Parnassus Books is delighted to welcome Doug Stanton as he reads from and signs The Odyssey of Echo Company.
As we approach the 50th Anniversary of the Tet Offensive, The Odyssey Of Echo Company offers a breathtaking portrait of war, homecoming, and a search for peace.
More than ten years in the making, and based on hours of interviews with soldiers, detailed letters written to and from Echo Company, Pentagon after-action reports, photographs and video footage, The Odyssey of Echo Company: The 1968 Tet Offensive and the Epic Battle of Echo Company to Survive the Vietnam War by New York Times bestselling author of In Harm’s Way and Horse Soldiers Doug Stanton—offers the untold and remarkable story of a platoon of American soldiers and their heroic efforts to survive the Vietnam War – both on the battlefield and after their return home to the US.
Augmented by detailed maps and remarkable combat zone photographs, The Odyssey of Echo Company places readers alongside Parker on the battlefield as he and his fellow soldiers—hailing from small farms, beach towns, and such big cities as Chicago and Los Angeles—are suddenly thrust into savage combat, having been in-country only a few weeks. They engage in guerrilla-style combat, often hand to hand, in a shape-shifting environment where the enemy is often unknown and the lines of fighting blurred at best. Some of Echo Company’s soldiers are killed and many others injured, including Parker, who earns three Purple Hearts. The men endure a hellish ordeal, and those who survive are forged into a lifelong band of brothers. But when Parker and his fellow soldiers return home, they walk back into a country that wants little to do with them or the war they fought.
The Odyssey of Echo Company follows Echo Company in close psychological proximity as they reckon with a country for which their comrades lost their lives does not want to hear their remarkable story of survival. Like millions of other Vietnam veterans, the men are ignored, assaulted, and shamed into silence, where they remain for decades. The Vietnam War is one of America’s unfinished stories, an epic narrative in search of a conclusion: How do we feel about the war now? In The Odyssey of Echo Company, Stan Parker finally comes home by meeting his former enemy, and, ultimately, himself. The book is sure to prompt countless discussions among families and communities about their experiences during this war, as well as in conflicts around the world.
Now as Parker and his comrades approach age 70 and stare down the final years of their lives, many finally seek closure to their experiences. Stanton recounts Parker’s and fellow platoon-mate Tom Soal’s 2014 return to Vietnam where they retrace Echo Company’s steps and—after a chance encounter and emotional reunion with a former VC soldier whom Stan Parker met on the battlefield 50 years prior – Parker finds peace.
Doug Stanton is a journalist, lecturer, screenwriter, and author of the New York Times bestsellers In Harm’s Way (2001) and Horse Soldiers (2009.)
Stanton has appeared on numerous TV and radio outlets, including NBC’s “Today,” CNN, Imus In The Morning, Discovery, A&E, Fox News, NPR, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and NBC’s Nightly News, and has been covered extensively in prominent publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and New York Times.