Karl Marlantes [Matterhorn: A Novel of the Viet Nam War] returns with What It is Like to Go to War. His new book is a nonfiction, philosophical, historical, memoir and reflection on his days as a Marine in Viet Nam. Frankly, I have never read anything quite like this book and suggest that anyone who is concerned for the country or has a friend, son, daughter, brother, sister, or lover who has experienced battle (virtually or otherwise) will find it very helpful. This book is beautiful, gut wrenching, and deeply moving. Marlantes has done us all a great service and has shown great courage in revealing his personal story. He has rewarded us many times over for his thoughtful analysis and reflection on war and what it means to the human spirit. The sections on how to welcome the veteran home and to help one with post traumatic stress are worthy of group discussion. I hope that this book gains a wide readership immediately. It is, in my view, going to become a classic of the genre. Please make time for this book. Bronson Pinchot's narration is excellent.
Bloodlands promised to inform about the mass murder by the Germans and Russians in Eastern Europe in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. I was not disappointed. Accessing newly available sources in a number of languages, Snyder corrects many misconceptions about the period. Oh, the struggle of Poland was far greater than I had imagined. Belarus, Ukraine, and the Baltic Republics all came out of obscurity for me. The juxtaposition of Germany and Russia in this text is a remarkable accomplishment. I am just amazed at how Snyder has pulled together and related happenings in the eastern front, what we commonly call the Holocaust, and the Stalinist pogroms. His final comments on morality and related observations are very thought provoking. Well worth the reader's time.
Del Quentin Wilber spins quite a yarn with “Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan”. This is a detailed telling of the story and a page turner at that. Wilber has, in the process, done a great service to readers by revealing current information about the attack not readily available at the time. The chapters on the attack, the trip to the hospital, the surgeons’ work and surrounding circumstances is particularly exciting. The author, to me at least, seems to admire Reagan and some who did not care for him or his policies might be put off. However, if one will just read the story much can be learned. The reading of Jason Culp is very good.