Rolling Thunder by MARK BERENT

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There is much detail, but the limited time (the book covers a single year of duty) and scope keep everything in sharp focus.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Rolling Thunder is an historical novel about the decisive role politics played during the Vietnam War. Its characters range from men in the field to the Pentagon and the White House. Fighter pilots and Special Forces warriors try to do their best but are hampered by President Johnson, Secretary of Defense McNamara, and their staff members who despise the military. Only one aging USAF general, who fought in Korea and WWII, is on their side. His clashes with his Commander in Chief, Lyndon Johnson, are epic in proportion and startling in content.

In Rolling Thunder, the time is late 1965 and 1966 in war zone places such as Saigon, Hanoi, Bien Hoa, Da Nang, and Tahkli. While back in Washington, LBJ sits over lunch and personally picks bombing targets in an attempt to fight a limited war. In Vietnam the war knows no limits.

There, as the hostilities escalate, the fates of three men intertwine: USAF Captain Court Bannister, overshadowed by a famous movie star father who fought in WWII as a B-17 gunner, driven to confront missiles, MiGs, and nerve-grinding bombing raids in order to prove his worth to his comrades -- and to himself...Air Force First Lieutenant Toby Parker, fresh from the States, who hooks up with an intelligence unit for a lark, and quickly finds his innocence buried away by the lessons of war...and Special Forces Colonel Wolf Lochert, who ventures deep into the jungle to rescue a downed pilot -- only to discover a face of the enemy for which he is unprepared.

Four airline stewardesses, who fly the civilian MAC contract flights that bring American soldiers to and from the war zone in Vietnam, have difficult love affairs with G.I.s and fighter pilots. After one flight they come under attack while on an airbase.

Young American G.I.s are cursed and taunted as they return to the United States.

Through their eyes, and those of many others -- pilots, soldiers, lovers, enemy agents, commanders, politicians, profiteers -- Rolling Thunder shows us Vietnam as few other books have, or can. Berent captures all the intensity and drama of that searing war, and more, penetrates to the heart and soul of those who fought it. Rolling Thunder rings with authenticity.
 

About MARK BERENT

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MARK BERENT served in the Air Force for over twenty years, first as an enlisted man and then as an officer. He has logged 4,350 hours of lying time, over 1,000 of them in combat. During his three Vietnam tours, Berent earned not only the Silver Star, but two Distinguished Flying Crosses, air medals, a Bronze Star, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and Legion of Merit.
 
Published August 1, 2014 by G.P. Putnam's Sons. 416 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Political & Social Sciences, Action & Adventure, Religion & Spirituality. Fiction
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Kirkus

Good
on May 22 1989

There is much detail, but the limited time (the book covers a single year of duty) and scope keep everything in sharp focus.

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