by thomas fife

There was no shortage of bad news. . . in towns across America in 1967.

And it was no different in the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Elliott, Sheraden and the West End, where the author, Tom Fife lived. Fife shares happy boyhood memories of growing up in the late 1950's in his working class family like playing army with other boys in the nearby fields of those blue collar neighborhoods. Life, he writes, was wonderful. Our neighborhoods were safe. There were no dangers. There was almost nothing to fear.

But something dark and dangerous was approaching. It was the war in Vietnam.
FROM PITTSBURGH to NAM is a book of the dead—the impact of the losses felt by the families, and the veterans who mourn them to this day. It describes very young soldiers and the desperate yearning to survive their tours and return back to the world leaving the killing and suffering behind them forever.

Written in short, powerful paragraphs—sometimes beautiful, sometimes so sad and true you can hardly breathe. Fife describes the cruel weight of the more than 58,000 names on the Vietnam Wall. He takes you deep into the world of those, like himself, in Vietnam counting the days off until they could board the "freedom birds" and go home.

This book tells you that for many, the war in Vietnam never really ended. Back here at home, the ghosts continue to visit in the night.

Trauma has no mercy.


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