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What It Is Like to Go to War


What It Is Like to Go to War Cover

ISBN13: 9780802119926
ISBN10: 0802119921
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Craig Ensz, July 24, 2012 (view all comments by Craig Ensz)
Marlantes has expertly taken on the subject of wars, the people who fight them and the psychological and social ramifications of them, now and in the future. His personal stories and confessions bring a personal side to a scholarly work.
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eglazier, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by eglazier)
This is must reading for all those who think war is heroic. It is especially valuable for those hawks who want us to intrude everywhere without thinking of the consequences. Those who want to send young men into battle and who never have to go themselves ought to see what they are unleashing on the men and on their own world.
The writer is a decorated Marine officer who was in armed combat in Vietnam and what happened after coming home over many years to allow him to finally understand what combat does to those who live it and survive.
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Gerald, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Gerald)
A spot-on analysis of the warriors experience. Should be required reading for everyone contemplating the military. And even more important for the politicians and citizens who send them to war.
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Product Details

Marlantes, Karl
Atlantic Monthly Press
Military - Strategy
Military-Strategy Tactics and Deception
Military - Vietnam War
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Military
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
Featured Titles » Literature
History and Social Science » Military » General
History and Social Science » Military » Vietnam War
What It Is Like to Go to War Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.50 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Atlantic Monthly Press - English 9780802119926 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Marlantes, author of the highly acclaimed novel Matterhorn, reflects in this wrenchingly honest memoir on his time in Vietnam: what it means to go into the combat zone and kill and, most importantly, what it means to truly come home. After graduating from Yale, Marlantes attended Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. But not wanting to hide behind privilege while others fought in his place, he left Oxford in 1967 to ship out to Vietnam as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He eschews straight chronology for a blend of in-country reporting and the paradoxical sense of both fear and exhilaration a soldier feels during war. Most importantly, Marlantes underscores the need for returning veterans to be counseled properly; an 18-year-old cannot 'kill someone and contain it in a healthy way.' Digging as deeply into his own life as he does into the larger sociological and moral issues, Marlantes presents a riveting, powerfully written account of how, after being taught to kill, he learned to deal with the aftermath. Citing a Navajo tale of two warriors who returned home to find their people feared them until they learned to sing about their experience, Marlantes learns the lesson, concluding, 'This book is my song,' (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Karl Marlantes has written a staggeringly beautiful book on combat—what it feels like, what the consequences are and above all, what society must do to understand it. In my eyes he has become the preeminent literary voice on war of our generation. He is a natural storyteller and a deeply profound thinker who not only illuminates war for civilians, but also offers a kind of spiritual guidance to veterans themselves. As this generation of warriors comes home, they will be enormously helped by what Marlantes has written—Im sure he will literally save lives."
"Review" by , "To say that this book is brilliant is an understatement — Marlantes is the absolute master of taking the psyche of the combat veteran and translating it into words that the civilian or non-veteran can understand. I have read many, many books on war and this is the first time that I've ever read exactly what the combat veteran thinks and feels — nothing I have ever read before has hit home in my heart like this book."
"Review" by , "A valiant effort to explain and make peace with wars awesome consequences for human beings."
"Review" by , "What It Is Like to Go to War is a courageous, noble and intelligent grapple with myth, history, and spirituality that beautifully elevates the cultural conversation on the role of the military in today's world. It is an emotional, honest, and affecting primer for all Americans on war and the national psyche, and we ignore this book at our own peril."
"Synopsis" by , From the author of the New York Times Bestseller Matterhorn, this is a powerful nonfiction book about the experience of combat and how inadequately we prepare our young men and women for war.

War is as old as humankind, but in the past, warriors were prepared for battle by ritual, religion and literature — which also helped bring them home. In a compelling narrative, Marlantes weaves riveting accounts of his combat experiences with thoughtful analysis, self-examination and his readings — from Homer to the Mahabharata to Jung. He talks frankly about how he is haunted by the face of the young North Vietnamese soldier he killed at close quarters and how he finally finds a way to make peace with his past. Marlantes discusses the daily contradictions that warriors face in the grind of war, where each battle requires them to take life or spare life, and where they enter a state he likens to the fervor of religious ecstasy.

Just as Matterhorn is already being acclaimed as a classic of war literature, What It Is Like To Go To War is set to become required reading for anyone — soldier or civilian — interested in this visceral and all too essential part of the human experience.

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