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.
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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