Our Year of War: Two Brothers, Vietnam, and a Nation Divided, Daniel P. Bolger, Da Capo Press, 2017, $28
The Vietnam War divided the nation and on a more personal level, divided two brothers. Chuck and Tom Hagel went to war together, fought in the same unit together, yet ultimately held disparate views of the war they were both fighting in. Author Daniel P. Bolger provides a stirring account of the Vietnam War and its tumultuous, yet ultimately uniting effect on the Hagel family.
Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and his brother Tom fought in the Tet Offensive and battled side by side, each saving the other’s life at one time. Chuck returned supporting the war, Tom came home hating it—sentiments that largely echoed the national divide. Our Year of War follows the brothers’ path from Nebraska, to Vietnam, and then finally back home to America in a gritty, heartbreaking portrayal that is likely to resonant largely with readers.