The Father of All Things by Tom Bissell
A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam

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The Father of All Things is a riveting, haunting, and often hilarious account of a veteran and his son’s journey through Vietnam. As his father recounts his experiences as a soldier, including a near fatal injury, Tom Bissell weaves a larger history of the war and explores the controversies that still spark furious debate today. Blending history, memoir, and travelogue, The Father of All Things is a portrait of the war’s personal, political, and cultural impact from the perspective of the generation that grew up in the wake of the conflict. It is also a wise and revelatory book about the bond between fathers and sons.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Tom Bissell

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Tom Bissell is the author of Extra Lives, Chasing the Sea, God Lives in St. Petersburg, and The Father of All Things. A recipient of the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Bay de Noc Community College Alumnus of the Year Award. He teaches fiction writing at Portland State University and lives in Portland, Oregon.
Published March 25, 2009 by Vintage. 432 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Parenting & Relationships, History. Non-fiction

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A penetrating look back at the Vietnam conflict, with Bissell (Chasing the Sea, 2003, etc.) alternately guiding and following his veteran father.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Father of All Things: A M...

Book Reporter

Acknowledging the humility that any writer must feel approaching a subject that has been covered in more than 30,000 books, Bissell sets for himself the task of recounting "an emotional experience interwoven with established historical facts of the Vietnam War."

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Father of All Things: A M...

Entertainment Weekly

Buried inside Tom Bissell's impassioned and bloated (or, as he might say, ''abdomenous'') memoir, The Father of All Things, is a poignant magazine-length story about an idealistic writer and his ex-Marine father traveling through Vietnam.

Mar 08 2007 | Read Full Review of The Father of All Things: A M...


Although journalist Tom Bissell was only an infant when South Vietnam finally fell to the communists in 1975, the war that culminated in that event has cast a particularly tenacious shadow across his family and his own psyche.

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The sprawling Montreal indie ensemble has garnered a staggering level of press attention for its second full-length album, with (remarkably similar) fawning profiles in both the New York Times Magazine and the The New Yorker.

Mar 09 2007 | Read Full Review of The Father of All Things: A M...

The American Spectator

An autonomist movement in Kabylie, the MAK (Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylie), and its provisional government, the Anavad Aqvayli Uadil, wrote Mrs. Clinton a letter warning her not to trust her hosts.

Feb 29 2012 | Read Full Review of The Father of All Things: A M...

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