From the author of the bestselling and award-winning Matterhorn comes a brilliant nonfiction book about war and the psychological and spiritual toll it takes on those who fight.
“I wrote this book primarily to come to terms with my own experience of combat. So far—reading, writing, thinking—that has taken over thirty years.”
In 1969, 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 his first work of nonfiction, 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.
Just as Matterhorn is already acclaimed a classic of war literature, What It Is Like to Go to War is set to become required reading for anyone—soldier or civilian—interested in this visceral and all-too-essential part of the human experience.
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.
©2011 Karl Marlantes (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“A staggeringly beautiful book on combat…[Marlantes] is a natural storyteller and a deeply profound thinker.” (Sebastian Junger, New York Times bestselling author)
Very powerful biographical story of a Vietnam War Marine officer. Should be required reading for all Americans, especially those who make war decisions. Like Sebastian Junger's book "War," this is an unabashed look from the inside of the experience of being in a front line unit.
Reading, the arts and physical activity clarify, explain, illustrate, and interpret life’s goods and bads.
A philosophy of going to war. Where Sun Tzu teaches how to wage the strategies and tactics of war, Carl Marlantes teaches how to achieve the best state of mind to wage war and, after war how to bring our troops home to be productive members of society. How we need to care for our warriors before, going into, during and coming out of war.
George W. Bush, please do not read this book, it will make it difficult to swallow. Dick Cheney, don’t worry, you probably won’t care to grasp its logic; it may be antithetic to your perceptions.
Presuming philosophy means a methodology of addressing problems by critical, systematic and rational argument - this book is a philosophical analysis of the only circumstance in which we may cause violence to achieve a more secure world. (That last statement reminds me of the logic of one of the posters in the Rock Opera “Hair,” “Warring for peace is like f***ing for chastity.”) Marlantis though, sets down a logical path for the former part of the inconsistent syllogisms, while keeping an eye on the veracity of the second deductive synthesis, the chastity part.
I think, I hope, Marlantes has laid before us a much better way of caring for the men and woman of our armed forces. I think, I hope his theories prove to be justifiable. If so, I think, I hope his thoughts will have everlasting effect.
This was a good book. It increased my compassion and empathy for our citizen soldiers. Vietnam and our current crop of wars leave scars that are with us forever.
Different approach but similar to "The Things They Carried" as both books write about the scars war leaves on our mind and soul - on our very existance.
I did not have a favorite, but I had compassion for each of them.
Wounds of war
Marlantes went through some painful times. I appreciate his sharing them with us.
This book is.in a sense, a companion piece to his novel Matterhorn. In this book, the author tries to bring understanding to the realities of combat, the post traumatic stress disorder, and how to prepare our troops for this.It is a good read, and I recommend Matterhorn also.
I don't know of another book on this topic.
I thought has did very well. He appeared to understand what he was talking about.
It brought sharply to mind the futility of war, especially all the imperial wars our country has fought since WW2.
I felt the pain and shame of war.
Facing the enemy eye to eye and someone must die. In a way we die or part of us dies.
Felt like he wrote the book - he was the authors voice.
Too many to single out.
I highly recommend reading this one.
PSavage MD CAPT USN retired
I do not like wars. They should be obsolete by now. But I know they will be around for some time. So, I need to understand what it is like. This book was amazing. It was educational in so many levels. I am grateful that this author survived the war and the post-war condition/environment to tell us what he went through during and after the war honestly and frankly. Also, the narrator was so natural that I assumed the author was reading this until I checked. I will listen to this again.
Thought provoking account of the Marine experience in Vietnam and psychological effects of war on young men.Found myself remembering memories and feelings I thought long forgotten.Sould be required reading for current military leaders and those thinking of joining the military.Content applies to all wars.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
I love books that reveal a reality most people are unaware of, and this is such a book. If you want to know the mental costs and altered states of consciousness that soldiers go through, go no further. Some moments are really difficult to listen to, but it is necessary for the sake of understanding.
I loved his honesty, how Karl told the truth even though our socity does not accept the truth. It was very refreshing as he showed the truth underneath throughout the book
Canada, I think they can make a movie out of that guy. But it would be a sad ending
What a good solider goes through
I thank you the reader Bronson Pinchot who read the book like he wrote it. Because of the way he read the book, I thought he had written it. very well done. However, in all of Kar's truth and feeling put into the book, I believe Karl wasn't honest in one part of the story he told. I think he wrote what people wanted to hear and I was very disapointed.
Tell us about yourself!
The most enjoyable and informative book I have ever read
The author's skill at combining personal and acedemic views of experiences.
The Mass for the Dead
things we should all know for a better world.
The Viet Nam War was "my" war, I loved and love the boys/men who journeyed there. I have never understood them (or my father in WW2). I am so much closer to that now and have learned so much about humanity. The reader was perfect
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