Bergerud, Eric M. 1948-

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BERGERUD, Eric M. 1948-

PERSONAL: Born June 1, 1948, in Minneapolis, MN; son of Earl S. (a professor) and June (a writer) Bergerud; married; wife's name, Bonita (a teacher); children: David Lee. Education: University of Minnesota, B.A.; University of California—Berkeley, Ph.D.

ADDRESSES: Home—531 Kains, Albany, CA 94706. Office—Lincoln University, 401 15th St., Oakland, CA 94612. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Lincoln University, Oakland, CA, associate professor, beginning 1983, became professor of history and humanities, and chair of general education department. San Francisco PC Users Group, OS/2 SIG leader.

AWARDS, HONORS: Woodrow Wilson fellow; fellow at Center of Military History.

WRITINGS:

The Dynamics of Defeat: The Vietnam War in Hau Nghia Province, Westview (Boulder, CO), 1991.

Red Thunder, Tropic Lightning: The World of a Combat Division in Vietnam, Westview (Boulder, CO), 1993.

Touched with Fire: The Land War in the South Pacific, Viking (New York, NY), 1996.

Fire in the Sky: The Air War in the South Pacific (companion to Touched with Fire), Westview (Boulder, CO), 2000.

SIDELIGHTS: Eric M. Bergerud is the author of military histories focused on combat in Vietnam and the South Pacific. His writings on the Vietnam War include The Dynamics of Defeat: The Vietnam War in Hau Nghia Province and Red Thunder, Tropic Lightning: The World of a Combat Division in Vietnam, published in 1991 and 1993, respectively. Bergerud has also released a set of books detailing military activity in the South Pacific during the early 1940s. His first volume, Touched with Fire: The Land War in the South Pacific, was published in 1996 and, as the subtitle suggests, discusses military land campaigns during World War II. Several years after Touched with Fire was released, Bergerud's account of the war's air campaign in the South Pacific was published. With Fire in the Sky: The Air War in the South Pacific, noted a Publishers Weekly critic, Bergerud "attempted to cover both sides … fairly." Bergerud's history maintains a previously argued position—that Japan's efforts were "doomed by poor leadership and … military ethic," related Mel D. Lane in a Library Journal review describing Fire in the Sky as "repetitious and overly long." Despite its "unoriginal thesis," judged Lane, Bergerud's work "offers new perspectives." Both Lane and the Publishers Weekly critic recognized Bergerud's use of participant interviews as one of the volumes' primary strengths. According to the critic for Publishers Weekly, Bergerud's text is "refreshingly multidimensional" and "meticulously documented." The historian's writing expresses both "thoroughness" and "boundless energy," observed Lane. Fire in the Sky is a "fine history" that "[clearly shows] the perils and rewards of the Pacific campaign," asserted the Publishers Weekly critic.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

periodicals

Booklist, January 15, 1993, p. 874.

Journal of American History, September, 1994, p. 816.

Library Journal, February 15, 1993, p. 177; January, 2000, p. 131.

New York Times Book Review, April 11, 1993, p. 12.

Publishers Weekly, January 4, 1991, p. 64; January 25, 1993, p. 73; December 20, 1999, p. 71.*

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