Monica Reads: ‘The Nightingale’s Song’ Still A Page Turner

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Monica Drahonovsky

Monica Drahonovsky

The Nightingale’s Song
Robert Timberg

Monica Reads
By Monica Drahonovsky

Good Day to you all!

At a diner in Connecticut that also served as a book exchange, I picked a book up to flip through while I waited for the meal to arrive.  Zap!  I was hooked.  I ate a delicious turkey dinner with all the fixin’s and took the 1995 book “The Nightingale’s Song” home for a good read.

Robert Timberg is a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy, a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War and was a reporter for the Baltimore Sun.  He was a White House correspondent during the Reagan administration.

In this book, he examines the lives of five men who were all warriors during the unwinnable Vietnam War — John McCain, Robert McFarlane, James Webb, Oliver North and John Poindexter.  They are young men who were involved in the times either “for” or “against” an action that took the lives of 50,000 young men and caused a division between the men and women who went to war and the ones who stayed, so-called, safe at home in America.

These five men, young graduates from the Naval Academy, were sharp-minded and all were warriors. They all get involved in the war, but first we get to know them as individuals.  The author details their lives and gives the reader an idea of how their minds work.  We get to read about their experiences during the war and after.  All ended up working for the United States government.  Their educations shaped them for the military and war.  Their war experiences shaped them for the careers they would later pursue.

They all ended up working around President Reagan, their nightingale, around whom they all revolved.  Reagan called the Vietnam War “a noble cause” and he made use of their expertise.  He showcased them to the nation by appointing them to high-ranking posts. You will learn about Iran Contra and its messy fallout.  You will learn a lot about the man sitting at the president’s desk.

You will also learn a great deal about that era.

This book is a page-turner!  If you are interested in the history of that time, you will be amazed.  Get the book at the library and READ it!

Monica Reads is’s latest column. It is written by Monica Drahonovsky who is known for her love of history and her lifelong love for reading. She has a bachelor’s degree in History, with a minor in English, along with teaching credentials. “My years of reading for leisure and pleasure have given me the insight to read a book and analyze the author’s baggage, cargo and ability to write the language of his/her mind and utilize the gift of prose to educate and entertain the reader.  Go get a book, read it and enjoy the adventure.” Contact Monica at

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