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“Readers will never again be able to delude themselves that men who go to war can walk away from it unscarred, even if those scars take years to surface.”Robert Timberg, author of Blue-Eyed Boy and The Nightingale’s Song, a NY Times Notable Book of the Year
“As a veteran of that era, I felt every word of every page. Putzel has delivered a gripping and touching work of art.”W. Craig Reed, New York Times bestselling author of Cold War III: How the U.S. Navy can Defeat Putin and Halt Climate Change
"A great story...that needs to be told"Bob Schieffer, CBS News
"An 'All Quiet on the Western Front' of the war in Vietnam"Bill Kovach, former New York Times and Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor, co-author of 'Blur: How to Know What's True in the Age of Information Overload'

The Price They Paid is the stunning and dramatic true story of a legendary air cavalry commander in Vietnam and the soldiers who followed him into the most intensive helicopter warfare ever—and how that brutal experience has changed their lives in the forty years since the war ended.

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Michael's Blog

The Stages of Authorship

Posted by Michael Putzel • June 30, 2015

Writing a book is not like journalism. For one thing, it takes longer. Sometimes a lot longer.

In a four-decade career in news, I wrote on tight deadlines, often under pressure, and with no excuses for a story that didn’t get done on time. Then I decided to write a book, a work of nonfiction that involved reporting techniques I had practiced for years. It turned out to be a complex process that required a number of course changes along the way. I discovered there are several stages for some authors, including me.

The first is, “Oh, he’s writing a book.” Emphasis on book. Cheerful and full of expectation.

Then, after a while, it becomes, “He’s working on a book.”

When polite people stop asking how the book’s going, you’ve moved into, “He says he’s working […] READ MORE


Memorial Day

Posted by Michael Putzel • May 25, 2015

“One of the things that Vietnam taught me, and the reporting I did subsequently after the war, was that wars don`t end. They come home, and it`s the women and the children who fight them.

There is a war to find beauty and meaning in life again. There is sometimes a war to learn how to pick up a fork, how to tie a shoe, how to reconnect with a world that sent you to do something you never really thought you were going to do. And the aftermath of war is something that is profound.

And I think — while, we didn’t recognize the soldiers enough after Vietnam, I think one of the outrages was we blamed the war on the people who fought and we in time learned to separate […] READ MORE