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An American Requiem: God, My Father, and the War That Came Between Us Paperback – April 1, 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Although Carroll's questioning of religious AND military apologists will no doubt raise the ire of dyed-in-the-wool conservatives, his perspective is a breath of fresh air to those of us with moral questions of our own.
But this isn't a book about his father, the Catholic Church, and especially not about the Vietnam war. This is simply the story of his life, as he presents it. Like the best of books, you root for the protagonist, you sympathize with him, and sometimes you wish he had done things differently. It is a fascinating, absorbing read and a good glimpse into the spirit of a time that I am too young to know myself. It's also an odd juxtaposition with the current events of our nation at war.
Though his famous father, Ex-FBI Agent and Lt. Gen. Carroll in command of the DIA is the subject of some of his consternation. The book is not about him. It is about Jim Carroll and his relationship with his father who seemed to never be able to fill a void he made in himself by not becoming a Priest himself. And it seems to me this is the large reason for the conflict between them...Jim felt his father expected to be redeemed by his works as a Priest. Though his father never says this.
So when you pick up this book to read, remember it is about Jim Carroll's life and his struggle with his faith and his father. And it does show the spirit of those times. Worth the read.
"American Requiem" should be required reading for any 20th century history course and it might not be a bad read for a catholicism course. Since I was raised catholic and still practice in my own way, I could sympathize with the agony Mr. Carroll and his father experienced when it came to their faith. Fortunately, James Carroll was able to vocalize the conflict surrounding his love of God and a church that gives him spiritual balance and the problems with that same church's power and its decisions that appear to be made sometimes more for political gain rather than spiritual enrichment. The real tragedy falls in Mr. Carroll's father's story. Although the senior Carroll's professional life is nothing short of fascinating, his personal life reminds us how empty it all can be if we do not acknowledge the things that are truly important.
This was the first "history" based novel that I was unable to put down. Go get it now.
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