Joyce Faulkner - President of Military Writers Society
The TUNESMITH CHRONICLES: A Musical History Tour
Review by Joyce Faulkner - President of the Military Writers Society of America / December 2nd, 2012
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 a coffee table sized book that is almost too heavy to hold. At over 500 8.5 x 11" pages, its a bit overwhelming - like the era that it chronicles. The author - Lem Genovese has written true stories, essays and opinions about American, Americans and the Vietnam War that have a compelling perspective because I lived throughthe same confusing, hateful, glorious times.
World War 2 had forever altered the way the United States viewed other countries and its place in the world. The Korean War had further contributed to the 'greatest generation's" fears and war-weariness. And then there was the Cuban Missile Crisis that almost lead to WW3, the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers and the Reverend ML King 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 those times as he lived him. He delivers relevant 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 defoliants used to clear the jungles of Indochina to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, to politics and to the social struggles of returning warrions,Genovese is a mirror into the heart and soul of Vietnam veteran experience in particular.
DON NORTH - Internationally recognized journalist & war correspondent
" Lem Genovese may have written the 'mother of all books' for and about Vietnam veterans. It is as hard to describe The TUNESMITH CHRONICLES: as it is hard to describe the many facets of the author who is a soldier, medic, writer, performing songwriter, guitarist, historian, teacher and philosopher.
For a war that ended in 1975, it too Genovese 37 years to finally write about it in such detail. "It's been worth the lifetime it took to put all this into a proper perspective" Genovese admits. "My approach is that some times in the not too distant future ALL the genuine In-Country Vietnam vets will be gone. This memoir is my response to that inevitability".
His narrative covers more than just his time in uniform and tours of duty in Vietnam and the First Gulf War. There is little about the war in Vietnam or the struggle to come home for veterans of the past few combat zones that evaded his notice or thoughtful views.
"The lessons and legacy from our war in Indochina are the stuff of contradiction. It has been paved with bitterness, resentment, distrust, propaganda and scapegoating which have made it far smoother and 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 personal journal is not just needed for that arduous expedition, it should be demanded by our posterity". It would seem that Genovese has written such a journal.
Genovese has thoroughly researched and clearly writes about some of the enduring issues like the My Lai massacre, Agent Orange, PTSD and the Vietnam Veterans Against the War to name a few. Side trips along the way are numerous and some are downright enjoyable to read such as: "How to spot a phony Vietnam vet".
As a guitar strumming troubadour, Lem Genovese has shared the stage with legends like Country Joe McDonald and has toured the nation singing his original songs about the legacies of military service in a combat zone as well as the contemporary issues facing military families with a talent and a passion that pervades his writing. The chapters on his music enhance its accessibility.
At 525 pages and weighing in at three pounds, this large print, coffee table sized book is one to enjoy over many sessions. Amazon and Barnes & Noble's websites are selling a Kindle Ebook version for under $7.00. To order a limited to 100 copy first edition, contact the author's email @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
The softbound price including first class shipping with an inscription is $35. USD.
Warrior Publishing accepts the Tunesmith Chronicles with a revised manuscript for a second edition.