The Admiral Made a Deal
New York, NY (PRWEB) October 15, 2009
What's a nice Jewish boy from Argentina doing, hidden in the female dormitory of a clackety old freighter traversing the oceans on his way to the Holy Land?
The answer, for Adolfo Neufeld, is starting his highly ambivalent relationship with the state of Israel--a nation barely three years old when the author decides to see for himself what promise the new Jewish homeland holds in store for a teenage intellectual. Are the kibbutzim of the incipient state forging a new generation of redeemers? Neufeld's next trip back--twenty-three years later, on an El Al 747 ferrying Jewish volunteers to the Yom Kippur War--lands him in the eye of the storm. In fear of a new holocaust he cries: "Never again!" His maverick actions while in search of his own identity, is one of the many wonderful threads that make To War in a Red Subaru (Jorge Pinto Books, Paperback, $22.95) such a richly readable and compelling memoir.
Subtitled "A Volunteer's Chronicle of the Yom Kippur War Between Stories and Dreams," the work in large part reads like a feverish dream in which Neufeld hop-scotches across time, from the Peronist Argentina of his childhood to the raining shrapnel of the Golan Heights, to his escape from the Las Vegas mafia and his adventures in the mountain villages between Bolivia and Peru. Even the title, Neufeld's driving himself to the war's front lines in his sister's borrowed car, evokes war's juxtaposition of the mundane and the deadly, a surrealistic mélange that the author is still able to make palpable, thirty-five years later.
No dream, however, can insulate Neufeld from the horrors of battle, from rolling, wounded, into the shelter of a bunker as shrapnel flies and young men die. For in the end--as charming and richly drawn as it is--To War in a Red Subaru is as much about how nations and men make the journey to war in ways that seem unremarkable--only to end up mired in a hell that they'll never forget. While richly evocative and oddly transporting, To War in a Red Subaru leaves the breathless reader little doubt about Neufeld's horror at senseless mutilation and young men killing young men they've never met. For, this is story about a pacifist's lifelong struggle to come to terms with his impulses--a battle that weighs his peace-loving principles against his horror at the holocaust and the imperatives required of someone who boldly declares, "Never again!" It's a struggle that reverberates today--making the problems in the Middle East intractable. In presenting such weighty issues through the filter of a young idealist who crisscrosses the world, builds his fortune, and never stops searching his soul, Neufeld brings a sorely needed level of humanity and insight to one of the world's most stubborn and seemingly insolvable conundrums. To War in a Red Subaru is a literary accomplishment with meaningful echoes--both personal and existential--for generations past and generations to come.
"A thoroughly engaging story. . . . Neufeld has had many adventures, but he does not sugar-coat the horrors of war and the imperatives of the Israeli commitment, "Never again", to survival in the hostile Middle East. It is an exciting, provocative, and inspirational reading experience."
"To War in a Red Subaru captivates from the very first page. The reader follows the footsteps of author Adolfo Neufeld as he volunteers to defend Israel against the invading Arab armies on Yom Kippur 1973. This is a contemporary hero's journey. Neufeld is the penniless, short, asthmatic kid from Argentina who sets out to live his dreams. We find him established in New York City, owner of the Café Latino Americano, Pan y Canto. The narrative takes him to the front line of the war on the Syrian border. He remembers his earlier adventures, his escapes from death. The stories read like fiction, crafted with excellent description and dialogue, with imagination and generosity. The characters burst with life. We grow fond of them; even the convicts have a heroic side. There is goodness and forgiveness. Neufeld's life experiences are extraordinary and deserve every page of this book--pages that are peppered with coincidences, with the synchronicity that reveals the underlying oneness of humanity."
--Susan Tiberghien, author, founder and director of the Geneva Writers Group
"From the Andes and Argentina, to New York, Israel and Syria, in peace and in war, in poverty and affluence, the life of Adolfo Neufeld could scarcely fail to make for an exciting read!"
--Thomas E. Kennedy, PhD, author, editor
"Adolfo Neufeld is a passionate storyteller who has led an amazing life. To War in a Red Subaru tells of one remarkable, youthful episode when he threw himself into one of the past century's epic events. I can think of nobody better than Adolfo to bring this to life again and touch our hearts."
--Marcus Ferrar, journalist and coauthor of Slovenia 1945
"Some people have read about life and events. Neufeld has lived them on three continents. He touches on the Yom Kippur war, his experiences in a culture-promoting café in New York and so much more. He has found shelter in beauty and love as he trundled between horror and death and emerges with his soul intact."
--D-L Nelson, author of three novels
Gulotta Communications, Inc.
About the Author:
Adolfo Neufeld was born in Argentina. In 1951 he gave up his medical studies and, penniless, ventured out to see the world. For three years he traveled around the world hitchhiking across Europe, Brazil, and Israel, moving between continents as a sailor or a fisherman.
With ten borrowed dollars, he jumped ship in New York City and worked as a bus boy, delivery boy, sandwich man, and door-to-door salesman in Spanish Harlem. He tried his hand as a language teacher, retailer, wholesaler of handicrafts, importer and designer of leather goods. In 1973 he volunteered to fight in the Yom Kippur War. In 1995 he retired to Switzerland and began a career as a writer. He is now polishing "The Admiral Made a Deal," an extended historical novel, a fifty-year saga of an idealist starting in Argentina and ending in Fidel's Cuba and New York.