Cartoonist Jeff Danziger will be at Bear Pond Books on Saturday, August 7th from 10am to 11am signing his new book, Lieutenant Dangerous: A Vietnam War Memoir. An in-person event!
"Most readers will know Jeff Danziger as a brilliant cartoonist. Lieutenant Dangerous shows that he is a brilliant writer as well.” — Max Boot, author of The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam
Lieutenant Dangerous: A Vietnam War Memoir sprung from a conversation the author had with a group of today’s military age men and women about America’s involvement in Vietnam.
In writing about his own wartime experiences Jeff Danziger captures the fear, sorrow, absurdity and unintended but inevitable consequences of war with dark humor and penetrating moral clarity. “War is interesting,” he reveals, “if you can avoid getting killed, and don’t mind loud noises.” His experiences training to be part of a war effort and serving in combat taught him ageless truths about the perils of unleashing the dogs of war that fans of his editorial cartooning will recognize: “I learned, and I think most veterans learn, that making people or nations do something by bombing or sending in armed troops usually fails,” he writes. “If there is any discipline at the start of wars it dissipates as the soldiers themselves become aware of the pointlessness of what they are being told to do.” Near the end of his telling, Danziger invites his audience — in particular the young friends who inspired him to write this informative and rollicking memoir — to ponder: “What would you do? . . . Could you summon the bravery — or the internal resistance — to simply refuse to be part of the whole idiotic theater of the war? . . . Or would you be like me?”
Jeff Danziger’s unique voice will resound in the same way other classics such as Catch-22, The Things They Carried and Matterhorn have done for years. Lieutenant Dangerous is also full of never-before-seen illustrations by the author created specifically for the book.
JEFF DANZIGER, one of the most widely recognized political cartoonists of his generation, is syndicated by the Washington Post News Service and is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army 1967-1971, one year in Vietnam in the First Air Cavalry, the 11th ACR and other units. He received the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. In 1971 he began teaching English at Union 32 High School in East Montpelier, Vermont, where he taught specialized classes in journalism and expository writing at an advanced level, and worked for the Christian Science Monitor between 1987 and 1997. He now lives in New York City and Vermont.
Praise for Lieutenant Dangerous: A Vietnam War Memoir
"A must-read war memoir . . . with zero punches pulled, related by one of the most incisive observers of the American political scene." -- KIRKUS (starred review)
"As with his cartooning, Danziger pulls no punches with his description of his time in the service and Vietnam." -- The Florida Times-Union
"In clear language he [Danziger] describes both the horrors and absurdities of war and the toll it takes on a soldier. -- The Rutland Herald
"Brilliant political cartoonist Jeff Danziger has written a crackerjack new book...The book is a rollicking, honest, cynical and, at times, tragic recollection of that dreadful and deceitful war." -- Valley News
"Danziger's new book isn't merely a recollection of a tumultuous time in his youth; it also passionately engages our political situation now." -- Seven Days
"From arguably the best political cartoonist this nation has ever produced...wow: words! And what words. Having spent a decade on the ground in Afghanistan, I can certify: this book applies directly to today's wars. Only, in the transition to an all-volunteer army, what may have disappeared from the ranks of our officers is this type of brutally honest skepticism. -- Sarah Chayes, author of The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban and On Corruption in America: And What Is At Stake
"Every West Point cadet should be required to read Lieutenant Dangerous, political cartoonist Jeff Danziger's powerful memoir about his four years in the army, when honor, integrity, and purpose were as illusory as American victory in Vietnam." -- David Cay Johnston Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, an IRE Medal and the George Polk Award
"'I am not a weeper, but I sat on the bus to Ft. Dix and wept.' So begins Jeff Danziger's youthful journey to the center of America's Vietnam maelstrom. A 24 year-old Vermonter with a pregnant wife at home, Danziger experienced the full-on nightmare of the Army's Vietnam catastrophe. He saw everything combat -- death, hypocrisy, moral degradation, and the fervid futility of the mightiest nation on earth bested on the battlefield by men and women fighting in pajamas and loincloths. He saw everything, that is, except the nominal purpose of the conflict. There is no evidence of a shared cause with our South Vietnamese 'allies,' no evidence that American soldiers knew or cared about the Communist Threat, and no evidence of the proverbial quest for glory that theoretically animates military endeavors. War, he writes, is 'in an awful way, interesting, if you can avoid getting killed and don't mind loud noises.' Danziger's purpose is to inform, but he and we wonder what the story of the 55,000 squandered American lives has taught us. Then the jungle; now the desert. Then B-52s; now Predator drones. The more America's ill-informed interventions change, the more they stay the same." -- Alex Beam, author of Broken Glass and Gracefully Insane