A lot has been said about style, etc. that I agree with & won't repeat. Suffice to say James Webb was a platoon commander in Delta Co./1st Battalion/5th Marines: I was a grunt (said with pride) in C/1/5. When I first opened this book back in late '70s and saw the map of the An Hoa basin - the "Arizona territory", Go Noi (No-go) Island, Liberty Bridge, the Phu Locs - the hairs on my neck stiffened, and then I let out an "Alllright!!" (scared a few bookstore patrons, nbd).
When you're reading this you are walking down the same trails, setting up ambushes in the same spots, taking fire from the same tree-lines that Lt. Webb and this young (then)PFC walked & fought from. Hell, it was like goin' home for a visit!
I had the chance to meet James Webb during the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and thank him for writing this personally. He still had the look in the eyes: quiet, deadly calm, with steel-trap analytical processes going on upstairs. At his swearing-in ceremony for Secretary of the Navy (he remembered this grunt from two chance meetings & sent me an invitation!), as soon as he was "official", he stopped the show, called up some of the men who had served with him back in An Hoa, and gave them the medals and commendations he had recommended so many years before but had never been given to them. Outstanding!
Jim has the courage of his convictions that he later resigned rather than acquiesce to a polically-motivated evisceration of the Naval service he was entrusted with. He exemplifies the Marine officer - I know of only one other, a Lieutenant in C co, that I had as much respect for, and sadly he didn't make it out alive. He's the real deal: this old grunt would assault the fire-and-brimstone-beaches of hell if James Webb was commanding!