“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.

Read a sample chapter

Michael's Blog

Rewriting History or Acknowledging It?

Posted by Michael Putzel • July 31, 2015

Hauling down the Confederate battle flag from its staff on the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol in July marked a tectonic shift in white rulers’ manipulation of the tragic racial history of the American South. It may have been just the beginning.

Triggered by a single act of hate and madness, the cold-blooded murder by a white supremacist of nine African-American parishioners at bible study, the focus on the flag as a symbol of racist strife changed South Carolina politics in a moment. Flying defiantly at the top of its solitary staff as the American and South Carolina flags were lowered to half-staff in mourning, the battle flag of an army defeated 150 years ago drew the angry eyes of millions watching television or tapping into the Internet.

Republican Governor Nikki […] READ MORE

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