Being a right winged European, I have never been much interested in Cuba, Castro or Che Guevara, but I couldn't put down this work. It's full of details, and beautifully written so it never gets boring. The book gives a great insight in life and thoughts of Che Guevara and the contrast with other people, most notably with Fidel Castro. It's definitely not a hero's story. It's unbelievable how many of today's conflicts in Africa and especially South and Middle America were started with the help of Che Guevara. This is a fantastic work about a guy that lived and in the end died for his principles. A book I should have read 15 years earlier.
The book is presented as one soldier's story, while it in fact is general history filled with quotes and memoires of lots of soldiers and a lot of quotes from one soldier. Being familiar with the European campaign I found the book boring and basically a waste of money.
It is very suited for readers who want to get to know a few things on World War 2 in Western Europe and really believe most of the brutal fighting was done in Western Europe. Keep in mind that the book is written from an American perspective with the usual American typecasting and exaggeration. Only at the very end of the book do the Russians get one short sentence with some credits for bleeding the Germans to death. While it's generally known that the best German units with best equipment and commanders fought on the Eastern front, the overall approach of this book is one of an American unit fighting the best soldiers and commanders the Reich had to offer, beating them and thereby basically winning the war single-handedly.
It's a first hand account of a Marine in Vietnam, from the first months to heavy combat action. He served multiple times and had many different roles. It's about anecdotes, processes and psyche. It's diary style focussed on micro developments. Very, very impressive. The fast pace style of writing is brilliantly met by the narrator.
If you are looking for a story on first hand experience in Vietnam, this is the one to read. If you want the overall picture of the USA in Vietnam you need a different title.
Very interesting subject, with lots of details, but dull writing made it (for me) a constant fight against putting it away. It took me at least 'till the US civil war before getting some traction. It doesn't have the splendor of eg. 'Streelife' (Europe, 20th century). I think the author is foremost a great researcher, but lacks the skill of presenting facts in a accessible way.
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