Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam

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Macmillan, Jan 15, 2013 - History - 370 pages
24 Reviews

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

Americans have long been taught that events such as the notorious My Lai massacre were isolated incidents in the Vietnam War, carried out by "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 orders to "kill anything that moves."

Drawing on more than a decade of research in secret Pentagon files and extensive interviews with American veterans and Vietnamese survivors, Turse reveals for the first time how official policies resulted in millions of innocent civilians killed and wounded. In shocking detail, he lays out the workings of a military machine that made crimes in almost every major American combat unit all but inevitable. Kill Anything That Moves takes us from archives filled with Washington's long-suppressed war crime investigations to the rural Vietnamese hamlets that bore the brunt of the war; from boot camps where young American soldiers learned to hate all Vietnamese to bloodthirsty campaigns like Operation Speedy Express, in which a general obsessed with body counts led soldiers to commit what one participant called "a My Lai a month."    

Thousands of Vietnam books later, Kill Anything That Moves, devastating and definitive, finally brings us face‑to‑face with the truth of a war that haunts Americans to this day.


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Review: Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam

User Review  - Clarke Wood - Goodreads

This book is not an easy read, but it is worthwhile. The author ended up doing archival research while looking at PTSD for veterans and found a lot of information on the US military investigating war ... Read full review

Review: Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam

User Review  - Timothy Riley - Goodreads

This book proves without any doubt that the atrocities that were committed by American troops in Vietnam were part of a military policy. The systematic killings, torture, and rape were not exceptions ... Read full review



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About the author (2013)

NICK TURSE , an award-winning journalist and historian, is the author of The Complex and the managing editor for the Nation Institute's His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Nation. Turse's investigations of U.S. war crimes in Vietnam have gained him a Ridenhour Prize for Reportorial Distinction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. He lives near New York City.

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