About the Book

I have carefully gathered together, and present to you here, everything I could discover about poor Werther’s story. You will thank me for doing so, I’m sure. His mind and character can’t but win your admiration and love, his destiny your tears.

On March 29, 1968, 1st Lt. Norman Lane was killed during an enemy mortar attack while serving with the Marine Corps in Vietnam. Now, 55 years later, Norman Lane "at last has the biography he deserves," as his close friend and confidante Lynn Schiro Fitzwater writes in her endorsement of A Time Past, Or What Might Have Been . . . The Odyssey of Norman Lane. Lynn goes on to describe the Vanderbilt University graduate, law school student, and Brownsville, Tennessee high school teacher as "an extraordinary person in every way." Morton Holbrook, who met Norman during the inaugural Vanderbilt-in-France term in Aix-en-Provence, especially remembers his closest friend’s "infectious spirit, his vast reserves of energy, his sense of humor, his wide range of knowledge, and his desire and interest to learn more." Referred to in his youth as "brilliant," "a deep thinker," and an "instigator," one colleague from their Officer Candidates School class at Quantico wondered what had attracted Norman, "in some ways a fish out of water," to the Marine Corps.

A Time Past, Or What Might Have Been . . . The Odyssey of Norman Lane chronicles the journey of the Vanderbilt English major who joined the Marines and went to war.

The color paperback is presently being offered by the author at a special price. The professional photographer who assisted the author with the preparation of the photographs that appear in the book is a Vietnam veteran who served with the 11th Engineer Battalion, 3rd Marine Division. In his words, "Vietnam was a color war." This book differs from most comparison titles in that color photographs and maps have been printed in premium color.

All proceeds from the sale of the book go to the Norman Lane Jr. Memorial Project (, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by the author that works to promote a deeper comprehension of the Vietnam War.

Selected product details for the paperback follow:

Publisher: Independently published (March 16, 2023)
Language: English
Paperback (color): 699 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8407660750
Item Weight: 2.53 pounds
Dimensions: 6 x 1.65 x 9 inches
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