ABOUT JERRY ROSE AND LUCY ROSE FISCHER

Jerry Rose published feature articles and photographs in TIME, The New York Times, The Saturday Evening Post, New Republic, The Reporter, and other news venues. He authored two books: Reported to be Alive and Face of Anguish, a book of his photographs. He was one of the most accomplished journalists of his age. 

Lucy Rose Fischer, Jerry’s younger sister, an award-winning Minnesota author, artist, and social scientist, is the author of five previous books: Linked Lives: Adult Daughters and Their Mothers; Older Minnesotans; Older Volunteers; I’m New at Being Old; and Grow Old With Me, as well as more than 100 professional research articles. She has a PhD in sociology and an MA in Asian Studies.

ABOUT THE BOOK

This true story captures the exciting and perilous life of a young journalist in Vietnam. In the early 1960s, Jerry Rose interviews Vietnamese villagers in a countryside riddled by a war of terror and embeds himself with soldiers on the ground—the start of a dramatic and dangerous career. Through his stories and photographs, he exposes the secret beginnings of America’s Vietnam War at a time when most Americans have not yet heard of Vietnam.

In spring 1965, Jerry agrees to serve as an advisor to the Vietnamese government at the invitation of his friend and former doctor, who is the new Prime Minister. He hopes to use his deep knowledge of the country to help Vietnam. In September 1965, while on a trip to investigate corruption in the provinces of Vietnam, Jerry dies in a plane crash in Vietnam.

Now, more than half a century later, his sister, Lucy Rose Fischer, has drawn on her late brother’s journals, letters, and other writings to craft his story. She has written this memoir in “collaboration” with her late brother—giving the term “ghostwritten” a whole new meaning.

TALKING POINTS

  • Timely resurgence of interest in Vietnam War: Interest in the Vietnam War is high right now, as is evidenced by the PBS Vietnam War series, the popularity of The Post, a movie starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, and a recent nationally touring art exhibit about the Vietnam War. 
  • How pop culture (like hit TV show “This is Us”) blends in topics related to the Vietnam War to bring it to a younger generation
  • Fresh angle on a familiar story: This story bears witness to the very early years of American involvement—a time when most Americans had no idea their government was becoming quietly committed to fighting communism in that region, and which many today know little about. 
  • Journalists are often among the forgotten tragedies of war—and journalists today are often found in war zones, at risk beside their subjects. With frequent assaults against journalists all over the world and the high alert of “fake news,” attention on journalists is at an all-time high.
  • Timely release for military remembrance holidays: By the end of America’s Vietnam War, 45 journalists had been killed, and another 18 were missing.
  • Of special interest to Vietnam generation: More than 50 million Americans, who are now aged 55+, grew up with the Vietnam War on their television sets. This generation is just now beginning to come to terms with their history and the scar left by the Vietnam War. More than 770,000 Americans still alive today served on land, sea and air in the Vietnam War. 

PRAISE

“Profound, disturbing, and humane, The Journalist illuminates the Vietnam War in the words of a courageous, gifted man who dedicated his life to telling the truth, no matter what it cost him.” – Foreword Reviews

“A thoughtful, revealing look at the early years of the war in Vietnam from one of the first reporters to cover it.” – Kirkus Reviews [Starred Review]

“Jerry Rose, as a young journalist in Vietnam in the early 1960s, was an intimate witness to the beginnings of the tragedy that became America’s Vietnam War. This riveting memoir is a chronicle of ambition, war, love, and loss.” Judy Bernstein, author of They Poured Fire on Us and Disturbed in Their Nests

“This memoir is a must-read for those who want to see, hear, and feel Vietnam in the turbulent and secretive 1960s.”Professor James B. Wells, Eastern Kentucky University

“This very personal story by a dedicated, courageous and prescient reporter is rivetingand shockingly relevant to the last nineteen years of our violent stalemate in Afghanistan.” – Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers