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Robert Mason was born in 1942 and grew up on farms in New Jersey and Florida. His boyhood dream of becoming a pilot was finally realized when he earned his private pilot's license prior to his graduation from high school. After studying at the University of Florida from 1960 to 1962 and then working at a variety of jobs for the next two years, he enlisted in the army in 1963. He flew more than 1,000 helicopter combat missions in Vietnam before being discharged in 1968. He is now best-known as the author of Chickenhawk, universally regarded as one of the best books on the Vietnam war and a classic memoir of soldiering.
"Very simply the best book so far about Vietnam." -St. Louis Post-Dispatch "[Chickenhawk]'s vertical plunge into the thickets of madness will stune readers." -Time "Mason's gripping memoir . . . proves again that reality is more interesting, and often more terrifying, than fiction." -Los Angeles Times "More than any other writer, Mason has been able to capture the feeling of what it was like to be there." -The Philadelphia Inquirer "A hypnotic narrative." -The New York Times "Better than any movie about the war." -Boston Herald