highly successful doctor, having risen to the top of his field as department head at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. Inside, however, he was so tortured by the memories of his tour of duty as a marine battlefield doctor in Vietnam that he was unable to live a normal life. In Autopsy of War, the author delivers an unflinching narrative chronicling his four-decade battle with the unseen enemy in his own mind as he struggled with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Parrish examines his Southern Baptist childhood and the profound influence of his father, a fire and brimstone preacher turned Navy chaplain, while offering a candid assessment of the "God and Country" ethos that leads young men to rush wide-eyed into war. He describes the unimaginable carnage and acts of cruelty he witnessed in Vietnam, experiences that shattered his world view leaving him to retreat from his family upon his return stateside. Living virtually homeless at times, he visited veteran shelters and relived the horrors of war in a series of harrowing flashbacks as he dealt with suicidal thoughts. The author writes honestly and probingly of his episodes of infidelity and battles with sex addiction. Readers follow his steady journey toward recovery and his professional contributions in the field of medicine and technology, as well as a joint program with the Boston Red Sox and Massachusetts General Hospital to aid returning veterans. Perhaps most poignantly, Parrish speaks of his quest to discover the identity of one particular solider in Vietnam he could not save—and whose memory has haunted him ever since.

Autopsy of War is a soul searching memoir that is both an intensely personal narrative and a universally relevant trip through the world of war and recovery.

“One of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read. It’s truly moving, eye-opening, incredibly vivid.”—Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
NPR • The Wall Street Journal • Bloomberg Business • Bookish

FINALIST FOR THE BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE FIRST BOOK AWARD • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.
 
Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?” “Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?” “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” and “What’s the reason you jump?” (Naoki’s answer: “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.”) With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights—into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory—are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again.
 
In his introduction, bestselling novelist David Mitchell writes that Naoki’s words allowed him to feel, for the first time, as if his own autistic child was explaining what was happening in his mind. “It is no exaggeration to say that The Reason I Jump allowed me to round a corner in our relationship.” This translation was a labor of love by David and his wife, KA Yoshida, so they’d be able to share that feeling with friends, the wider autism community, and beyond. Naoki’s book, in its beauty, truthfulness, and simplicity, is a gift to be shared.

Praise for The Reason I Jump

“This is an intimate book, one that brings readers right into an autistic mind.”—Chicago Tribune (Editor’s Choice)

“Amazing times a million.”—Whoopi Goldberg, People

“The Reason I Jump is a Rosetta stone. . . . This book takes about ninety minutes to read, and it will stretch your vision of what it is to be human.”—Andrew Solomon, The Times (U.K.)

“Extraordinary, moving, and jeweled with epiphanies.”—The Boston Globe
 
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From the Hardcover edition.
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