Please join us at Roosevelt House as we welcome Daniel H. Weiss, the President and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, to discuss his new book, In That Time: Michael O’Donnell and the Tragic Era of Vietnam. It tells the story of the American experience in Vietnam through the life of Michael O’Donnell, a bright young musician and poet who served as a soldier and helicopter pilot. Although he never fired a shot in Southeast Asia, O’Donnell’s role as helicopter pilot was one of the most dangerous of the war, all the while using poetry to express his inner feelings and to reflect on the tragedy that was unfolding around him. In 1970, during an attempt to rescue fellow soldiers stranded under heavy fire, O’Donnell’s helicopter was shot down in the jungles of Cambodia. O’Donnell’s life is both a powerful, personal story and a compelling, universal one about how America lost its way in the 1960s, but also how hope can flower in the margins of even the darkest chapters of the American story. The discussion will be moderated by Andrew J. Polsky, Professor of Political Science at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center.

“Poignant…Weiss brilliantly evokes O’Donnell’s fatal mission and the toll his MIA status took on his loved ones…As a précis on the tragic place Vietnam holds in the American consciousness… this slim book succeeds admirably” – Publishers Weekly

In That Time rescues a young man’s life from the jungle ravine where his helicopter crashed during the Vietnam War and was left undiscovered for decades. Like thousands of other soldiers whose lives had barely begun only to be squandered in that war, Michael O’Donnell had his hopes and dreams, family and friends. His poems about the war are still shared by veterans. Weiss examines O’Donnell’s loss with meticulous and civic compassion.” – John Balaban, author of Remembering Heaven’s Face

Daniel H. Weiss — In That Time: Michael O’Donnell and the Tragic Era of Vietnam | Posted on November 6th, 2019 | Book Discussions, Public Programs