Dennis McDougal
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Award Winning Journalist, Dennis McDougal Pens Novel About VietNam War, THE CANDLESTICKMAKER

Rub a dub dub
Three men in a tub
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker
The candlestickmaker
And all of them lost at sea. (Mother Goose)

“They can teach you whatever you need to make war, but you learn to make peace on your own.” 

During the 1960’s “Summer of Love,” three sailors on a deadly odyssey into a harrowing war that never should have been fought seal a friendship that outlasts betrayal, madness, and death itself. In The Candlestickmaker by award-winning journalist and author Dennis McDougal, an unlikely trio of college dropouts join the Navy to avoid the bloody ground war we know from films like Platoon and Apocalypse Now, only to find that they must band together to survive aboard a U.S. Navy spy ship which wages a very different kind of war – one that pits the military as much against its own crew as against an invisible enemy that lurks somewhere beyond the endless horizon of the Tonkin Gulf.

The Candlestickmaker explores America’s first psychedelic war, experienced aboard a floating laboratory where sailors are guinea pigs as well as warriors. From the bars and brothels of Hong Kong, Japan and the Philippines to the home front where the girls they left behind are becoming women, the comrades-in-arms of The Candlestickmaker put away childish things and, one by one, learn that the only way to get by in war or in peace, is with a little help from your friends.

The Candlestickmaker recalls an era when the government condemned drug use at the same time that it sponsored mind-control experiments, and Timothy Leary preached turning on, tuning in, and dropping out to a legion of disillusioned youth. Dennis McDougal’s fictional account of his own days in the Navy duringVietnam will expand readers’ minds and have them, once again, questioning authority on all levels. Like Ernie Brigham, Peter Chandler and Wilson Jones, three men in a tub known as the USS Argosy, come take a trip on their magic swirlin’ ship where all memory and fate are driven deep beneath the waves of theSouth China Sea. It is a journey you will never forget.
The Candlestickmaker is the first novel written by Dennis McDougal, well known for his journalism and reporting with the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and CNN. The author of several non-fiction true crime classics as well as bestselling biographies of Jack Nicholson, MCA/Universal Pictures chief Lew Wasserman, and Los Angeles Times publisher Otis Chandler, McDougal is currently at work on Things Have Changed: The Lives of Bob Dylan, to be published by John Wiley & Sons in 2012.

Book details:

Title:  The Candlestickmaker

Author:  Dennis McDougal

Publication: January 19, 2011

  • Paperback: 374 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456509039
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456509033
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Available through online and local book retailers.
  • Available on Kindle and all other digital forms

Dennis McDougal’sreporting has taken him to the top of San Francisco’s Mt. Tamalpais for sunrise services with Richard Gere and the Dalai Lama, Rodney King’s rap music debut, Ethiopia and Sudan with Harry Belafonte, and Dr. Ruth Westheimer’s Washington Heights bedroom for an intimate discussion of the elements of good sex. He has interviewed dozens of celebrated men and women who have influenced our lives: pop stars, politicians, moguls and cultural icons. Over the years, his journalism has won over 50 honors, including a John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University where he spent a year teaching and studying in Japan and Canada, as well as at the Palo Alto campus. A native of Southern California, he currently lives on a diet of caffeine, baby back ribs and the blues in Memphis, Tennessee.  

DENNIS MCDOUGAL is available for national and local media interviews.  Please call ImaginePublicity (843.808.0859) at your earliest convenience to discuss media opportunities.

Download Press Information:   MediaKit

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