What It Is Like to Go to War

By Karl Marlantes
(Atlantic Monthly Press, Hardcover, 9780802119926, 256pp.)

Publication Date: August 30, 2011

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the October 2011 Indie Next List
“This is a courageous, noble, and intelligent grapple with myth, history, and spirituality that beautifully elevates the conversation on the role of the military in today's world. Marlantes volunteers his knowledge and experience (and really, his soul) to the cause of crafting the model of a just and ethical warrior in the 21st century. The long-overdue reckoning that Marlantes' novel Matterhorn deftly demanded of America is enhanced and extended with this new work. It is an emotional, honest, and affecting primer for all Americans on war and the national psyche. We ignore this book at our own peril.”
-- Ed Conklin, Chaucer's Books, Santa Barbara, CA


Description

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 readingsfrom 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 anyonesoldier or civilianinterested in this visceral and all too essential part of the human experience.




About the Author
KARL MARLANTES, a cum laude graduate of Yale University and Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, was 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 has lived and traveled all over the world and now writes full time. He and his wife, Anne, have five children and live on a small lake in Washington state.


NPR
Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011

As a Marine in the Vietnam War, Karl Marlantes learned to fire an M16, to command a platoon, to fight and to kill. In What It Is Like to Go to War, he comes to terms with the experience of combat: the guilt, the thrill and the challenge of coming home. More at NPR.org

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