Baghdad Express: A Gulf War Memoir
In early summer of 1990, Joel Turnipseed was homeless--kicked out of his college's philosophy program, dumped by his girlfriend. He had been AWOL from his Marine Corps Reserve unit for more than three months, spending his days hanging out in coffee shops reading Plato and Thoreau.
Then Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.
Turnipseed's unit was activated for service in Operation Desert Shield. By January of '91, he was in Saudi Arabia driving tractor-trailers for the Sixth Motor Transport Battalion--the legendary "Baghdad Express." The greatest logistical operation in Marine Corps history, the Baghdad Express hauled truckloads of explosives and ammunition across hundreds of miles of desert. But on the brink of war, Turnipseed's greatest struggles are still within. Armed with an M-16 and a seabag full of philosophy books, he is a wise-ass misfit, an ironic observer with a keen eye for vivid detail, a rebellious Marine alive to the moral ambiguity of his life and his situation.
Developed from Turnipseed's 1997 feature article for GQ Magazine, this innovative memoir--simultaneously terrifying and hilarious, equal parts Catch-22 and Catcher in the Rye--explores both the absurdities of war and the necessity of accepting our flawed world of shadows. With expansive humanity and profane grace, Turnipseed finds the real-world answers to his philosophical questions and reaches the hardest peace for any young man to achieve--with himself.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - TimBazzett - LibraryThing
Hard core marines would probably not approve of this book. Because as a marine, Turnipseed is something less than gung-ho. His approach to the military life is much too casual. Of course he's telling ... Read full review
Baghdad express: a Gulf War memoirUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Humans are multifaceted, yet we tend to view each other in one dimension. We expect a college philosophy major to expound the ideas of Plato and an enlisted marine to focus on more worldly matters ... Read full review
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