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Hearts and Minds – Vietnam’s comic classic companion to Catch-22
Let it take you where you’ve never been before. Richard Galli’s affectionately comic novel HEARTS and MINDS shines a unique spotlight on Civil Affairs soldiers who led the charge in Vietnam “to win the hearts and minds of the people.” CA soldiers grabbed their weapons and sortied into the hostile wilderness not to hunt and destroy but to build, feed and heal. While men were killing each other everywhere… in a secluded place nearby… a scared, vulnerable and lonely American soldier incredibly found himself spraying peanut plants or inoculating pigs.
It’s a different war you’ll find in this novel. Funny. Intimate. Undiscovered. Unbelievable. All of it based on fact.
Laughter, love, heartache and pride. In HEARTS and MINDS danger is never far away, but most episodes in the book are fantastically comic. The wise and witty novel is loaded with stories packed with gags and subtle meaning. Watch two draftees try to fix a tire – or hear the Secretary of Defense order breakfast – and the true nature of the war finally becomes clear to you. Feel the thrill as Guy and Mary (and others too) reject conventions and cliches, and explore fresh concepts of wartime sex, fidelity and the unpredictable girl back home. And experience the sadness of young Americans squandering their youth and risking their lives in a war that they know is not worth the sacrifice.
True to a comic tradition, but it has more heart. Readers have enthusiastically compared the book to such irreverent classics as Catch-22 and M*A*S*H. While HEARTS and MINDS shares their comic perspective, H&M is infused with more genuine emotion, and unconstrained admiration for the young Americans who served in Vietnam… because The Greatest Generation asked them to go.
“Had it been a better war
you would have loved us”
Millie Simmons is adorable, vulnerable… until her scandalous secret explodes
Millie’s Lament is a compact legal thriller – with a comic twist. A taxi’s rear bumper is lightly bumped. Three years later its gorgeous young passenger files a routine fender bender lawsuit … and reveals a festering secret that threatens to drown her city in a tsunami wave of scandal. In Millie’s Lament a powerful lawyer that Millie Simmons targeted dares to play games with the local mob. Millie’s young mob lawyer – prince of the family – is an elite gunslinger but uses his brains instead. His over-confident Ivy League adversary has to learn how to lose his way to victory. At the whirlpool’s center is a scorned young woman who retaliates against big-shot men – by giving them exactly what they want.
Brilliant Characters. A talented, wise-cracking mob son rising above his roots, but keeping his dangerous family close. Cliche-crushing women with grit who defy their labels and stand their ground. Mighty men wrecked by their own arrogance. Hired thugs scared silly by their victims. A gun-toting retired librarian. A parish priest with the instincts of a rattlesnake. A proud old horse who munches an occasional finger with his apple slices.
Writing as slick as oiled ice. In Millie’s Lament time flies so fast it’s almost never mentioned. The humor is sharp, quick and constant. The plot seems outrageous but the world is as familiar as your own home town. You’ve never read a “genre” story like it.
“I’m a girl with yellow hair, Martin,
but I’m no dumb blonde”
About life, death and more important things…
Rescuing Jeffrey begins as a teenage boy is dying at the bottom of a swimming pool. His frantic parents haul him out, save his life, and soon learn that he will be forever paralyzed, unable to use or feel anything below his neck; unable even to breathe without mechanical assistance.
Over the next ten days, the parents convince themselves — and then struggle to convince the sympathetic hospital staff — that their son should be taken off life support.
In the meantime, the boy gradually has to wake up to a ruined life, and decide whether he should fight to keep it.
Rescuing Jeffrey has been praised for its stark, sometimes brutal, yet often lyrical literary quality; and Rescuing Jeffrey has been used as an illuminating teaching tool in schools and medical programs.
Unlike “life is always worth living” books where faith answers all the difficult questions, in this hour-by-hour account you journey with people as they think their way through impossible options, compelled to learn too much too quickly, taking responsibility for their own anguishing decisions despite pervasive doubt.
“I had brought my son back to life, and then I had to find a way to kill him”
“Through a voice as plain as that of a single-reed instrument, he achieves an emotional resonance that swells with symphonic intensity… a huge story so unflinchingly told.”
New York Times Sunday Book Review
Finding heaven in the New Hampshire woods.
About a writer’s magical stay at The MacDowell Colony, America’s first and most celebrated artists’ residency. An intimate peek at an author rediscovering his craft.
“The MacDowell Colony’s secret formula … its most potent ingredients have to include a quiet rustic setting among tall trees and fields where deer munch the grass; a cluster of studios where folks can find true, protected solitude; a staff that values the tradition of the place; and a selection process that puts you in a roiling pack of multi-disciplinary achievers who test your ability to keep pace with them.”
A Vietnam veteran embeds with a new generation at war
Away from war for 36 years, a veteran of the Army’s “Civil Affairs” mission in Vietnam becomes a freelance correspondent embedded with a new breed of Civil Affairs soldiers performing “hearts and minds” missions in Iraq.
He finds young Americans who are more motivated, more professional and much more committed to their military family. But he also finds an environment that is dramatically more toxic, and a native population much less capable of benefiting from the effort and sacrifice that America has invested in the war.
“We have put in Iraqi hands the future of the region, the lives of our soldiers in the field, and the harmony of our nation; but we still can’t trust these people to wash our laundry. When it comes to the security of our military bases, we would rather get help from Vietnam.”