The Vietnam War was a long and costly armed conflict that pitted the communist regime of North Vietnam and its southern allies against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States, from 1954 to 1975 (1). While these days, many people learn about a war through the media and pop culture, Vietnam veteran and author Ray Gleason is telling war stories based on his own personal experience and relationships. His second novel, The Violent Season, is to be released in March, 2013, on Amazon.com.
Vietnam remains a controversial subject for Americans. Because the United States failed to win, most books tend toward the dark, angry, ironic and cynical aspects of the war (2). These tenors and attitudes don't apply to Gleason's latest novel, The Violent Season. The story invites readers to experience all parts of the war-not just the suffering, but the triumphs and the camaraderie of Americans and their families during the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War novel is the story of a young Americans as told by one who actually experienced and lived to tell about it.
As a retired infantry major in the United States Army, Gleason understands what military personnel go through first-hand. During the Vietnam War, Gleason served as a rifleman and squad leader in Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry. He then served as a long-range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP) and Hawkeye team leader with K Company, 75th Infantry (Ranger). Gleason says that his experiences in Vietnam have allowed him to produce not another war story, but rather a story about the human spirit attempting to create good even when confronted with impossible odds.
"Despite pop culture, people who participated went to war as innocents, trying to do a good job, and just do the right thing," Gleason commented.
While Gleason's military record is impressive, his academic résumé is equally stellar. Gleason is a lecturer at Northwestern University's School of Continuing Studies in Chicago, teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses in medieval literature. He received a Ph.D. (1997) in Medieval Literature and an MA (1989) in English Literature from Northwestern University, as well as a BA (1974) in English Literature and European History from Hunter College in New York. Gleason's literary writing takes readers through a passionate, yet uplifting, journey through the Vietnam War.