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Other titles in the American Empire Project series:

Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam (American Empire Project)

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Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam (American Empire Project) Cover

ISBN13: 9781250045065
ISBN10: 1250045061
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Based on classified documents and first-person interviews, a startling history of the American war on Vietnamese civilians.

The American Empire Project

Winner of the Ridenhour Prize for Reportorial Distinction

Americans have long been taught that events such as the notorious My Lai massacre were isolated incidents in the Vietnam War, carried out by just a few “bad apples.” But as award-winning journalist and historian Nick Turse demonstrates in this groundbreaking investigation, violence against Vietnamese noncombatants was not at all exceptional during the conflict. Rather, it was pervasive and systematic, the predictable consequence of official orders to “kill anything that moves.”

Drawing on more than a decade of research into secret Pentagon archives and extensive interviews with American veterans and Vietnamese survivors, Turse reveals for the first time the workings of a military machine that resulted in millions of innocent civilians killed and wounded — what one soldier called “a My Lai a month.” Devastating and definitive, Kill Anything That Moves finally brings us face-to-face with the truth of a war that haunts America to this day.

Review:

"An indispensable new history of the war....Kill Anything That Moves is a paradigm-shifting, connect-the-dots history of American atrocities that reads like a thriller; it will convince those with the stomach to read it that all these decades later Americans, certainly the military brass and the White House, still haven't drawn the right lesson from Vietnam." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"A powerful case....With his urgent but highly readable style, Turse delves into the secret history of U.S.-led atrocities. He has brought to his book an impressive trove of new research — archives explored and eyewitnesses interviewed in the United States and Vietnam. With superb narrative skill, he spotlights a troubling question: Why, with all the evidence collected by the military at the time of the war, were atrocities not prosecuted?" Washington Post

Review:

"There have been many memorable accounts of the terrible things done in Vietnam — memoirs, histories, documentaries and movies. But Nick Turse has given us a fresh holistic work that stands alone for its blending of history and journalism, for the integrity of research brought to life through the diligence of first-person interviews....Here is a powerful message for us today — a reminder of what war really costs." Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company

Review:

"In Kill Anything that Moves, Nick Turse has for the first time put together a comprehensive picture, written with mastery and dignity, of what American forces actually were doing in Vietnam. The findings disclose an almost unspeakable truth....Like a tightening net, the web of stories and reports drawn from myriad sources coalesces into a convincing, inescapable portrait of this war — a portrait that, as an American, you do not wish to see; that, having seen, you wish you could forget, but that you should not forget." Jonathan Schell, The Nation

Review:

"Nick Turse's explosive, groundbreaking reporting uncovers the horrifying truth." Vanity Fair

Review:

"Astounding....Meticulous, extraordinary, and oddly moving." Bookforum

Review:

"If you are faint-hearted, you might want to keep some smelling salts nearby when you read it. It's that bad....The truth hurts. This is an important book." Dayton Daily News

Review:

"Nick Turse reminds us again, in this painful and important book, why war should always be a last resort, and especially wars that have little to do with American national security. We failed, as Turse makes clear, to deal after the Vietnam War with the murders that took place, and today — four decades later — the lessons have yet to be learned. We still prefer kicking down doors to talking." Seymour Hersh, staff writer, The New Yorker

Review:

"In the sobering Kill Anything that Moves, Nick Turse provides an exhaustive account of how thousands upon thousands of innocent, unarmed South Vietnamese civilians were senselessly killed by a military that equated corpses with results....Kill Anything that Moves is a staggering reminder that war has its gruesome subplots hidden underneath the headlines — but they're even sadder when our heroes create them." Bookpage

Review:

"An in-depth take on a horrific war....A detailed, well-documented account." Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Nick Turse is the author of The Complex, the managing editor for TomDispatch.com, and a fellow at the Nation Institute. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Nation, among other publications. Turses investigations of American war crimes in Vietnam have gained him a Ridenhour Prize for Reportorial Distinction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship at Harvard Universitys Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. He lives near New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

cblaker, November 13, 2014 (view all comments by cblaker)
This book is an important contribution to the canon on the Vietnam War. The author researched court martial records, internal military memos and conducted interviews with veterans and Vietnamese over the past 10 years. What he produced is an important reassessment of America's involvement in Vietnam. Before reading this book, I (and I think many Americans) thought that My Lai was more or less an isolated incident.
However this book clearly demonstrates that My Lai was only an aberration in quantity rather than quality. The author cites incident, after incident (meticulously documented in the book's copious footnotes) where US soldiers and marines harassed, attacked and killed civilians. Civilians were killed for reasons such as: taking evasive action (running), wearing black pajamas, or hiding in underground shelters. This is not say that these things happened in every unit, but Turse demonstrates the killing of civilians to be widespread. It's not only riflemen that killed civilians. H&I (harassment and interdiction) artillery missions were in some cases fired into villages (friendly or VC dominated). Much worse, were the amount of bombs dropped on the South Vietnamese countryside (equal to 640 Hiroshima-strengh bombs).
One chapter focuses on a General Julian Ewell who makes Patton look like a Gandhi. Ewell was fixated on high body counts in his division's area of the Mekong delta. He and his chief staff relentlessly pushed their men to up the body counts. This resulted in purposeful and accidental civilian deaths, civilians who were then counted as Viet Cong. The enemy body counts are proven to be vastly inflated when the number of dead are compared with the amount of weapons found with the bodies.
Many parts of this book were really sickening to read, particularly the chapter mentioning things done to women. Although the official rules for the military may have been to treat all a civilians with respect, the subtext of what soldiers were taught in basic training and in country ran counter to that. The author makes frequent reference to the difficulty in prosecuting soldiers in court martial cases. The difficulty was the MGR ("mere gook rule"). If Vietnamese civilians were killed accidentally or deliberately, was it really that big of a deal?
I lean leftward politically, but no sane person could possibly take any pleasure in finding these things out about the Vietnam war. I hope this book is widely discussed and that parts of it are taught in college courses. This country needs this historical corrective, so that we can be more skeptical about future military involvement and what the generals tell us. I strongly recommend this book to those with either an interest in Vietnam or American military history in general.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781250045065
Subtitle:
The Real American War in Vietnam (American Empire Project)
Author:
Turse, Nick
Publisher:
Picador
Subject:
Military - Vietnam War
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20131231
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Arts
Featured Titles » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
History and Social Science » Military » US Military » General
History and Social Science » Military » Vietnam War
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Southeast Asia

Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam (American Empire Project) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.00 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Picador - English 9781250045065 Reviews:
"Review" by , "An indispensable new history of the war....Kill Anything That Moves is a paradigm-shifting, connect-the-dots history of American atrocities that reads like a thriller; it will convince those with the stomach to read it that all these decades later Americans, certainly the military brass and the White House, still haven't drawn the right lesson from Vietnam."
"Review" by , "A powerful case....With his urgent but highly readable style, Turse delves into the secret history of U.S.-led atrocities. He has brought to his book an impressive trove of new research — archives explored and eyewitnesses interviewed in the United States and Vietnam. With superb narrative skill, he spotlights a troubling question: Why, with all the evidence collected by the military at the time of the war, were atrocities not prosecuted?"
"Review" by , "There have been many memorable accounts of the terrible things done in Vietnam — memoirs, histories, documentaries and movies. But Nick Turse has given us a fresh holistic work that stands alone for its blending of history and journalism, for the integrity of research brought to life through the diligence of first-person interviews....Here is a powerful message for us today — a reminder of what war really costs."
"Review" by , "In Kill Anything that Moves, Nick Turse has for the first time put together a comprehensive picture, written with mastery and dignity, of what American forces actually were doing in Vietnam. The findings disclose an almost unspeakable truth....Like a tightening net, the web of stories and reports drawn from myriad sources coalesces into a convincing, inescapable portrait of this war — a portrait that, as an American, you do not wish to see; that, having seen, you wish you could forget, but that you should not forget."
"Review" by , "Nick Turse's explosive, groundbreaking reporting uncovers the horrifying truth."
"Review" by , "Astounding....Meticulous, extraordinary, and oddly moving."
"Review" by , "If you are faint-hearted, you might want to keep some smelling salts nearby when you read it. It's that bad....The truth hurts. This is an important book."
"Review" by , "Nick Turse reminds us again, in this painful and important book, why war should always be a last resort, and especially wars that have little to do with American national security. We failed, as Turse makes clear, to deal after the Vietnam War with the murders that took place, and today — four decades later — the lessons have yet to be learned. We still prefer kicking down doors to talking."
"Review" by , "In the sobering Kill Anything that Moves, Nick Turse provides an exhaustive account of how thousands upon thousands of innocent, unarmed South Vietnamese civilians were senselessly killed by a military that equated corpses with results....Kill Anything that Moves is a staggering reminder that war has its gruesome subplots hidden underneath the headlines — but they're even sadder when our heroes create them."
"Review" by , "An in-depth take on a horrific war....A detailed, well-documented account."
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