Submitted by: Jeff Schnader

Category: Books

The Serpent Papers, a novel by Jeff Schnader, M.D., is the struggle of two best friends, one who goes to college and the other who volunteers to fight in Vietnam, as they confront the fear, violence and issues of conscience surrounding the Vietnam War, still the defining event of its generation. The war created a generational rift between those who fought and those who protested, which this novel aims to heal with rapprochement. The main character of the book, J-Bee, straddles both sides of this rift, and his embodiment of both sides brings them together in one unifying perspective in order to resolve contentiousness.

J-Bee, son of an admiral, is raised in a violent milieu in the 1960s and chooses to go to college in 1971 rather than join the military. Although he feels loyalty to his best friend fighting in Vietnam, he sympathizes with his girlfriend’s rationale against the war. Torn between supporting the war or protesting against it, his paradoxical feelings are fueled when his best friend, on furlough from Vietnam, visits him at school. With ratcheting tensions and bullhorns inciting students to protest, pro-war and anti-war factions collide in campus riots, and J-Bee makes the choice that comes to define his life.

“So what is conscience? How can we live with it, be true to it, examine it every moment of every day? The Serpent Papers addresses this. The vivid and real characters in this brilliant, masterful book bring us back to the days of that era when each of us had to take a stand. I loved this book. An important book, it is the best I’ve read in the past ten years.”
– Michael Smar, M.D., Bronze Star Recipient, Combat Medic, US Army, 1st Infantry, Vietnam, 1968-69

“A great read! Interesting and captivating! A vivid story of coming of age in the Vietnam era!"
–Thomas Ferguson, Former U. S. Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (for Presidents Bush & Obama)

“I could not put The Serpent Papers down. This book finds the human soul. It is Schnader‘s gift.”
–Sandra Fluck, Founder & Publisher, bookscover2cover

“The Serpent Papers is a rollicking ride of conflict through the trials & tribulations of a young American torn between his family, who want him to serve the nation honorably, and those opposed to serving, all of whom are competing for his very soul.”
—David Aldridge: 3 Purple Hearts and 2 Bronze Stars, Army Commendation Medal with "V" & 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Gold Palm Award, Meritorious Service Medal; US Army, Vietnam, 1966-67, 68-69, 70-71 (1000 days); Playwright: "Bonne Annee"

“The Serpent Papers will be enjoyed by readers who care about America. It’s a novel that is hard to put down--Schnader is a story teller.."
–Richard Nochimson, Professor Emeritus, Yeshiva University

"The Serpent Papers, an intriguing, engrossing tale, a captivating read cover to cover. It is a triumph!"
–Rob Stoller, Exec Producer, Art In Motion

About the author:

Jeff Schnader is an author of fiction living in Norfolk, Va. His novel THE SERPENT PAPERS was a short-listed finalist in the 2021 Blue Moon Novel Competition and will be published by The Permanent Press on Feb. 28, 2022. His short story, THE CHAMPION, won 1st prize in the 2020 Annual Quills Contest of the League of Utah Writers. As a physician, he became a full professor in 2005, winning numerous awards. He was a full-time veterans hospital employee for 22 years as chief of pulmonary and critical care and head of an ICU. Read about the book and the author at

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