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Fighter Pilot's Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War

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Fighter Pilot's Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War details author and Professor Mary Lawlor's unconventional upbringing in Cold War America. Memories of her early life--as the daughter of a Marine Corps and then Army father--reveal the personal costs of tensions that once gripped the entire world, and illustrate the ways in which bold foreign policy decis Fighter Pilot's Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War details author and Professor Mary Lawlor's unconventional upbringing in Cold War America. Memories of her early life--as the daughter of a Marine Corps and then Army father--reveal the personal costs of tensions that once gripped the entire world, and illustrate the ways in which bold foreign policy decisions shaped an entire generation of Americans, defining not just the ways they were raised, but who they would ultimately become. As a kid on the move she was constantly in search of something to hold on to, a longing that led her toward rebellion, to college in Paris, and to the kind of self-discovery only possible in the late 1960s. A personal narrative braided with scholarly, retrospective reflections as to what that narrative means, My Cold War zooms in on a little girl with a childhood full of instability, frustration and unanswered questions such that her struggles in growth, her struggles, her yearnings and eventual successes exemplify those of her entire generation.From California to Georgia to Germany, Lawlor's family was stationed in parts of the world that few are able to experience at so young an age, but being a child of military parents has never been easy. She neatly outlines the unique challenges an upbringing without roots presents someone struggling to come to terms with a world at war, and a home in constant turnover and turmoil. This book is for anyone seeking a finer awareness of the tolls that war takes not just on a nation, but on that nation's sons and daughters, in whose hearts and minds deeper battles continue to rage long after the soldiers have come home.


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Fighter Pilot's Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War details author and Professor Mary Lawlor's unconventional upbringing in Cold War America. Memories of her early life--as the daughter of a Marine Corps and then Army father--reveal the personal costs of tensions that once gripped the entire world, and illustrate the ways in which bold foreign policy decis Fighter Pilot's Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War details author and Professor Mary Lawlor's unconventional upbringing in Cold War America. Memories of her early life--as the daughter of a Marine Corps and then Army father--reveal the personal costs of tensions that once gripped the entire world, and illustrate the ways in which bold foreign policy decisions shaped an entire generation of Americans, defining not just the ways they were raised, but who they would ultimately become. As a kid on the move she was constantly in search of something to hold on to, a longing that led her toward rebellion, to college in Paris, and to the kind of self-discovery only possible in the late 1960s. A personal narrative braided with scholarly, retrospective reflections as to what that narrative means, My Cold War zooms in on a little girl with a childhood full of instability, frustration and unanswered questions such that her struggles in growth, her struggles, her yearnings and eventual successes exemplify those of her entire generation.From California to Georgia to Germany, Lawlor's family was stationed in parts of the world that few are able to experience at so young an age, but being a child of military parents has never been easy. She neatly outlines the unique challenges an upbringing without roots presents someone struggling to come to terms with a world at war, and a home in constant turnover and turmoil. This book is for anyone seeking a finer awareness of the tolls that war takes not just on a nation, but on that nation's sons and daughters, in whose hearts and minds deeper battles continue to rage long after the soldiers have come home.

36 review for Fighter Pilot's Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    To be perfectly honest, in the beginning I was not feeling this book at all. I wanted to be done with it even before I barely was into it. Yet, because it is in one of my favorite genre's to read, I decided to give it a second chance. So, glad that I did. Author, Mary Lawlor did a very good job of portraying her family life with a military father. What I enjoyed the most was not just about Mary's father's experiences in the military but additionally what life was like living back in this time of To be perfectly honest, in the beginning I was not feeling this book at all. I wanted to be done with it even before I barely was into it. Yet, because it is in one of my favorite genre's to read, I decided to give it a second chance. So, glad that I did. Author, Mary Lawlor did a very good job of portraying her family life with a military father. What I enjoyed the most was not just about Mary's father's experiences in the military but additionally what life was like living back in this time of the Cold War. I am not as well versed in this war as I am WWI or WWII. While, Mary's father may have been the one fighting in the real war; Mary's mother was fighting her own battle to keep her family together and raising them as best she could. Which I thought she did a good job of doing so. For a lot of Mary's stories about her father, they were serious, so it was nice to read about her laughing over the beer experiment incident. This is a well written book. The family pictures were a nice addition as well.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Donna McBroom-Theriot

    I really enjoyed The Fighter Pilot's Daughter; although I was a little surprised at how in-depth and long the introduction was in the book. It left me wondering what was left to tell, but I soon found out, there was much more to tell. The Fighter Pilot's Daughter is an engrossing memoir that depicts growing up in the military and the Cold War. The book ended up being a small history lesson for me on this time that was happening at the very beginning of my life. The author describes growing up wi I really enjoyed The Fighter Pilot's Daughter; although I was a little surprised at how in-depth and long the introduction was in the book. It left me wondering what was left to tell, but I soon found out, there was much more to tell. The Fighter Pilot's Daughter is an engrossing memoir that depicts growing up in the military and the Cold War. The book ended up being a small history lesson for me on this time that was happening at the very beginning of my life. The author describes growing up with the feelings of being an outsider so vividly that the reader can almost slip inside the very shoes she wears. Her mother is the glue that holds the family together while the father is the shining star when he is home on leave. The story tells of a family greatly influenced by the Catholic Church, the Cold War and United States Army. The author goes on to describe the many moves required of military families and how difficult it is to fit in at new schools and bases. She continues with descriptions of the unspoken hierarchy of rank, the unspoken rules, and how this affects the children and their peers. The book is a very personal story and is well told. I love memoirs and this is one of the best I've read. Read an excerpt at www.mylifeonestoryatatime.com I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Naturalbri (Bri Wignall)

    I am not always a reader of memoirs, but I do enjoy them if they are about a person I like, subject I like or they are just so good at grabbing me I feel the urge to read them. This book falls in the latter category and it did it so very well. Just in reading the blurb, I was so convinced that this was going to be an interesting read that I had to have it. It was definitely a great choice, as the author has written a piece of work that is so gripping and interesting that you cannot put it down. I am not always a reader of memoirs, but I do enjoy them if they are about a person I like, subject I like or they are just so good at grabbing me I feel the urge to read them. This book falls in the latter category and it did it so very well. Just in reading the blurb, I was so convinced that this was going to be an interesting read that I had to have it. It was definitely a great choice, as the author has written a piece of work that is so gripping and interesting that you cannot put it down. True to the blurb, she has had a very unique and unconventional upbringing, but as you read it you start to wonder how many youngetrs of her time went through a similar upbringing. How many people you know experienced this unique way of life because of the years of war? It had me question things in life and always wanting to know more about hers. Throughout, the story is gripping and both a mixture of heartwarming and heart wrenching. The author doesn't hold back and really shows how it felt to be alive and young in those years, a time we don't often see written about from the eyes of a younger person. Overall, I was very impressed by this book and highly recommend reading it yourself, as it will really grab you and make you feel as though you knew her and what she lived through.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

    I have started really getting into these types of books. For me I get to read about other people's lives and different times. This is one of those books. The book is completely enjoyable and hard to put down once you start reading! I have started really getting into these types of books. For me I get to read about other people's lives and different times. This is one of those books. The book is completely enjoyable and hard to put down once you start reading!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gayle Pace

    This is a memoir about the Lawlor family, Jack, Frannie and four daughters. The family with the good and bad results from the Catholic Church, the Cold War and the U.S. Army, was a typical Army family. Sometimes the parents were were a good influence and other times, not so good. Anyone who has been raised in a military family knows that you move a lot, friends are made and then left, you never stayed in one school very long and a life of strangers and strange places. One daughter, Mary has grea This is a memoir about the Lawlor family, Jack, Frannie and four daughters. The family with the good and bad results from the Catholic Church, the Cold War and the U.S. Army, was a typical Army family. Sometimes the parents were were a good influence and other times, not so good. Anyone who has been raised in a military family knows that you move a lot, friends are made and then left, you never stayed in one school very long and a life of strangers and strange places. One daughter, Mary has great insightfulness about her family and how each of them had their own way of fitting in to the many different places and people they met during the years. the father was absent a lot since he had a successful military career and two stints in Vietnam, and many temporary duty assignments that ended up extended instead of temporary. This left the family on its own. Ms. Lawlor tells the reader of the way their lives were changed by the Cold War and what little peace there was. The author tells of some of the stress that invaded her life. The many, some important, lessons that the family learned while under the strict and challenging situations they went through. Ms. Lawlor did a fabulous job of presenting the memoir of a daughter growing up in the U.S. Army in the sixties. She describes her Fighter pilot father, her mother, Frannie who held the family together when he was gone and kept the home fires burning. The author writes about the one evil thing, Communism. It was there, although you couldn't see or feel it but it was hiding around the corner to jump out at any minute. What will happen when it does? War is bound to happen. The book was very interesting. The reader could place himself with the family. The book didn't read like a memoir. It was more like a reality check. So many varied emotions that the whole family constantly was going through. Ms. Lawlor, the author, must have experienced a lot of pain and mixed emotions through the years which I'm sure were somewhat worse in reality than written. A wonderful insight into a young girl who grew up in a military family, the good and the bad, and how she dealt with it to become a talented author. I received this book from the author, Mary Lawlor and Pump Up Your Book for my unbiased view of the book. No other compensation took place.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Clarissa

    Ms. Lawlor is telling her story of growing up in a miltary home during the cold war. Now to me, the Cold War is something that I’ve always read about in history books and listened to my parents talking about growing up during that age. It’s always been fascinating to me to hear my mother tell me about growing up in the 60’s, which was a wild time during US history. From Kennedy to the rumblings of war in Vietnam, to racism and the assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK Jr…it was tumultuous to put it Ms. Lawlor is telling her story of growing up in a miltary home during the cold war. Now to me, the Cold War is something that I’ve always read about in history books and listened to my parents talking about growing up during that age. It’s always been fascinating to me to hear my mother tell me about growing up in the 60’s, which was a wild time during US history. From Kennedy to the rumblings of war in Vietnam, to racism and the assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK Jr…it was tumultuous to put it lightly. The threat of Russia and nuclear war were very real and would be for a long time. Reading Ms. Lawlor’s story added more of another visual for me; the difference between that of the WWII generation and the baby boomers. The sixties were a wild time and while Ms. Lawlor adopted those ideals, her traditionalist father and she struggle to connect. She wrestled with the usual issues that even today we face, faith, family, politics, and what ideals to embrace as our own. This is a really strong and wonderful book that reads melodically. The pictures included were nice touches and I really enjoyed getting to know Ms. Lawlor and her family through her photos, her words, her thoughts and her feelings. I’m always keen to look into periods of times where I was not yet a twinkle in anyone’s eye. I particularly loved the passage that is shared above: “When he came home from his extended absences–missions, they were called–the rooms shrank around him. There wasn’t enough air. We didn’t breathe as freely as we did when he was gone, not because he was mean or demanding but because we worshipped him. Like satellites my sisters and I orbited him at a distance, waiting for the chance to come closer, to show him things we’d made, accept gifts, hear his stories.” Were Ms. Lawlor to write more books, I’d be delighted to read them because she is exceptionally gifted storyteller. Brava!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Tidwell

    FTC: I received a free copy of this book from PUYB in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own. Fighter Pilot’s Daughter by Mary Lawlor was a book I was never able to get into. I always try and find good things about books that I am reading, and it is rare for me to just not like anything about books. I can always seem to find something that I enjoyed about the book, but this time I really did FTC: I received a free copy of this book from PUYB in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own. Fighter Pilot’s Daughter by Mary Lawlor was a book I was never able to get into. I always try and find good things about books that I am reading, and it is rare for me to just not like anything about books. I can always seem to find something that I enjoyed about the book, but this time I really didn’t enjoy this book. I found that I was bored throughout most of the book. I had a really hard time finishing this book because I was so bored with it. I kept thinking while I was reading it was that it reminded me of a book that I would have read in high school. That is really all I can say about this book because like I said I didn’t like it. I am sure there are people who would really enjoy this book I just wasn’t one of them.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katie Stafford

    Lawlor tells her story of growing up in a military home during the cold war, individuation during the 60s, and personal wrestling with issues of family, faith, politics, and ideals. This is an important book because it gives a poignant perspective of the generation gap between the WWII generation and the baby-boomers. Well-written, I especially enjoyed the photographs, the descriptions of the 60s, and the powerful story of struggle and tension between family allegiances and personal ideals and v Lawlor tells her story of growing up in a military home during the cold war, individuation during the 60s, and personal wrestling with issues of family, faith, politics, and ideals. This is an important book because it gives a poignant perspective of the generation gap between the WWII generation and the baby-boomers. Well-written, I especially enjoyed the photographs, the descriptions of the 60s, and the powerful story of struggle and tension between family allegiances and personal ideals and values.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Scott Sherk

    This book is a terrific read. Mary Lawlor's experiences of the 60's were so different from mine, but ring so true. I was transported back to that time and the difficulty and joy of growing up in the 60's. Her experiences are illuminated by elegant research of the times that brings the adventures of her family into high relief. Her parents-- distant, self-absorbed, and demanding-- come alive as beautiful but flawed people doing their best. I became one of the family as I read this book, and I did This book is a terrific read. Mary Lawlor's experiences of the 60's were so different from mine, but ring so true. I was transported back to that time and the difficulty and joy of growing up in the 60's. Her experiences are illuminated by elegant research of the times that brings the adventures of her family into high relief. Her parents-- distant, self-absorbed, and demanding-- come alive as beautiful but flawed people doing their best. I became one of the family as I read this book, and I didn't want it to end. This is a great book about an American family!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    By coincidence, the author and I graduated from high school at almost the same time (1967 for her, 1968 for me). She lived at many locations, both in and out of the US. I lived in central Illinois, and -- until going to the Univ of Illinois -- never once heard someone speaking a language other than English. Yet, we both experienced social pressures that were much the same, and each had to blast our own paths after we were away from home. This was a well written and quite interesting biography. G By coincidence, the author and I graduated from high school at almost the same time (1967 for her, 1968 for me). She lived at many locations, both in and out of the US. I lived in central Illinois, and -- until going to the Univ of Illinois -- never once heard someone speaking a language other than English. Yet, we both experienced social pressures that were much the same, and each had to blast our own paths after we were away from home. This was a well written and quite interesting biography. Glad I read it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bathsheba Monk

    This book really tells what it was like to be a child of the cold war. Lawlor captures the essence of the confusion of young adulthood--being buffeted about by circumstances and personal conflicts (with her father) echoed in conflicts that were happening in the larger world. Very well written and realized. I highly recommend reading it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    ian baillie

  13. 4 out of 5

    Paul Fuhrman

  14. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jane Pizzolato

  16. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ann Riley

  18. 5 out of 5

    Penny (Literary Hoarders)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chris Cook

  20. 4 out of 5

    Susy

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joellen

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Dilworth

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Crowder

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mmars

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah at Sarah's Bookshelves

  28. 5 out of 5

    Larry Neff

  29. 5 out of 5

    Briana Hodge

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kara

  31. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lawlor

  32. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Benson

  33. 5 out of 5

    Dianne Casey

  34. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Angelo Stafford

  35. 4 out of 5

    Steve Alm

  36. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa Kings

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