What it is Like to Go to War

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Atlantic Monthly Press, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
8 Reviews
From the author of the award-winning, best-selling novel Matterhorn, comes a brilliant nonfiction book about war

In 1968, at the age of twenty-three, Karl Marlantes was dropped into the highland jungle of Vietnam, an inexperienced lieutenant in command of a platoon of forty Marines who would live or die by his decisions. Marlantes survived, but like many of his brothers in arms, he has spent the last forty years dealing with his war experience. In What It Is Like to Go to War, Marlantes takes a deeply personal and candid look at what it is like to experience the ordeal of combat, critically examining how we might better prepare our soldiers for war. Marlantes weaves riveting accounts of his combat experiences with thoughtful analysis, self-examination, and his readings—from Homer to The Mahabharata to Jung. He makes it clear just how poorly prepared our nineteen-year-old warriors are for the psychological and spiritual aspects of the journey.

Just as Matterhorn is already being acclaimed as 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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Good read, slow in couple of places but it contains few interesting views. Marlantes describes the changes caused by long exposure to violence and tries to explain how to deal with them back in the civilized world.

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I started reading this highly recommended book. I was in Army Aviation in the Vietnam war.
The book lost some credibility with me when I read about the Marine Airgroup 29 coming to aid injured
marines with a CH47 helicopter. I don't think the marines ever used the Chinook. They used CH46 helicopters.
To me, it was either a typo or poor research. Either way it lost credibility with me.
I do respect his service to his country and the message that he tries to impart.
 

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Contents

2
26
3
48
4
61
5
80
6
114
contents
134
Heroism
155
Home
176
The Club
208
Relating to Mars
220
Acknowledgments
257
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

A graduate of Yale University and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, Karl Marlantes served as a Marine in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation medals for valor, two Purple Hearts, and ten air medals. He is the author of Matterhorn, which won numerous prizes, including the William E. Colby Award given by the Pritzker Military Library, the Center for Fiction's Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the 2011 Indies' Choice Award for Adult Debut Book of the Year, and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation's James Webb Award for Distinguished Fiction. He lives in rural Washington.

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