The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty, and War

John Donohue and J. T. Molloy. Morrow, $27.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-299546-9
In this energetic debut memoir, former Marine Donohue recalls an “insane” idea hatched in a New York City bar in 1967 that led him into the war in Vietnam. As a reaction to antiwar protests, a friend suggested that, to show troops some support, “somebody ought to go over to ’Nam, track down our boys from the neighborhood, and bring them each a beer!” Donohue, writing with New York Daily News columnist Molloy, was the logical choice to be that “somebody,” since, as a civilian seaman in the U.S. Merchant Marine, he possessed a military “Z” card, which allowed him to travel to the country. After a monthlong trip across the Pacific on a freight ship, Donohue managed—with the help of U.S. soldiers willing to break some rules—to actually find some of his friends, including the brother of a grade school friend, whom he links up with just after his ship drops anchor off Qui Nhon; another friend he locates nearly 100 miles away, after managing to get two flights and a helicopter ride from helpful GIs. But the heart of the book is when he finds himself alone in Saigon during the Tet offensive; as he witnesses the storming of the U.S. embassy, he recognizes the false bravado behind his mission and, after arriving home, realizes the antiwar protesters “were at least trying to stop this madness.” Donohue’s memoir is a fascinating, vividly narrated recollection of the chaos of the Vietnam War. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 03/12/2020
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-06-299548-3
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-06-299993-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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