cover image Fortunate Son: The Autobiography of Lewis B. Puller, Jr

Fortunate Son: The Autobiography of Lewis B. Puller, Jr

Lewis B. Puller, JR.. Grove/Atlantic, $22.95 (389pp) ISBN 978-0-8021-1218-7

The author is the son of WW II hero ``Chesty'' Puller, arguably the most colorful and admired Marine of them all. Seeking to emulate his father, the author joined the Corps after college and entered officers' training with the intention of becoming a combat leader. In 1968, while commanding an infantry platoon in Vietnam, Lieutenant Puller tripped a booby trap and lost both legs and one hand in the explosion. He describes his protracted hospitalization, which included a series of operations and an unsuccessful attempt to learn how to walk with the use of artificial limbs. Puller eventually became a lawyer, served on President Ford's Clemency Board, ran unsuccessfully for Congress in Virginia and joined the Pentagon's legal department. His well-written autobiography is an inspiring account by a man who fought hard to win major battles over physical helplessness, severe depressions and alcoholism. Readers will treasure the author's recollections of ``Chesty'' (clearly a wonderful father) but may find the description of the old general's decline and death as painful as the account of the son's ordeal. 50,000 ad/promo; author tour. (June)