In this dramatic, intimate, and tragic memoir, James Carroll recovers a time that none of us will ever forget - a time when parents could no longer understand their sons and daughters and when young people could no longer recognize the country they had been raised to love. The wounds inflicted in that time have never fully healed, but healing is something that Carroll accomplishes in telling his family's remarkable story. The Carroll family stood at the center of all the conflicts swirling around the Vietnam War. Lieutenant General Joseph F. Carroll was the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency through most of the war, a former FBI man who helped choose bombing targets but distrusted his fellow generals who wanted to use the Bomb. His wife, Mary, was a devoted friend of Francis Cardinal Spellman, the hawkish military vicar, yet she felt sympathy for antiwar priests and tried to balance her devotion to her husband with love for her sons. This shattering history takes its shape from the choices made by three of the five Carroll sons. Dennis, marked by fierce conscience, became a draft fugitive and exile. Brian, deeply loyal, joined the FBI and was assigned to track down draft resisters and Catholic radicals. James, wanting to fulfill the dream his father had embraced and then abandoned, became a Roman Catholic priest. But he quickly aligned himself with the very Catholic radicals and draft resisters who were one brother's target and another brother's support. While the war in Southeast Asia raged and the streets of America exploded with protest, Joe and Mary saw the precious world of their own family, centered on a gracious house on Generals' Row, collapse. None of the Carrolls would ever be the same.
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James Carroll is a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Suffolk University and a columnist for The Boston Globe. He is the author of ten novels and seven works of fiction. He lives in Boston.From Publishers Weekly:
This richly plotted romantic thriller by the author of Mortal Friends blends a cast of well-drawn historical figuresJ. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson, Joseph McCarthy and the Rosenbergs, among otherswith fictional heroes and villains to create a gripping study of an FBI man who can't stomach the fact that his duty is deception. Recruited from the Midwest and still possessed of idealistic notions of honor and loyalty (the time is 1949), agent Chris Malone arrives in Washington, D.C., where the government is consumed by paranoia about the secrets of the atom bomb. Once under Hoover's watchful eye, Malone goes deep undercover as a protocol officer in the State Department, assigned to help the anti-Communist cause by stealing a codebook from the Russian embassy. His guise includes a "wife" who operates with secrets and motives of her own, and becomes the object of his desire even as he wonders whether to trust her. Carroll etches his characters incisively, propelling them through a world fueled by blackmail and betrayal, and stacking his story with twists that strain credulity only in the breathless finale.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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