1976 anti-Vietnam memoir was made into a film starring Tom Cruise
A foreward of Bruce Springsteen talking about Ron Kovic’s Born On The Fourth Of July anti–Vietnam War memoir has been posted online.
The 1976 book, which was made into an Oscar winning film starring Tom Cruise in 1989, details Kovic’s period in the Vietnam War as a fierce, pro-war patriot before he became an outspoken peace activist after an injury paralysed him and he returned home to a cold reception.
In the foreword, which you can listen to here, Springsteen details how he discovered the book in 1978 – two years after its original publication – and “devoured it”.
Then, by coincidence, he met and befriended Kovic who brought Springsteen to a veterans’ centre in Venice, California. The experience inspired Springsteen to stage a concert to benefit the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation and the Mental Health Association in Los Angeles in 1981.
Springsteen also drew inspiration from the author’s stories for his own track ‘Born In The U.S.A.’ and ‘Shut Out The Light’.
His foreward features on a new audiobook edition of the book, which will be released on America’s Independence Day on July 4 to mark the book’s 40th anniversary. It also features the narration of voice actor Holter Graham. A 20-minute sample of Graham reading the book’s first chapter can also be streamed below.
Springsteen, recently announced that every show of his current European tour will become a live album.
His tour with The E Street Band saw recent shows at Dublin Croke Park, Glasgow Hampden Park and Coventry Ricoh Arena, before finishing at Wembley Stadium on June 5. The tour has since moved on to the Netherlands before finishing its European shows with a gig in Zurich on July 31.