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"Classic and timeless."—New York Times
"Ron Kovic is one of the premier voices of a generation. The large irony of his birthday provides the background for a journey which begins with the unquestioning service in Vietnam, his terrible wounding with all the anger and bitterness that follows, and ends with his passionate discovery of a large and all-too-human heart."—Larry Heinemann, author ofPaco's Story
"There is no book more relevant in the twenty-first century to healing the wound of Vietnam, which continues to bring so much pain to our country. . . . It remains to Kovic to remind us that history matters, and that the cost of our high follies persists."—Robert Scheer, editor-in-chief of Truthdig
"Ron Kovic's terrible tragedy is America's."—The Los Angeles Times
"Ron Kovic has returned from the dead and given us an honest, unrefined account of his struggle."— TheWashington Post
This New York Times bestseller (more than one million copies sold), presented here in a special fortieth-anniversary edition with a brand-new preface from a high-profile public figure, details the author's life story (portrayed by Tom Cruise in the Oliver Stone film version)—from a patriotic soldier in Vietnam, to his severe battlefield injury, to his role as the country's most outspoken anti–Vietnam War advocate, spreading his message from his wheelchair.
Ron Kovic served two tours of duty during the Vietnam War. He was paralyzed from his chest down in combat in 1968 and has been in a wheelchair ever since. Along with Oliver Stone, Kovic was the co-screenwriter of the 1989 Academy Award–winning film based on Kovic's best-selling memoir Born on the Fourth of July (starring Tom Cruise as Kovic).