The Dead Drink First

The Dead Drink First

Like many veterans of his era, Sgt. Steve Maharidge never talked about “the good war.” On the surface, the Maharidges were a normal working-class family in the suburbs of Cleveland. But behind closed doors, even the most mundane moments could trigger Steve’s violent, traumatic episodes, which left his son Dale searching for clues to his past. And yet, there was only one: a black-and-white photograph of Steve with another soldier that hung permanently on the wall in the basement.

In The Dead Drink First, Dale Maharidge, now a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist, recounts his 18-year quest to learn everything he could about the man in the photo with the hopes of discovering a side of his late father he never knew. The result was something Dale never expected: Not only would he learn the man’s name - Herman Walter Mulligan - but he would help locate his remains and ultimately bring him home 74 years after he was killed in action.

In this deeply personal audio documentary, Dale retraces his journey through never-before-heard conversations with WWII veterans, their children, and the team of strangers that assembled to find Mulligan and bury him on American soil. In an epic search for a lost Marine, Dale finds forgiveness, lifelong friendships, and uncovers the rich, uniquely American truth about how and why we repatriate our fallen soldiers.

Please note: This story features explicit language and references to domestic abuse, violence, and war that may be upsetting to some listeners. Discretion is advised.

©2019 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC.

Title:The Dead Drink First
Edition Language:English
ISBN:null
Format Type:

    The Dead Drink First Reviews

  • Erin

    My 3000th "read" on Goodreads Audiobook narrated by author. 3h 31mins 47 secsMy Audible original selection for June was the type of audio documentary that I just love to listen to and wholeheartedly r...

  • Douglas

    What an excellent story. 18 years of trying to identify and bring home a soldier who died in the Battle of Okinawa culminates in a beautiful ending. Hearing family members and surviving veterans share...

  • Jay DeMoir

    A touching story. glad the author included voices of the people he interviewed. gave the story more depth.powerful...

  • Cammie

    Interesting history and research not only about WWII, but also about PTSD and TBI. Dale Maharidge's telling narration included actual audio footage of interviews from his research and inquiry. While t...

  • Addi

    Beautiful. Just an amazingly affecting look at the survivors, the victims and the resonances of 'the good war' (no such thing, as the soldiers would tell you). Narrated with respect for the dead and p...

  • Tom Walsh

    This is an amazing story of a persistent search for a missing WWII soldier over the course of many years. The most interesting parts to me were not so much the effort to recover Mulligan but the inter...

  • Barbara

    “The Dead Drink First” is an original audible production written by and narrated by the Pulitzer Prize winner Dale Maharidge. It’s three and a half hours long, and one of the most profound memoi...

  • Linda Kalies

    An interesting and poignant story but I didn’t care for the use of the recorded interviews. Hard to hear and understand. ...

  • Thomas

    Fascinating and in the painful odyssey.I can relate to this. Though not quite as violent, my dad was also damaged by that war. He was filled with rage and refused to talk about it. He wasn't in the Pa...

  • James

    My father was a Korean War veteran, an ex-POW. I’ll never understand what he went through, mostly because he never talked about it. Some of his fellow ex-POWs told me some things, but my father didn...