Robert E. Townsend

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Robert Townsend was born and raised on a farm in northern Wisconsin and writes of a life he has witnessed.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 1969 at the height of the Vietnam protests, Townsend flew 135 combat missions in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. In early 1972, he transferred to Berlin, Germany as a signals intelligence officer, then to the National Security Agency before returning as a war planner at HQ USAFE, Ramstein. From 1982-1989 he was deputy chief, Air Force Intelligence Agency, counter-deception directorate (housed at CIA). He is among some of the few men in America familiar with the war of ruse and stratagem between the US and the USSR.

Slavic on his mother’s side, deep-south redneck on the paternal side, his parents managed money poorly and told stories well. Spare, pithy, lasting the duration of a Pall Mall cigarette, the tales were meant first to entertain while teaching. No one is completely useless, he was told. They can always serve as a bad example. His stories and novels arise from family history, fables and stories told around the kitchen table as well as his own experiences in America’s late 20th century ambiguous wars, deceptions and counter-deceptions.

Townsend comes from a long line––father and grandfather, great-grandfather––of American soldiers. From his father the lesson was that his people were born fighting and women were mysterious creatures.

He learned this lesson––storytellers are to be treasured; liars are vexing and exhausting, best avoided. But when liars are armed, crazed and planning Armageddon, ambiguity in matters of war and peace, life and death, are the vexation of his century.

Fluent in Russian and German with a combat vocabulary in French, Townsend is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin (BA), studied at Freies Universitat Berlin (Certifikat), and received his MA from Georgetown University. After retirement he turned his attention back to writing, a passion waylaid by life and work. He has worked steadily since then on novels and essays.

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Thirteen Coats
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 25,970. Language: English. Published: March 24, 2014 by Robert E. Townsend. Categories: Nonfiction » History » European, Essay » Literature
Evgenii Belodubrovskii's Thirteen Coats is a recollection and meditation on Leningrad–St. Petersburg from his birth in 1941 on the eve of the German invasion to the present. Thus will the Russian confront Russia's twentieth century traumas––two world wars and the long civil war that endured from the October Revolution in 1918 until Stalin's death in1953–one narrative at a time.


The Wounded
Series: The Long War, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 70,880. Language: American English. Published: October 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA, Fiction » Adventure » Men’s adventure
“The Wounded” is the second book of Townsend’s The Long War Series. Ricky Belisle travels across the south and west of America, a minor league baseball player, seeking redemption before his family, his people, his lifelong friend, Marie Jeanne Charbonneau.
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 61,520. Language: Russian. Published: June 10, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure, Fiction » Coming of age
“Ледоход” - повествование о подростках, растущих в пустынной области между верхним полуостровом Мичигана и севером Висконсина на американском Среднем Западе. Это - трогательная история дружбы детства, перерастающей в глубокую любовь.
Spirit Falls
Series: The Long War, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 68,080. Language: American English. Published: July 16, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA, Fiction » Adventure » Action
Spirit Falls is the first novel in Townsend's The Long War series. It is an affecting story of childhood friendship growing into profound love, a coming-of-age novel set in the empty and hardscrabble landscape of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

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