“Bringing It All Back Home is a book we should all read, for it takes us from city streets to Vietnam jungles and back again. It’s an important and instructive account of the pilgrimage of New York’s young men who went to war and came home to resume their city lives and share their experiences.”—Tom Brokaw, special correspondent for NBC News and author of The Greatest Generation“Napoli is the perfect person to write this book. Having worked with the Vietnam veterans of New York City for many years, he has come to understand us. While focused on vets from NYC, these stories are very representative of all of those who served in Vietnam and what happened to them upon their return home. I want to thank Professor Napoli for telling the true story of Vietnam veterans, who have often been exploited in the media.”—John Rowan, President, Vietnam Veterans of America“Philip F. Napoli’s oral history of New York’s Vietnam veterans is a remarkable book. It gives us a powerful view of what it was like for American soldiers to fight in Vietnam, and perhaps most of all it shows us how they lived once they came home. An important book for anyone interested in the Vietnam War.”—Alan Brinkley, National Book Award–winning author of Voices of Protest and The Publisher“Deftly weaving narrative with the authentic voices of veterans, Bringing It All Back Home vividly portrays its subjects’ experiences in Vietnam, the trials of reentry into civilian life, and the challenges of building lives marked by memories both haunting and inspiring. This brilliant and moving collection offers insights that are profoundly relevant to our times, given the enormous population of veterans returning from our most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”—Edward T. O’Donnell, author of Ship Ablaze“Bringing It All Back Home is one of the most compelling oral history collections of the Vietnam War experience. The sum of that long, distant conflict’s impact on American life may be impossible to fully comprehend, but Philip F. Napoli’s book shows us how the nation’s biggest city experienced the war and its aftermath at the neighborhood and family levels.”—Michael S. Foley, author of Confronting the War Machine and coeditor of Home Fronts“Philip F. Napoli’s moving collection of New York City’s veterans’ voices is as varied as the men and women with whom he spoke. For some, as for their nonveteran fellow countrymen, Vietnam is well and truly over. But for many, in the words of one of the veterans, ‘It’s always there. It doesn’t go away.’ At a time when the voices of those who fight America’s wars are more muted than ever before, Bringing It All Back Home is an important reminder of what wars can mean for those who fight them.”—Marilyn Young, author of The Vietnam Wars: 1945–1990“A thoughtful, deeply personal approach to understanding the Vietnam War for the Americans who fought it.”—Kirkus Reviews“[A] readable chronicle that uses the personal histories of the soldiers (in the interviewees’ transcribed words) to tell the human story of the American war in Vietnam . . . include[es] rich accounts of the lives of the men before they went to war and after they returned home. While some of the combatants’ stories are New York City–specific, the bulk of them mirror the experiences of Vietnam vets from across the nation. The book is a welcome addition to the Vietnam War oral history literary canon.”—Publishers Weekly
Philip F. Napoli is an assistant professor of history at Brooklyn College, where he also directs the Veterans Oral History Project. He was one of the chief researchers for Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation and An Album of Memories. He lives in New York City.