Sergeant Steve Maharidge returned from World War II an angry man. The only evidence that he d served in the Marines was a photograph of himself and a buddy tacked to the basement wall. On one terrifyingly memorable occasion his teenage son, Dale, witnessed Steve screaming at the photograph: They said I killed him But I didn t kill him It wasn t my fault
After Steve died, Dale Maharidge began a twelve-year quest to face down his father's wartime ghosts. He found more than two dozen members of Love Company, the Marine unit in which his father had served. Many of them, now in their eighties, finally began talking about the war. They d never spoken so openly and emotionally, even to their families. Through them, Maharidge brilliantly re-creates Love Company's battles and the war that followed them home. In addition, Maharidge traveled to Okinawa to experience where the man in his father's picture died and meet the families connected to his father's wartime souvenirs.
The survivors Dale met on both sides of the Pacific Ocean demonstrate that wars do not end when the guns go quietthe scars and demons remain for decades. "Bringing Mulligan Home" is a story of fathers and sons, war and postwar, silence and cries in the dark. Most of all it is a tribute to soldiers of all warspast and presentand the secret burdens they, and their families, must often bear.
About the Author
Dale Maharidge has been teaching at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University since 2001. Before that he was a visiting professor at Stanford University for ten years and spent fifteen years as a newspaperman. Several of his books are illustrated with the work of photographer Michael S. Williamson. The first book, "Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass" (1985), later inspired Bruce Springsteen to write two songs; it was reissued in 1996 with an introduction by Springsteen. His second book, "And Their Children After Them," won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction in 1990.