Eric Piotrowski's Reviews > The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam

The Father of All Things by Tom Bissell
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
233776
's review
Dec 05, 10

bookshelves: memoir, nonfiction, politics
Read from July 13 to December 05, 2010

Tom Bissell is a tremendous writer. I first learned of his existence through his video-games book Extra Lives. More than anything, I was impressed by his ability to criticize a game's faults, reward its successes, and avoid hyperbole, demonization, and hagiography. So I was very keen to see how he would approach the contentious topic of Vietnam.

I am woefully ignorant about that conflict, and I found this book to be a superb introduction. Intensely personal, it follows a trip Bissell took to Vietnam with his father. But woven around that memoir is a careful exploration of the key issues surrounding Vietnamese communism, anti-communist efforts in the region, and US involvement. Again, the author displays incredible intellectual honesty -- and dexterity, when necessary -- in giving each truth its due without neglecting blame or honor.

I've been lucky indeed to speak and correspond with Mr. Bissell. I'm amazed that a writer of his talent and profundity is kind and receptive enough to write back over and over when I email him questions and comments. Read him! Read his stuff now!
Likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Father of All Things.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.