Blue-Eyed Boy: A Memoir
Acclaimed journalist Robert Timberg’s outstanding, long-awaited memoir of his fight to reclaim his existence and locate his calling after being critically burned as a tender Marine lieutenant in Vietnam
In January 1967, Robert Timberg was once a short-timer, counting down the times until eventually his strive against journey ended. He had 13 days to move prior to he bought to return domestic to his spouse in Southern California. That homecoming may ultimately take place, yet no longer in 13 days, and never because the individual he as soon as used to be. the instant his motor vehicle struck a Vietcong land mine divided his lifestyles into prior to and after.
He survived, slightly, with third-degree burns over his face and masses of his body. it is going to were effortless to offer up. in its place, Robert Timberg started an laborious and unsure fight back—not simply to actual restoration, yet to a lifetime of meaning. impressive as his go back to future health was—he continued thirty-five operations, one with out anesthesia—just as extraordinary used to be his determination to reinvent himself as a journalist and input the most public of professions. Blue-Eyed Boy is a gripping, sometimes comedian account of what it took for an bold guy, conscious of his frightful visual appeal yet hungry for that means and accomplishment, to grasp a brand new craft amid the pitying stares and surprised reactions of many he encountered on an everyday basis.
By the Nineteen Eighties, Timberg had moved into the higher ranks of his career, having secured a prestigious Nieman Fellowship at Harvard and a role as White apartment correspondent for The Baltimore Sun. unexpectedly his paintings introduced his lifestyles complete circle: the Iran-Contra scandal broke. At its middle have been 3 fellow Naval Academy graduates and Vietnam-era veterans, Oliver North, Bud McFarlane, and John Poindexter. Timberg’s assurance of that tale ended in his first e-book, The Nightingale’s Song, a robust paintings of narrative nonfiction that follows those 3 academy graduates and others—John McCain and Jim Webb—from Annapolis via Vietnam and into the Reagan years. In Blue-Eyed Boy, Timberg relates how he got here to grasp and boost a deep realizing of those 5 males, and the way their tales helped him comprehend the methods the Vietnam struggle and the furor that swirled round it endured to hang-out him, and the state as a complete, as they nonetheless do even now, approximately 4 many years after its dismal conclusion.
Like others of his new release, Robert Timberg needed to commute an unexpectedly not easy and now and then sour highway. In dealing with his personal existence with an analogous instruments of knowledge, human empathy, and storytelling grit he has consistently delivered to his journalism, he has produced essentially the most relocating and significant memoirs of our time.
to grasp. numerous neighbors, colleagues, and different family learn and commented on drafts of the booklet or particular chapters, between them Ernest B. (Pat) Furgurson, paintings Pine, Jim Webb, Don Graham, Nick Gardiner, Susan Seliger, Mark Bowden, Ginger Doyel, Teri Witcraft, Lynn Ketchum, Charity Winters, Hal Burdett, my daughter Amanda Timberg, and Craig’s brothers, Scott and Sam Timberg, the latter who tested that having a killer slap shot and the facility to hit a baseball a mile doesn’t.
Doctoral candidate in economics; Carol was once my classmate within the journalism software. We had dinner jointly once or twice, both at their condo or ours, and that used to be approximately it. the connection was once memorable, even though, simply because Carol and Lory have been, to my brain, the golden couple—smart, good-looking, refined, and, it appeared, invulnerable. Lory neglected the conflict due to an damage suffered enjoying soccer for the college of Washington, yet his brother Karl carried the relatives ordinary into conflict.
had to say extra. “Sandy, I’m Bob Timberg, your classmate. i used to be wounded in Vietnam. A land mine.” Sandy, I’m yes, could have dealt with the placement easily. yet I wasn’t definite that i'll. I have been seeing and speaking to midshipmen and naval officials on virtually an everyday foundation as a result of my activity, yet both they hadn’t recognized me sooner than Vietnam or have been educated of my accidents sooner than time (though now not by means of me), so my visual appeal wasn’t a shock to them. Sandy used to be diversified. He might or would possibly not.
Iran-Contra saga because it opened up. My accomplice used to be a tender, lively, irrepressible reporter named Michael Kelly, who used to be so stable he belonged within the related league as Richard Ben Cramer and my new sunlight bureau colleague, our nationwide political correspondent Paul West. Mike and that i have been a very good blend. We have been either competitive and artistic newshounds. We additionally loved and revered one another. Our tales as a rule carried double bylines. We did our reporting individually, conferred on what we had come.
“God, in His knowledge, makes just a handful of significant reporters,” Richard Ben Cramer wrote. “The Nightingale’s track will exhibit the total nation: Robert Timberg is one in all those.” i used to be in a position to file and write Nightingale as the solar, a kinder, gentler solar than I ever may have imagined, granted me a one-year go away of absence that I controlled to thread out for 5 years prior to returning to paintings. My ultimate place on the sunlight used to be deputy leader of the Washington bureau, less than Paul West. This used to be an.