Memoirs



 Catch-22 with radiation!   Area 51 meets Dr. Strangelove!

"A gripping memoir leavened by humor, loyalty and pride of accomplishment. A tribute to the resilience, courage and patriotism of the American soldier." —Henry Kissinger

Operation Redwing, the biggest and baddest of America's atmospheric nuclear weapons test regimes, mixed saber rattling with mad science, while overlooking the cataclysmic human, geopolitical and ecological effects.  But mostly, it just messed with guys' heads.

Major Maxwell, who put Safety First, Second and Third. Except when he didn't.
Berko, the wise-cracking Brooklyn Dodgers fan forced to cope with the H-bomb and his mother's cookies.
Tony, who thought military spit and polish plus uncompromising willpower made him an exception.
Carl Duncan, who clung to his girlfriend's photos and a dangerous secret.
Major Vanish, who did just that.

In THE ATOMIC TIMES, Michael Harris welcomes readers into the U.S. Army's nuclear family where the F-words were Fallout and Fireball. In a distinctive narrative voice, Harris describes his H-bomb year with unforgettable imagery and insight into the ways isolation and isotopes change men for better and for worse.

"One of the best books I've ever read, combining elements of Catch 22 and Dr. Strangelove in a memoir both hilarious and tragic.  A 'must' read, destined to become a classic." —John G. Stoessinger, Ph.D. (Harvard), winner of the Bancroft Prize for International Affairs, member of the Council on Foreign Relations

"Harris has seamlessly presented a colorful cast of characters, and a shockingly honest depiction of his experience.  The effect is at once deeply personal and politically profound."
—Senator Charles Schumer

"Harris' frank and disturbing descriptions of the criminally irresponsible proceedings on Eniwetok, and the physical and mental pain he and others endured, constitute shocking additions to atomic history.  Amazingly enough, given his ordeal, Harris remains healthy." —Booklist

"Harris uses a chatty, dead-pan voice that highlights the horrifying absurdity of life on the island:  the use of Geiger counters to monitor scrambled eggs' radiation level, three-eyed fish swimming in the lagoon, corroded, permanently open windows that fail to keep out the radioactive fall-out and men whose toenails glow in the dark.  (The money initially earmarked for enlisted men's goggles was diverted to buy new furniture for the colonel's house. 'Goggles are important,' Harris is told. 'But the colonel's furniture is important, too.')  An entertaining read in the bloodline of Catch-22, Harris achieves the oddest of victories: a funny, optimistic story about the H-bomb." —Publisher's Weekly

"Brilliantly conceived, elegantly rendered and persuasively authentic." —Robert B. Parker, bestselling author of the Spenser and Jesse Stone series




The Beatles, Ed Sullivan and the Author

Ed first learns I have written a book when I hand him a finished manuscript. Naively, I imagine he'll be flattered, but when he reads it, he blows his stack and stops speaking to me.  He's furious. I am revealing more about him, more backstage gossip and more details about the inner workings of the show than he wants made public.

Fortunately for me and for Always On Sunday, Ed simmers down eventually and decides my unauthorized biography is "magnificent." He promotes it in his newspaper column, in interviews and in joint television appearances with me.  Ed helps turn the book he initially hated into a national bestseller.

During my 11 years on the Sullivan show, no one created more excitement than the Beatles. February 7, 1964: Kennedy Airport.  Their first trip to the United States.  The screaming fans!  The haircuts!  The sassy answers!  Welcome to New York!  The entire country focuses on this place and these young men.  Including me.  I am meeting their plane. A CBS public relations executive for years. Now the network's press representative on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

Ed was warned not to sign the Beatles: "You're crazy! No British group has ever made it big in this country." A month before they arrive, they are still unknown in America. Every reporter I contact turns down my invitation to go with me to JFK.

Two weeks later, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" rockets to the top of the charts.  Beatlemania crosses the Atlantic, and I am besieged by thousands of ticket requests. Reporters plead to join me at JFK.

On February 14, I greet the Beatles again, this time in Miami for a second Sullivan show.  I do my best to stay out of the way but, thanks to papparazzi determined to cash in on every shot of the Fab Four, I appear in photos published around the world (including the NY Post). In the captions I am called a Beatle, a case of mistaken identity I still laugh about with my wife, best-selling novelist Ruth Harris.

When I return to New York, Ed searches for me backstage. One stagehand is impressed.  "Ed must really like you," he says.  "You've only worked for him for four years, and he already knows your name."


Ed And The Celebrities Who Loved Him -- Or Not!

Why did Frank Sinatra take out an ad saying, "Ed, you're sick, sick, sick."?
You'll find out in Always On Sunday.

Why did Mary Tyler Moore sue "The Ed Sullivan Show"?
You'll find out in Always On Sunday.

Why did CBS cancel Bob Dylan's appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" -- against Ed's wishes?
You'll find out in Always On Sunday.

Elvis' fans kissed him where?  Ed was stunned when Elvis explained. What did Elvis say?
You'll find out in Always On Sunday

Reviewers Rave!

"One of the most intriguing show business books to come along in a long time.  It's great, very well written and tells it like it is.  I knew Sullivan for years and consider Harris' book an accurate sketch of a complex man.  Well done!" —Chicago Sun Times

"Honestly told with remarkable frankness and genuine inside knowledge.  In the field of show business biographies, Always On Sunday has secured a place on the shelf reserved for the very best." —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Always On Sunday:  An Inside View..... And it is inside!  The book is studded with backstage gossip about showbiz greats." —Houston Post

"Highly readable and surprisingly candid....A remarkable success story." —Miami Herald

"A portrait, warts and all.  From the very outset, Harris disarms the reader." —San Diego Union

"Delightful!" —Charlotte News

"Irresistible!" —Boston Globe




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SAVE! Two national bestselling memoirs in one boxed set!

The Beatles and The Bomb

Thanks to my job as Press Rep on the Ed Sullivan Show, I was the guy who welcomed John, Paul, George and Ringo to the U.S. on their first trip to America.

Thanks to the U.S. Army, I was turned into a human guinea pig and sent to the South Pacific to watch nukes explode.

Here are two tell-alls—one about the gossipy back stage world of celebrities and show biz, the other about a desolate army post where the F-words were Fallout and Fireball.



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