Forlorn Wars, Hot Rod Cars and Ancient Stars

Norman Weisberg
Norman Weisberg (2014)
ISBN 9781467592116
Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (06/14)

Article first published as eBook Review: ‘Forlorn Wars, Hot Rod Cars and Ancient Stars’ by Norman Weisberg on Blogcritics.

“Forlorn Wars, Hot Rod Cars and Ancient Stars” by Norman Weisberg called my attention as a political science graduate, as well as a history addict. When I began reading, the formatting of the book surprised me a bit, but I was so intrigued that I continued and I am glad! The book begins when the narrator meets Bob during a car show hosted by the Long Island Ford Mercury Club. Bob was a Vietnam vet, with a passion for cars, and he was showing his 1951 Ford, 4 door family sedan. Their friendship took off from the start. 

What continues next is a conversation that reminisces on Bob’s experiences shared to the narrator about war, and politics behind the Vietnam conflict and the era in general. I can’t praise Weisberg enough on this unique book which provides the reader with a full experience of a time in America which should never be forgotten. Being from South America, my knowledge of this lacks the personal account of those who lived in the US and experienced it firsthand. Thanks to Weisberg I got to get as close as it could ever be to feeling what it was like to live in the US during the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and the Vietnam conflict. Furthermore, Weisberg’s insight on the political aspects, added to Bob’s firsthand account quotes gives a holistic view about war which will prompt the reader to reflect upon their role as a community and the amount of knowledge they really have when politicians make the decision to go to war.

In case it is not clear, I loved this book’s message. I read it in one shot as I could not put it down. Although the format which Weisberg chose to present his message and story was not one that I was accustomed to, making it a little more difficult for me to follow at the beginning, but I got hooked to his unique style and voice. I do wish to see from him an expansion on Bob’s story in a novel format! I think there is an amazing story behind this character begging to come out.

I found this read thought provoking when it comes to my own history as well. My parents are WWII survivor immigrants from Italy, so I know firsthand about their trauma. On the other side of the token, if the US would have not gone to war, the life I have as a free human being would not have happened. This is why US soldiers have such big place in my heart. Yet, some wars should had never have happened…“Forlorn Wars, Hot Rod Cars and Ancient Stars” by Norman Weisberg should be read by everyone, but especially by the political decision makers who see war as an option to resolve international conflict.

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