Saturday, November 12, 2011

What It Is Like To Go To War / by Karl Marlantes

Marlantes, acclaimed novelist and author of the Vietnam War Epic Matterhorn, delivers another fascinating account of wartime experience. This outing is a far more personalized testament to the nature of military combat. Marlantes' has quite an extensive knowledge about the experiences involved in joining the military, going to war and returning home. The book is more a blend of in-country reporting--transcripts from the author's own field notes are included--accommodated by insider knowledge of the feelings which go through a soldier's mind on the battlefield, the psychology of fight or flight instinct and the simultaneous sense of fear and exhilaration. As much as his own experiences are taken into account, the author delves into other territory. The process of recruitment, obligations involved in commitment to duty, just war theory and the concept of military engagement. A scholar as well, he's equipped to elaborate on the more controversial issues like the economic disparity between those who die fighting and those who live by handing down orders. It's a worthy reflection by an individual more than up to the task of fleshing out the multi-faceted aspects of war and combat. (959.70434092 MARLANTE)

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