And the Sparrow Fell
by Robert J. Mrazek
Pub Date 15 Sep 2017
And the Sparrow Fell is a coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War. Former U.S. Congressman Robert J. Mrazek tells the story of a wealthy family on the north shore of Long Island in the spring of 1967. Cornell undergraduate Rick Ledbetter goes through a rocky journey of self-discovery as both his family and his country disintegrate around him. Rick is a young rake in the mold of his father, Travis Ledbetter, a Medal of Honor–winning World War II navy pilot. Rick has been accepted into the swift boat program at Naval Officer Candidate School and will be heading for combat in Vietnam.
Rick’s brother Tom, also a Cornell undergraduate, is a young man of true conscience who, because of his Christian faith, is morally opposed to the war. He has rejected conscientious-objector status. Rick meets and falls in love with Kate Kurshan, who is Tom’s girlfriend. She is also a Cornell student who opposes the war. Their three lives intersect as Rick, who becomes a war hero, discovers the human cost of war, while Tom, who has great moral courage, puts his life on the line in protest of the Vietnam War at a terrible personal cost.
“Bob Mrazek has a wonderful feel for mood and character and time and place—all the ingredients that make his And the Sparrow Fell such a compelling novel. It grabbed me from the first page and kept getting deeper and more powerful.”—David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of They Marched into Sunlight
“And the Sparrow Fell describes in touching detail the ‘honorable wounds of war’ of those who fought to win and those who fought to end the war in Vietnam. Bob Mrazek lived much of what he has written, and his reflection is a timely reminder of the meaning of honor and courage.”—Dick Durbin, U.S. Senator from Illinois
“And the Sparrow Fell gives as wonderful and accurate account of Cornell in those important years as anything I know. Bob Mrazek provides badly needed insights into the diverse characters of the time, including the students who supported the Vietnam War in the mid-1960s, and the diverse campus.”—Walter LaFeber, Marie Underhill Noll Professor Emeritus of History and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow in the Department of History, Cornell University