I spent much of my time in the Marines involved with the conflict in El Salvador, which helped me formulate many of my ideas regarding foreign policy and the need to appreciate culture as a principal determinant of policy construction. I wrote and self-published a book that seeks to illustrate this point via a work of fiction. Of note, most of the events in the book I either witnessed firsthand or heard about from someone who had witnessed them firsthand. Still, it is designed to prove a point through an entertaining and hopefully attention-grabbing work of fiction. some of the comments regarding this work are listed below. The book may be purchased at any internet bookseller or at the Authorhouse website. If you would like a signed copy, email me at email@example.com with your name and address and how you would like the book personalized and I’ll let you know how to provide payment. If a larger publishing house is interested in making my book available to a wider audience, I would be happy to discuss this at the interested party’s convenience—my Skype number is 740-538-0803. I would be honored to provide free signed copies to active duty service members, military retirees and veterans of military service. Just email me and let me know your name, address, rank, branch and dates of service. My book won Honorable Mention at the New York and Hollywood book festivals in 2013 and I think it will prove to be a good read for many people. Some of the reviews of my book follow. I have provided a link to the Authorhouse website where the book is available for purchase. It is also available at all major online booksellers and on ebay. If you would like a personalized, signed copy, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– DISCOVERIES—A KIRKUS SERVICE FOR SELF-PUBLISHED AND INDEPENDENT AUTHORS
U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Peter Kane is sent to San Cristobal, a fictitious nation bordering Guatemala and El Salvador which is embroiled in a civil war. The San Cristobal government is fighting Communist insurgents—the Gerardo Rivas Popular Army, named after an early 1900s Communist leader from the country. The United States is advising the government as it fights these guerrillas, with Peter playing a central role. Once in the country, however, he quickly finds the conditions to be rough. The soldiers live in squalor, and the overall facilities and environment are less than desirable. Peter must fight his way back to safety after his helicopter is shot down, and later, he seeks revenge for the killing of a colleague. Levy writes with great detail, filling the book with adventure and presenting the protagonist as a Rambo-like hero along the way. Aside from the hero, the novel focuses on Tienente Col. Guzman Clemente, a guerrilla leader who begins to question the meaning of warfare, especially the killing of innocent children. Meanwhile, the Tiche Indians remain separate from the rest of society, and yet, they too are pulled into the war. After Peter saves a Tiche girl, he spends time in her village, experiencing a culture that few outsiders have ever seen. It is a transformative moment, one that sets up the dramatic climax to this fascinating book.
The author acknowledges at the conclusion that he wrote El Volcan two decades ago, and it certainly reflects that era. But it remains timely, capturing the horrors of war and the involvement of American soldiers in harm’s way. It captivates the reader from beginning to end.
Intriguing characters, intense action and an exotic, exhilarating plot.
– GREG COPLEY, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES ASSOCIATION
“Fabulous attention to detail, which gives the book a gritty sense of reality, but with a message on cultural awareness which is so critical and yet so misunderstood…”
– CAPTAIN GLEN ALLEN, USN (RETIRED)
Finished reading El Volcan this weekend. It was a very enjoyable read and it seemed to go so quickly. It was good to read “a story” for a change. Seems all my reading is history and political military books these days.
The story was interesting and engaging, but I can see it is much more than a story. I can tell you worked hard and put a great deal of thought into this work. You did a great job weaving many political and ethical issues into the fabric of the storyline. Your prior service made you familiar with the details, yet you only used enough detail to make the story believable without being bogged down. You also highlighted many of the thoughts and issues that any serviceman will struggle with if you serve long enough or are put in enough tough spots. You took on the age-old soldier’s dilemma: as a combatant in the service of my nation, I am simply an instrument of national policy. Yet, I must struggle with executing that part I am responsible for with commitment and integrity despite what I might think or feel…
I was also impressed by the vivid description and adjectives used throughout. In many cases, I felt like I was there either at sea staring out into the “riot” of color or lying in the grass hiding while urine sprinkled on my hand as the adversary relieved himself…
Of course there is the bigger theme of how the U.S. uses it’s instruments of national power: Diplomacy, Information, Military and Economic (DIME) to influence other nations and areas of the world and the propriety and effectiveness of the use of those influences…
In all, I am very impressed by your writing, but not surprised. Somehow I knew it would be good.