In American Boys, journalist Louise Esola has uncovered and pieced together a powerful story. Groundbreaking and astonishing in scope, American Boys is a tale of heartbreak and perseverance. It's the story of a shattering injustice, of love and healing, and of a great generation of those who fought and vowed to never forget, though their nation has.
"... a classic story of men and war."
--Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
"...new light on a tragic chapter of the Vietnam War."
--Joseph L. Galloway, We Were Soldiers Once...and Young
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About the Author
What People are Saying About This
"Louise Esola has shed new light on a tragic chapter of the Vietnam War. She has dug deeply into an accident at sea that took the lives of 74 young American sailors and has told their stories brilliantly! American Boys is worth your attention."
--Joseph L. Galloway, co-author of We Were Soldiers Once...and Young
“With Louise Esola's powerful storytelling, American Boys uncovers a lost chapter of history full of grace and determination. A compelling read.”
--Gregory A. Freeman, bestselling author of Sailors to the End: The Deadly Fire on the USS Forrestal and the Heroes Who Fought It
“Louise Esola has done a remarkable job of research in putting together this forgotten story of 74 young men who lost their lives on the USS Frank E. Evans during the Vietnam War. Ms. Esola, writing with conviction and compassion, does a long-neglected service to the memories of those killed in the line of duty. As a Vietnam War veteran myself, I salute Louise Esola and all those who have given their time and energy to keep alive the memories of the fallen.”
--Bestselling author and Vietnam veteran Nelson DeMille
“With stellar reporting and strong writing, Louise Esola has rescued a largely forgotten incident of the Vietnam War: the sinking of the destroyer Frank E. Evans in 1969. “American Boys” traces the sailors from hometowns across America to their service aboard the ill-fated ship, giving the sailors the respect that their country has denied them. “American Boys” could easily become a classic story of men and war.”
--Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
“American Boys is that rare offering, and deserves its own commendation as a piece of powerful research into a segment of Vietnam history that many have tried to bury over the decades…one that deserves to not be forgotten.”
--Midwest Book Review
"This is the story of one of the greatest--still unresolved--tragedies of the Vietnam War, one the U.S. Navy has pretended had nothing to do with it. American Boys explores the realities of Vietnam naval operations and, in evocative prose and stunning detail, it reports the sinking of the American destroyer Frank E. Evans, along with the decades-long struggle of survivors and families to get the Navy to acknowledge the truth of the matter. This book should be read and those Evans sailors commemorated."
--John Prados, bestselling author of Vietnam: The History of an Unwinnable War, 1945-1975
“Louise Esola's finely-wrought account of a Vietnam-era disaster at sea and its unending impact on the drowned sailors' loved ones will echo in your mind long after you've put it down. This beautiful, heart-breaking book should be required reading at the Pentagon and the White House.”
--Jack Cheevers, author of “Act of War: Lyndon Johnson, North Korea, and the Capture of the Spy Ship Pueblo.”
“American Boys is an important story, beautifully told. Long after you finish this book, you will remember the men of the USS Frank E. Evans, and understand why the fight to include the names of its 74 lost crew members continues.”
--Kristen Graham, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist with the Philadelphia Inquirer