My Father's War Stories As Told By Toys

Tom Ahern

The house was small, built on the GI Bill. In its knotty-pine kitchen, beneath the gaze of countless wooden eyes darkened by cigarette smoke, “My dad told war stories.”
Scores of war stories, for endless hours, for years, in unusual detail.
Tom Ahern has authored a dozen books. Today, he is an internationally recognized expert on charity communications. He also won an NEA Fellowship in fiction.
This is his untamed memoir of growing up in an Irish-Scottish-American, Catholic-Protestant household ... where any mention of sex was taboo, men were seen as weak, women as strong, and religious warfare arrived with supper.
Tom's dad was a 1919 flu-epidemic orphan. Survived the Great Depression. Survived combat in World War 2. Survived a lifetime in a factory. Survived a son who turned on him, as the Vietnam War drifted into “nuts.” Survived a wife who rose to the management of a daily newspaper, then killed herself. This is one insider’s perspective.

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“One of the most extraordinary autobiographies I’ve ever encountered. It is unimpeachably honest, insightful, intimate, touching. The interpolation of war stories and war facts works and will have particular meaning for people of my generation, whose childhood was penetrated by the war in so many ways. An exceptional book.” Robert Wexelblatt, professor and author of The Posthumous Papers of Sidney Fein

Tom Ahern’s literary career peaked abruptly in 1984 when the New York Times said a few nice things about his first full book of short stories. He graduated from Brown University with a MA in Creative Writing, and for more than three decades now, he’s paid his bills as a successful commercial copywriter.
Then he began writing “how-to-improve” books that became industry standards: his 7th fundraising book will appear in 2019.
In 2016, the New York Times mentioned Ahern again. “Tom Ahern ... is one of the country’s most sought-after creators of fund-raising messages.” This is his first non-how-to-improve book in quite some time.