Today, a shameless plug for a book written by a close friend of both my personal assistants. “Our Brother’s Keeper” by Jedwin Smith first came out in hardcover a decade ago to great reviews. A second edition in 2012 reached even more readers.
Now the third edition, in soft cover, is available at Amazon.com.
Buckle up; it’s a gut-wrenching read.
Jedwin tracked down details about his brother’s death in Vietnam, traveled to the scene of the battle and found the man who did it. Back home, he tried to mend family ties, never easy with a harsh father, a mother bitter about the loss of a sainted son, and siblings who wanted out of the fray.
Along the way we learn about Jedwin’s successful battle with alcoholism, his reporting from Beirut during the 1982-90 Lebanon War, his visit to Africa to write a special section about the cause of famine in Eritrea, and a bunch of depressing stuff about working for a major newspaper.
When he signed on in the early 1980s, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was one of the great papers in the country, especially in sports, where he worked.
By the time Jedwin left to author books after many years of being denied the opportunity to write (despite a Pulitzer Prize nomination), the paper had devolved into a bloated bureaucracy of petty and stupid managers chasing trendy nostrums, obsessed with steering readers toward what to think. As reporting the news took a back seat to agendas, the paper slipped into irrelevancy.
Anyway, back to Jedwin, a Marine like his brother, from a long line of Marines. He’s in demand as a speaker to veterans groups as many from the Vietnam era are ready to open up about a futile experience they didn’t understand at the time.
Buy the book. I give it two (non-opposable) thumbs up.