National Archives at Kansas City

National Archives to host Alan Proctor author of The Sweden File


Kansas City (MO)…On Wednesday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m., the National Archives will host Alan Proctor who will discuss and sign copies of his book, The Sweden File: Memoir of an American Expatriate. A free light reception will precede the program at 6:00 p.m.

Bruce Proctor’s journey was a harrowing one – from top secret Pentagon war-policy insider to American deserter. Interpreting reconnaissance photos taken over Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, he concluded that the conflict was immoral, misguided and deceptive. He suddenly quit the Defense Intelligence Agency (which caused a furor) and joined the Air National Guard to avoid conscription. But his unit was activated, and within the year Bruce was AWOL in Sweden. This hybrid memoir is told in three narrative voices: letters from and to Bruce during 1968 - 1972, his reminiscences 40 years later and two years before his death, and his brother, Alan’s, reflections in 2014. Although he tried, Bruce never learned the language, necessary for a decent job. His letters and later recollections highlight the struggle: impoverishment; common laborer; counselor for disturbed children; taxi driver. He mastered yoga, yet was also mastered by drugs and alcohol. After four years of effort in a foreign culture, Bruce decided, “I must get out of here,” and immigrated to Canada. 

This program is presented as a part of the Remembering Vietnam Program Series. Requests for ADA accommodations must be submitted five business days prior to events. Reservations are requested for this free program. 


About the Author:

Alan Proctor’s poetry, fiction, and/or creative non-fiction have appeared in New Letters, I-70 Review, Chautauqua, The Laurel Review, and Kansas City Voices, among other journals. His memoir, which he co-authored with his late brother, Bruce, was chosen by the Kansas City Star as a “Best Read” for 2015.  His novel, Adirondack Summer, 1969, is forthcoming from Westphalia Press in 2018. Proctor is a former humor columnist, tree surgeon, university vice president, and classical guitarist. He lives in Kansas City with his wife and their cat, Beans.

The National Archives at Kansas City is home to historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by Federal agencies in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit    

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LPM/LE – KC18-06