A Canadian Jew in Uncle Sam's Army: Darkly Humorous Recollections of Disparity, Irony, and Narrowly Surviving During the Cold War (Hardcover)

A Canadian Jew in Uncle Sam's Army: Darkly Humorous Recollections of Disparity, Irony, and Narrowly Surviving During the Cold War By Adam L. Harris Cover Image

A Canadian Jew in Uncle Sam's Army: Darkly Humorous Recollections of Disparity, Irony, and Narrowly Surviving During the Cold War (Hardcover)

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"Equal doses shocking, hilarious, brutal, thought-provoking ... gripping from start to finish."

-JOHN STILLMAN, Vietnam veteran and award-winning author of the memoir Jumping from Helicopters


Adam Harris was the least likely person to enlist in the military: he'd grown up marginalized as the sole Jewish kid in his public school in Ottawa, Canada, and learned early on not to trust authority. As the youngest and smallest in his class, and burdened with a severe speech impediment, Adam looked like an easy target. But it wasn't long before the entire elementary school realized he was quite the opposite. Using his hard-won agility and pummeling fists, he was never one to back down.


After moving to the States as a teenager with his family, Adam's life took a serious downward trajectory. Kicked out of school, fired from his job, and tempted by a life of crime, he did the unthinkable: intent on salvaging his life, Adam joined the US Army. Despite the various injuries he had already sustained-including nearly tearing off his left foot not once but twice and telescoping his left femur-Adam easily pushed through the physical demands of Basic Training. The hardest part was the psychological servitude the military demanded. Still, he set off for his first deployment full of optimism, hopeful for a career that would give him a respectable future.


Not long in, a field accident left Adam with a horrific injury. Labeled AWOL and left for dead by his platoon sergeant, he wasn't found until a week later. At the Rhein-Main airbase hospital in Germany, he became immersed not only in the arduous chore of recovery but in the sobering realization that his fidelity had been rewarded with zero loyalty in return. With not much to do besides lie in bed and let his anger simmer by day and drink copiously to numb the pain by night, he vowed to not just rock the Army boat but to tip it over.


As a reward for preventing catastrophe, Adam became the fuse setter for the Death Dealers, a position fraught with unparalleled risk. Further assignments pushed him to the brink of human endurance: sentry duty-four hours on and two hours off, around the clock, every day for eight weeks; sustaining twenty- to forty-below temps in the dense Bavarian forest for days on end; maneuvering a twelve-ton M-548 through weedy backroads, lined with steep ditches, with zero visibility in the pitch black of night. Weighted by stress and a hefty chip on his shoulder, Adam found solace in alcohol, beautiful girls, and antagonizing the higher-ups-details of which he confided to his brother via candid letters home. These letters are interspersed throughout the book, allowing the reader into the sometimes bluntly crude, sometimes profoundly reflective mind of a soldier.


Told with rawness, honesty, and no shortage of wry humor and artful pranks, Adam chronicles the grueling two years he spent in the US Army during the Cold War, from 1984 to 1986-"where brothers from another share the worst and best with you, without ever knowing the details of each others' lives; where rewards and punishments are doled out without rhyme or reason, with neither fairness nor justice playing a part; where the separate reality allows for the insane to be the norm and for the unthinkable to be common."

Product Details ISBN: 9798989683208
Publisher: Emergent Isles Press
Publication Date: February 27th, 2024
Pages: 316
Language: English