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My Vietnam War Kindle Edition
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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It could be said that Murdock accomplished that by means of his writer skills, excellent descriptive powers, and psychological insight. No doubt, that's part of it. I believe, it also has to do with the unusual character of Scotty, and how we live in his mind, seeing the world through his eyes and thought. Scotty is not your usual war novel hero. One could argue, he shouldn't even be there. He not only reads philosophy, but is naive, volunteers for duties any other solder would run from. When he's in a safe gig, he isn't happy, but wants to be with the other men facing jungle combat.
It's out of a brew of Scotty's unique personality, life among young girls and drugs at Wong's Bar in Saigon, and that contrasted with the brutal horrors of jungle fighting, that Murdock creates this gripping, insightful, novel.
I did feel I'd lived that war first hand.
This book is a must-read!
The author writes in such vivid detail that I had no choice but to be dragged, kicking and screaming at times, into the sordid back streets of Saigon and frightening jungles of an alien combat zone, and could almost see, smell, taste and feel the jarring assault on the senses, as viewed through the eyes of Scotty. If anyone had any enthusiasm for war, the grim realities of this story would quickly put an end to any romantic illusions. The story was compelling in many ways and especially in the telling of the combat patrols into the night jungle which is beyond any imaginable horror, as least to me. Nothing was sugar-coated and I liked that, but there were times I just had to put the book down and return when I was better able to cope. Actually, what I found very interesting was Brent's transformation as a pot entrepreneur and how he managed to work his way through that mysterious system and how it exposed the complicity of the military in the money making scheme. How he got connected to the French was quite astonishing..... and I would have liked to have been taken ever deeper into the intrigue of the french/asian underworld.
All in all, this highly personal account of the war was far different than any I've experienced and should be required reading for all male youth, as well as most politicians