The third of four children, Jack McLean was born in Huntington, New York, on May 26, 1947. He was brought up in Summit, New Jersey, where he lived until admittance to Phillips Academy, Andover, at age fourteen. Upon graduation, McLean enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. After boot camp and a year on stateside duty, he served in Vietnam with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. McLean returned to enter Harvard University in the fall of 1968 as the college's first Vietnam veteran. After graduation, he held marketing positions in New York; Boston; Portland, Maine; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Washington, D.C. McLean is the father of three daughters and is currently the Tsien Writer in Residence in Fort Lee, New Jersey. i>From the Hardcover edition.
McLean's debut is a perceptive memoir of the Vietnam war that is unique for the author's background: McLean joined the Marine Corps after graduating from Phillips Academy, where George W. Bush was a classmate. Making excellent use of more than a hundred letters he wrote home from the war zone from November 1967 to July 1968, McLean reconstructs his time in the Marines with a sharp eye for detail and very readable-at times almost poetic-prose. McLean underwent a hellish tour of duty and in the fall of 1968 became the first Vietnam veteran to enter Harvard. He uses a good deal of reconstructed dialogue to tell his war story, a technique that in lesser hands only cheapens a memoir. But virtually all of McLean's dialogue rings true, as does nearly everything else in the book. That includes this passage in which McLean remembers his baptism under fire a few days after he arrived in Vietnam: "It had been eerie, frightening, invigorating, chaotic, and surreal. Welcome to combat. It was not like the movies." (May 19) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
"The battle at Loon erupts suddenly and sucks you in. Like Jack
McLean, you ask: what am I doing here? The answer is: you joined
the Marines and now it's time to fight for your life. A gripping
story of violence and dedication to survival."--Bing West, author
of The Strongest Tribe
"Loon is a saga of an infantry Marine--the decision to enlist, the intensity of the recruit, mortal combat, and finally transition back to civilian life. This beautifully written story is a must read for all combat warriors, their families, and those interested in the turbulent times surrounding the Vietnam War."--Col H.C. "Barney" Barnum, USMC (Ret), Medal of Honor Recipient
"[This] unique tale . . . is skillfully written and will be among the classic books written about the Vietnam War."--Jan Scruggs, Esq., Founder and President, Vietnam Veterans Memorial "McLean's debut is a perceptive memoir of the Vietnam war...McLean reconstructs his time in the Marines with a sharp eye for detail and very readable-- at times almost poetic--prose."--Publishers Weekly