NOVELIST MEL SMITH GIVES READERS A “FULL DOSE” OF THE VIETNAM WAR EXPERIENCE IN NAM, THE Story of a Generation
GLENEDEN BEACH, Ore., Aug 9, 2017 — At one point in Mel Smith’s novel Nam, The Story of a Generation, Vietnam War veterans Joe and Cam ponder the perceptions of their service. “The World War II generation,” Joe says, “never appreciated what we did in Nam…. We didn’t fight hard enough. We didn’t support the government of the people…didn’t know the meaning of sacrifice…like they did in doubya, doubya two.” So unfair.
While Ken Burns explores Vietnam in his definitive documentary series this September, author Mel Smith does the same in his sweeping historical fiction novel Nam, Story of a Generation being released the same month by First Steps Publishing.
A Vietnam War veteran, Smith spent more than a decade researching and writing this riveting novel, intending to give readers a “full dose” of the Vietnam War era experience, both in the States and in-country. “The novel is about the Vietnam War, beginning to end, but it is also about commitments, patriotism, culture, Vietnamese history, and the fundamentals of American society—with a little romance thrown in,” he says.
“Smith’s effort is nothing short of extraordinary,” wrote David Aretha, editor of The Sixties Chronicle and books on the Vietnam War. “The story is emotional and heartfelt and feels 100 percent authentic. Most impressively, it covers all major aspects of the war: American culture before, during, and after the conflict; the various mind-sets of young men and their parents before they entered the war (and during and after); debates about the war’s purpose; in-country living, fighting, and friendships; death and war wounds—and coping with both afterward; the rich tapestry of the counterculture; the war from the perspective of Vietnamese fighters and civilians; the protest movement and veterans’ reactions to it; the effect the war had on veterans in the near aftermath as well as thirty years later. It’s a tremendous history lesson and thoroughly entertaining.”
Born in Helena, Montana in 1948, Mel Smith grew up in the hardscrabble neighborhood on the edge of town featured in NAM, The story of a Generation. Smith joined the Naval Reserve in the fall of 1966 and went “active” in the Navy in the summer of 1968. He served aboard two Navy destroyers, the U.S.S. TAYLOR DD-468 and the U.S.S. DEHAVEN DD-727 and pulled two WestPac tours to the war zone. He received an early out from active duty in the spring of 1970 as President Nixon trimmed the armed forces then serving. Smith attended Montana State University graduating with a B.S. in Film and Television, 1973. He founded AdSmith, an advertising agency, in 1981 which still operates today. He and wife Alane live in the greater Phoenix area of Arizona.
FIRST STEPS PUBLISHING
PO Box 571
Gleneden Beach, OR 97388
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