Friendly Fire

Open Road Media
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The true story of Michael Mullen, a soldier killed in Vietnam, and his parents’ quest for the truth from the US government: “Brilliantly done” (The Boston Globe).

Drafted into the US Army, Michael Mullen left his family’s Iowa farm in September 1969 to fight for his country in Vietnam. Six months later, he returned home in a casket. Michael wasn’t killed by the North Vietnamese, but by artillery fire from friendly forces. With the government failing to provide the precise circumstances of his death, Mullen’s devastated parents, Peg and Gene, demanded to know the truth. A year later, Peg Mullen was under FBI surveillance. 
 
In a riveting narrative that moves from the American heartland to the jungles of Vietnam to the Vietnam Veterans Against the War march in Washington, DC, to an interview with Mullen’s battalion commander, Lt. Col. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, author C. D. B. Bryan brings to life with brilliant clarity a military mission gone horrifically wrong, a patriotic family’s explosive confrontation with their government, and the tragedy of a nation at war with itself.
 
Originally intended to be an interview for the New Yorker, the story Bryan uncovered proved to be bigger than he expected, and it was serialized in three consecutive issues during February and March 1976, and was eventually published as a book that May. In 1979, Friendly Fire was made into an Emmy Award–winning TV movie, starring Carol Burnett, Ned Beatty, and Sam Waterston.
 
This ebook features an illustrated biography of C. D. B. Bryan, including rare images from the author’s estate.
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About the author

C. D. B. Bryan (1936–2009) was an award-winning author of nonfiction books, novels, and magazine articles, best known for Friendly Fire, the 1976 Vietnam War–era classic that tells the true story of the transformation of a patriotic Iowa farm family into antiwar activists after their son is killed in Vietnam by artillery fire from friendly forces. After graduating from Yale University, where he was chairman of the campus humor magazine, and serving in the army in Korea, Bryan wrote for the New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times BookReview, and taught writing at Colorado State University and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His other works include Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind, an account of his attending an MIT conference on alien abductions and UFOs, and several coffee table books about the National Geographic Society and the National Air and Space Museum, as well as the novels TheGreat Dethriffe and BeautifulWomen, Ugly Scenes.
 
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
May 10, 2016
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Pages
437
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ISBN
9781504034791
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / United States
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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Eligible for Family Library

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C.D.B. Bryan
Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind: cases in which personal contact between an individual or individuals is initiated by the “occupants” of the spacecraft. Such contact may involve the transportation of the individual from his or her terrestrial surroundings into the spacecraft, where the individual is communicated with and/or subjected to an examination before being returned.
 
One might expect that a “scientific conference” devoted to people who have reported being kidnapped by “little green men” would be dismissed out of hand. But C.D.B. Bryan, the greatly admired journalist and author of Friendly Fire, did not dismiss it: the conference was to be held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and would have as its chairmen a Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvard psychiatry professor and a professor of physics from M.I.T.

            Bryan attended the conference throughout its five days. He approached the subject with no prior stand, no agenda, and an open (if slightly skeptical) mind.

            As the conference progressed, he was astonished by the quality of the stories told by the hundreds of men and women who came forward hesitantly and reluctantly with their utterly amazing—and utterly convincing—accounts of having been abducted and then examined aboard extraterrestrial spacecraft by spindly limbed, telepathic gray creatures with outsized foreheads dominated by huge, compelling, tear-shaped black eyes.

            What most astonished Bryan were the similarities found again and again in these accounts and the consistency of their details. It is here that the heart of the mystery lies: as the Harvard professor John E. Mack asked at the conference, “If what the abductees are saying isn’t happening to them, then what is?”

            This question—and the possible answers—are at the center of this richly explicit, serious, and riveting book.

            Bryan recreates the conference. He interviews ufology’s most prominent psychiatrists, psychologists, hypnotherapists, researchers, physicists, physicians, and folklorists. He interweaves throughout the testimony of the abductees themselves, who tell us their stories in chilling detail.

            He presents, in depth, the Close Encounter experiences of two women whose stories he tells on the basis of both their spontaneous recollections of the events and their memories that were retrieved through sessions of hypnosis of which Bryan himself was a witness.

            Finally, Bryan examines the current theories—psychological, psychiatric, medical, parapsychological—that have been put forward by the unconvinced to explain the abduction phenomenon. Are the abductees suffering from some sort of false memory syndrome? . . . a multiple or dissociative personality disorder? . . . Are they fantasy-prone?

            Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind is a detailed, objective exploration—the most concrete to date—of one of the enduring and amazing mysteries of our time. It is a book that will equally fascinate believers and nonbelievers.
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