Fortunate Son Summary & Study Guide

Lewis Burwell Puller Jr.
This Study Guide consists of approximately 57 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Fortunate Son.
This section contains 492 words
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Fortunate Son Summary & Study Guide Description

Fortunate Son Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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This Pulitzer Prize winning autobiography recounts the tragic life of its author, a former Marine who lost both legs and most of both hands while serving his country in Vietnam. It was written by Lewis B. Puller, Jr., son of Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller, a famous military strategist admired the world over for his strong leadership and victorious battle tactics. From the time he was a young boy, there were a lot of unspoken assumptions about the course Lewis Junior's life should take, given that he was an only son and heir to the Puller legacy. As a very young man, Lewis joined the Marine Corps and was sent to Vietnam to defend his country against the Red tide, which his father had warned him about so urgently. Within three months time, young Lieutenant Lewis Puller, Jr. returned home to the states missing two legs and most of the fingers from both hands.

His staunch wife Toddy stayed by his side through the seemingly endless agony of physical recovery. The birth of their infant son, Lewis Puller III, and the support of his fellow veterans inspired Lewis to fight to regain purpose to his life. Miraculously, he overcame all odds, survived his wounds, and earned a law degree at the prestigious William and Mary College. But Lewis was also embittered by the country's disgraceful reception of its Vietnam warriors and he came to believe that his great sacrifice was meaningless to his country. In an attempt to restore meaning to his war service, and to the service of countless other Vietnam veterans, Lewis entered the political arena. His passionate hopes to become a political leader and to safeguard the next generation from suffering as he had, were cut short by a decisive loss to his opponent, Paul Trible. Paul Trible was a man who, to Lewis' disgust, was elected on the strength of his pro-military stance, even though Trible had avoided serving in Vietnam.

But even though his hopes and dreams were squashed a second time with this loss, Lewis Puller still contributed a great deal to the world. His courage and determination touched the lives of many, especially the thousands of young men who had dodged the Vietnam draft, for whom Lewis helped secure clemency in his official capacity as a Clemency Board member under President Ford's administration. Lewis made powerful friends during the many years he served as an attorney in the Department of Defense, but always felt the closest fellowship with the other men of his generation who had put their lives on the line for an unpopular war. Lewis' autobiography inspired thousands of his fellow veterans by giving voice to their despair, courage, and hardship. His story will be remembered for years to come, and the contrast between his father's military experience and his own teaches a lesson about the value of human life, and the insanity of sacrificing lives for the wrong cause.

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This section contains 492 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Fortunate Son Study Guide
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