Waiting for Westmoreland

THE BOOK:  “Waiting for Westmoreland.”

PUBLISHED IN: 2007 by Eagle Peak Press, www.eaglepeakpress.com.

THE AUTHOR:  John Maberry.

John Maberry II

THE EDITOR: Largely self-edited but also had a developmental edit by Valerie Jean.

BOOK SUMMARY:  Those seeking happiness amidst the suffering or disillusionment of day to day life will find hope in reading Waiting for Westmoreland. Those seeking redemption for past mistakes, will also find a means to achieve it. The book is the true story of a 20th century Candide — an innocent growing up in America in the fifties. As a boy, the author suffers the death of loved ones. Spending a year in Vietnam corrupts him. Then the political realities of the war and Watergate shatter his idealistic illusions about America. He searches for tools to reform the country that failed him. His quest becomes a frustrating pursuit. Finally, he meets a person who tells him about the life philosophy of Buddhism. He learns that the credit or blame for all of life’s events lies within-not from others. Looking for happiness outside oneself is fruitless. Only by taking personal responsibility for one’s own life can one be truly happy.

THE BACK STORY: For years I intended to write an antiwar screed, with the Vietnam War debacle as the focal point. By the time I got around to writing the book, it had become much more. Without spoiling the reading of the book, as I began organizing it I came to realize the connections between the circumstances of my childhood, events surrounding my prospective marriage to my third wife and the experiences of Vietnam. So it became a memoir instead, with Vietnam still playing a major part of the book and still including much discussion about the mistakes that were made before, during and after that war as well as all the fallout from it in America. I began working on it a year after retiring with the determination to publish it no later than December 31, 2007; it came out in print September 2007.

WHY THIS TITLE?: An allusion to the mistake of waiting for Godot. For more on what that has to do with the General, see Chapter 8.

WHY YOU WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Maberry’s book comes along at a time of close examination and myriad reflections on the Vietnam War — 50 years since the first insertion of U.S. combat troops into the conflict, 40 years since the American exit. At such benchmark anniversaries, long-buried memories tend to percolate back to the surface. As “Waiting for Westmoreland” reminds us, these memories are different for every participant. Some were devastated by the Vietnam experience, others made wiser. Those years in Southeast Asia spit out patriots and cynics alike, leaving some crippled in body and others crippled in spirit.  Still, this is not just a book about surviving Vietnam, but surviving life. In the process, Maberry melds his tumultuous outer life with his inner journey, concluding at the end that reforming oneself, rather than changing others, leads to a better world.

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REVIEW COMMENTS: “I’m apparently about the same age as the author and am always curious to hear someone else’s experience of the times I’ve lived in. In this case, Mr. Maberry and I couldn’t have lived more disparate lives if we’d tried. I don’t think I could have survived Mr. Maberry’s life and I appreciate his sharing the way his inner life as well as his circumstances have unfolded to this point. He survived things that have only scared me from a distance and he has achieved things I’ve only dreamt about from a distance. I’m so impressed with the way he has developed his life. I’m especially delighted to have read his account of his experience of the ’60s and ’70s, two decades I didn’t fit into very well. Like Forrest Gump, Mr. Maberry made me re-evaluate that era in a more favorable light. In fact, this book made me re-evaluate a lot of things. Even if this were a big book, I would highly recommend it. It would be worth your time. But it’s a small book and reads very fast. No matter what your own experience in life, I think you will find this book interesting and impressive, and it may just lead to a whole new life for you, a new awakening.” — A, Sansbury.

“This is a good book to read if you are facing challenges and you need inspiration based in hard reality. This book is not only good reading and not only filled with guts and determination, it is a book that rings true in a way that could cause readers to easily find applications to their own very real circumstances. — W. Langan.

AUTHOR PROFILE: John survived a hard childhood, war, drugs and failed marriages. Graduating with top honors from college, he went on to earn a JD at Georgetown. Overcoming a death threat from his bride’s father, he finally found a happy marriage the third time around. After spending many years writing consumer education materials and government reports, he moved on to fulfilling a childhood dream of writing, beginning with the memoir, Waiting for Westmoreland. He and his wife relocated from Northern Virginia to New Mexico in 2011. They settled into their dream house high atop a hill near Silver City, in 2013. There they pursue their own third age pursuits–quilting for her and writing for him. John says of himself, “I’m a lapsed lawyer, a former government employee, a father of two and a 30+ year Bodhisattva of the Earth.  I’m also a happy man and a funny guy (strange/weird my wife says).”

AUTHOR COMMENTS: “Waiting for Westmoreland covers more time than the typical memoir. That’s because childhood behavior set up a response to events in Vietnam, which in turn led to further effects many years later. The web of causality woven through my life weren’t so obvious until I got well into writing the book. Death and disillusionment are powerful; I chose to show the suffering, the survival and the triumphs in detail. ”

SAMPLE CHAPTER: More than a chapter but less—an extended sample from more than one chapter to get a fuller flavor of the book.

LOCAL OUTLETS: Available at the Silver City (New Mexico) Library and the Fairfax County (Virginia) Library

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Almost any online bookseller will have it and most brick and mortar stores will order it for store pickup. The lowest prices in America are at Lulu.

·         Amazon author page for the US shows print and Kindle as well as more about the author

·         Amazon in most other countries it sells at least Kindle books and some have the print version as well.

·         Barnes and Noble

·         iTunes

·         Kobo

·         Lulu

PRICE: $3.99 at most outlets for eBooks; print edition cover price is $16.95 but varies with discounts offered at the sites.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: johnwfw@eaglepeakpress.com

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Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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