Tunesmith Chronicles: A Musical History Tour
The lessons and legacy from our war in Indochina are the stuff of contradiction. There are plenty of negatives should one decide to walk down that misbegotten road. It has been paved with bitterness, resentment, distrust, propaganda and scapegoating which have made it smoother and far easier to tread upon with each passing decade. The far more difficult journey is not found on a marked highway and is much harder to locate. An honest, fact based journal is not just needed should this path be chosen, it should be demanded by our posterity. Veterans from all combat zones need to better understand that responsibility to aid in the process of sharing wisdom, encouraging understanding and healing.
Tunesmith Chronicles: A Musical History Tour is a great big read. I mean really big...the print version weighs in at 3 pounds and is almost too heavy to hold. At over 700 8.5 X 11" pages, it's a bit overwhelming -- like the era that it chronicles. Author Lem Genovese's stories, essays, and opinions about America, Americans, and the Vietnam War are compelling perspectives because I lived through the same confusing, hateful, glorious times. World War II had forever altered the way the United States viewed other countries. The Korean War had further contributed to the Greatest Generations fears and war-weariness. And then there was Cuba and the assassinations -- and communism became more than an impractical economic experiment. Dangerous and aggressive, the growth was often described as dominoes...one country after another falling prey to it.
Genovese describes the times as he lived it. He delivers facts and figures, suggestions, and suspicions with the surety of someone who has been pondering these issues for the better part of his life. Many of the events and emotions he discusses reflect the ravages of all wars. However, from the unhealthy impact of chemicals used to clear the jungles to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to politics to the social struggles of returning warriors, Genovese is a mirror into the heart and soul of Vietnam Veteran experience in particular.
Reviewed by: Joyce Faulkner (2012)