Looking for a Hero (Paperback)
Staff Sergeant Joe Ronnie Hooper and the Vietnam War
University of Nebraska Press, 9780803224933, 640pp.
Publication Date: April 17, 2009
Extensive interviews with friends, fellow soldiers, and family members reveal Hooper as a complex, gifted, and disturbed man. They also expose the flaws in his most famous and treasured accomplishment: earning the Medal of Honor. In the distortions, half-truths, and outright lies that mar Hooper's medal of honor file, authors Peter Maslowski and Don Winslow find a painful reflection of the army's inability to be honest with itself and the American public, with all the dire consequences that this dishonesty ultimately entailed. In the inextricably linked stories of Hooper and the Vietnam War, the nature of that deceit, and of America's defeat, becomes clear.
About the Author
Praise For Looking for a Hero: Staff Sergeant Joe Ronnie Hooper and the Vietnam War…
"Looking For a Hero is an extraordinary feat of biographical reconstruction, as well as a powerful, poignant account of a nation at war. The tale of Joe Hooper's turbulent life and sad death transcends the story of America's most decorated Vietnam veteran to become a meditation about heroism, manhood, and the true cost of combat."—Rick Atkinson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of An Army at Dawn
"Hooper's life presents the perfect microcosm of America's tortured involvement in the Vietnam War. Given that America's willingness to use military force to foster 'nation-building' and 'democracy' has not waned since Vietnam, the relevance of that conflict—and its heroes—remains significant."—Mark Clodfelter, author of The Limits of Air Power: The American Bombing of North Vietnam
"I was totally caught up in the story; reading it is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. I wish I had written this book. It is daring and it is original."—Roger J. Spiller, George C. Marshall Professor of Military History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
-Roger J. Spiller
"Peter Maslowski and Don Winslow's meditation on heroism and the Vietnam experience is a truly original book. Its protagonist is not one of the great and good, but a humble 'grunt.' . . . Looking for a Hero has a highly sophisticated structure that is developed with great skill. Maslowski and Winslow bind onto Hooper's modest life a history of the Vietnam era that assumes the form of a moral tale and operates at a number of levels."—Times Literary Supplement
"Peter Maslowski (who co-authored with Allan R. Millett For the Common Defense, still the best single-volume military history of America) and best-selling author Don Winslow have produced an exceptionally well-written journey through not only Joe Ronnie Hooper's life, but also through America's most troubled war."—Armchair General
“A stinging indictment of the government’s treatment of veterans of our most recent wars.”—Vietnam Veterans of America
“The complicated truth about American hero Joe Ronnie Hooper, widely acclaimed as the Vietnam War’s most highly decorated soldier, is set against the turbulent backdrop of the 1960s and 1970s and draws on exclusive interviews with friends, family members, and military colleagues, in a definitive study.”—Forecast
“Maslowski and Hooper provide a superb account, based on personal papers, extensive interviews, and official records, of ground combat in Vietnam.”—Journal of Military History