Louise Esola’s poignant story of disaster and injustice near the close of the Vietnam War, American Boys, won’t hit the stores until August, but it’s already attracting plenty of attention . . .

American Boys is an important story, beautifully told. Long after you finish this book, you will remember the men of the USS Frank E. Evans, and understand why the fight to include the names of its 74 lost crew members continues.

 Kristen Graham, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist with the Philadelphia Inquirer

With stellar reporting and strong writing, Louise Esola has rescued a largely forgotten incident of the Vietnam war: the sinking of the destroyer Frank E. Evans in 1969. American Boys traces the sailors from hometowns across America to their service aboard the ill-fated ship, giving the sailors the respect that their country has denied them. American Boys could easily become a classic story of men and war.

—Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times

American Boys is that rare offering, and deserves its own commendation as a piece of powerful research into a segment of Vietnam history that many have tried to bury over the decades … one that deserves to not be forgotten.

—Midwest Book Review

With Louise Esola’s powerful storytelling, American Boys uncovers a lost chapter of history full of grace and determination. A compelling read.

—Gregory A. Freeman, best-selling author of Sailors to the End:
 The Deadly Fire on the USS
Forrestal and the Heroes Who Fought It


Louise Esola has done a remarkable job of research in putting together this forgotten story of 74 young men who lost their lives on the USS Frank E. Evans during the Vietnam War. Ms. Esola, writing with conviction and compassion, does a long-neglected service to the memories of those killed in the line of duty. As a Vietnam War veteran myself, I salute Louise Esola and all those who have given their time and energy to keep alive the memories of the fallen.

—Best-selling author and Vietnam veteran Nelson DeMille


This is the story of one of the greatest—still unresolved—tragedies of the Vietnam War, one the U.S. Navy has pretended had nothing to do with it. American Boys explores the realities of Vietnam naval operations and, in evocative prose and stunning detail, it reports the sinking of the American destroyer Frank E. Evans, along with the decades-long struggle of survivors and families to get the Navy to acknowledge the truth of the matter. This book should be read and those Evans sailors commemorated.

—John Prados, best-selling author of Vietnam:
 The History of an Unwinnable War, 1945–1975


Louise Esola’s finely wrought account of a Vietnam-era disaster at sea and its unending impact on the drowned sailors’ loved ones will echo in your mind long after you’ve put it down. This beautiful, heart-breaking book should be required reading at the Pentagon and the White House.

—Jack Cheevers, author of Act of War: Lyndon Johnson,
 North Korea, and the Capture of the Spy Ship “