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Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  86 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Covering more than four decades, Tour of Duty is the definitive account of John Kerry's journey from war to peace. Written by acclaimed historian Douglas Brinkley, this is the first full-scale, intimate account of Kerry's naval career. In writing this riveting narrative, Brinkley has drawn on extensive interviews with virtually everyone who knew Kerry well in Vietnam, incl ...more
Hardcover, 560 pages
Published January 6th 2004 by William Morrow (first published January 1st 2004)
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Rebecca McNutt
Terrifying and emotional, Tour of Duty gives its readers a look at what being in the Vietnam War was really like, from the moral decisions that had to be made, to the horrors witnessed by the author.
aPriL does feral sometimes
As this book is a campaign biography, written about John Kerry when he was running for President (he is currently America’s Secretary of State), he is shown to be a Perfect Gentleman. I don’t believe he is Perfect, but he definitely is a very interesting and exceptional person. There is a huge section in back of the book of Notes and a Selected Bibliography, along with an extensive Index, so if one is interested, fact-checking is easy, if not quick to do.

Kerry seems very energetic, intelligent,
...more
Liam
This book was well-written enough to earn four stars, but I had to dock it one star for both sloppy research & poor copy-editing. I did not write down every error, and I am not going to enumerate them here. I will, however, address the most egregious error of fact in this book, which is on page 271. Professor Brinkley states in the first paragraph that the young girl in Huynh Cong "Nick" Ut's well known photograph, Kim Phuc, was "[...] fleeing in anguish from North Vietnam's bombing of her ...more
S.
Feb 21, 2013 S. rated it liked it
Shelves: hookah
well this will be a fun review. at time of writing (10 Jan 2013), only 45 reads and 3 reviews. author Douglas Brinkley, not to be confused with the other professor/writer Alan Brinkley, is apparently something of a super teacher, convincing his university's administration to allow him to take an entire class on the road Ken Kesey style, a celebration of americana, hunter s. thompson, national parks, and hard rock music. god. i wish my professors were that cool. The Majic Bus

unfortunately, great
...more
Jon
Aug 10, 2010 Jon added it
I started reading it before the Maryland Democratic primary, in part to figure out for whom to vote. The book left me with mixed feelings. I ended up voting for Kerry, but it was perhaps in spite of the book. Not that the book made him unlikable...

Of course, since I voted absentee ballot, my vote wasn't counted until after Edwards had already dropped out, so I'm not sure what the point of all that was.

The book made Kerry seem like a thoughtful, principled man. I like the idea of having a Preside
...more
Will Byrnes
This focuses on John Kerry's time in Vietnam, and his relationship with the war as an anti-war activist and then as a potential and then a real representative. It portrays him as a truly courageous guy, gung ho about getting done the job at hand, but thoughtful about the bigger picture as well, not only politically but in a tactical military sense. There is much detail about his time in 'Nam, much of it a chilling look at the murky line between atrocity and justifiable action. I found very ...more
George Briggs
Sep 20, 2014 George Briggs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vietnam -Full Circle

Douglas Brinkley's long account of John Kerry's Vietnam tour of duty makes transparent the frustrations and cruelties of an unjustified conflict. Perhaps, only in hindsight can we learn from the mistakes of the past. America is fortunate to have John Kerry serving as Secretary of State!
Mark Widman
Jun 15, 2013 Mark Widman rated it really liked it
Good book I understand the strain that the soldiers were under and feeling that they were not respected and how they wanted answers why they were in Vietnam And who they were serving.
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Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. The Chicago Tribune has dubbed him “America’s new past master.” His most recent books are The Quiet World, The Wilderness Warrior, and The Great Deluge. Six of his books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. He lives in Texas with his wife and three children.
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