Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 10:00a.m.
The St. Louis County Library Foundation’s ‘Buzz’ Westfall Favorite Author Series is pleased to present former US Senator and acclaimed author James Webb for a discussion and signing of his memoir “I Heard My Country Calling.”
The event will take place at Library Headquarters (1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.) on Friday, May 23, at 7:00 p.m. The program is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase at the event from Barnes & Noble.
James Webb, author of “Fields of Fire,” the classic novel of the Vietnam War; former U.S. Senator and Secretary of the Navy; highly-decorated combat Marine; and a self-described “military brat,” has written an extraordinary memoir of his early years—in his own words, “a love story: love of family, love of country, love of service.”
Webb’s mother grew up in the cotton fields of Eastern Arkansas. His father and life-time hero was the first of many generations of Webbs to finish high school. Webb’s account of his childhood is a tremendous American saga as the family endures the constant challenges of the rarely examined Post-World War II military, with his stern but emotionally invested father, loving and resolute mother, a granite-like grandmother who held the family together during his father’s frequent deployments, and an assortment of invincible aunts, siblings, and cousins.
Webb’s account of his four years at Annapolis are painfully honest but in the end triumphant. His description of Vietnam’s most brutal battlefields breaks new literary ground. One of the most highly decorated combat Marines of that war, he is a respected expert on the history and conduct of the war. He flew bombers in World War II, cargo planes in the Berlin Airlift, graduated from college in middle age, and became an expert in the nation’s most advanced weaponry.
Webb’s novelist’s eyes and ears invest this work with remarkable power, whether he is describing the resiliency that grew from constant relocations during his childhood, the longing for his absent father, his poignant goodbye to his parents as he leaves for Vietnam, his role as a 23-year-old lieutenant through months of constant combat, or his election to the Senate where he was known for his expertise in national defense and foreign policy. This is a life that could only happen in America.
The program with James Webb is a St. Louis County Library ‘Buzz’ Westfall Favorite Author Series presentation. The Westfall series features authors of politics, current issues, history, and sports. The series is co-sponsored by A.J.P. Realty; McMahon Berger; Sachs Properties; Brown Smith Wallace LLC; Royal Banks of Missouri; St. Louis Business Journal; Midwest Library Service; The Booksource; S.M. Wilson & Co.; and Stifel, Nicolaus.