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Publisher's Summary

A Yale graduate who volunteered to serve his country, Larry Gwin was only 23 years old when he arrived in Vietnam in 1965. After a brief stint in the Delta, Gwin was reassigned to the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in An Khe. There, in the hotly contested Central Highlands, he served almost nine months as executive officer for Alpha Company, 2/7, fighting against crack NVA troops in some of the war's most horrific battles.

The bloodiest conflict of all began November 12, 1965, after 2nd Battalion was flown into the Ia Drang Valley west of Pleiku. Acting as point, Alpha Company spearheaded the battalion's march to landing zone Albany for pickup, not knowing they were walking into the killing zone of an NVA ambush that would cost them 10 percent casualties.

Gwin spares no one, including himself, in his gut-wrenching account of the agony of war. Through the stench of death and the acrid smell of napalm, he chronicles the Vietnam War in all its nightmarish horror.

©1999 Larry Gwin (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Forcefully written, engrossing narrative, and heartfelt descriptions of some of the bloodiest battles of the war." (Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore, USA (Ret.), coauthor of We Were Soldiers Once... And Young)

What listeners say about Baptism

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story of a front line grunt during Vietnam

Loved it. My dad served 3 tours in Vietnam with one of them in the 1st Cav in 65-66. He was in this unit

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hell of book telling a story that needs to be told

If you could sum up Baptism in three words, what would they be?

What Vietnam was really like...... ( I know, that's five words )

What did you like best about this story?

A vivid, well told personal account.

What about Todd McLaren’s performance did you like?

Outstanding....though he mispronounced a view words.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

While they partied at UC Boulder, good men died.........

Any additional comments?

Larry Gwin has memorialized those who fought and often died for their brothers. Fine young Americans in the spirit of what made America great gave their best for a country and its politicians who betrayed them. An American tragedy. 1LT JL Pitts, US Army, Royal Thai Army, Black Panther Infantry Division (liaison), Vietnam 1968-69.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Captivating... True war stories are fascinating!

Being only a civilian and never having served in any form of military life, I thought that I would have a hard time relating to the lingo and such, but the author did a very good job explaining every acronym and other terminology as he went along. That was very helpful and allowed me to experience the events as they took place as if I was there. The narrator did a great job as well and was very pleasant to listen to.
This audio book was well worth my credit and I would recommend it to anyone - especially those who like nonfiction historical type books.

8 people found this helpful

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Great book

Very well narrated. the book was very well written as well. The only addition I would have enjoyed was if the author talked about going home.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

A series of stories within author's tour

I enjoyed the author's perspectives on many issues ranging from fungal infections to hot landing zones. The author starts the book sometime around his plane trips out of the States, and ends when he gets sent to the rear after being wounded.

The narrator was excellent at basic storytelling and creating suspense as well as indignation - great voice. What I didn't like about the narrator is that he apparently didn't use technology to reduce the audio screeches that occurred when he uses voices of men yelling in the field during combat. Also, the narrator mispronounced some key words repeatedly. I'd certainly give the narrator another try though as experience is the best teacher and he's got natural talent for certain.

The story has so many types of experiences - great range of situations and emotions. I was captivated. The author seems very credible to me.

5 people found this helpful

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A beautifully written story

Thank you for thr wonderful experience( a story lovingly told about our brave men so long ago

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book about 1st Cav Sky Trooper

This is a amazing book about being a 1st Cav Grunt in Vietnam. As a son of a Vietnam Vet who fought in the same unit 2-7 Bravo Company 68-69 it really does a great job of describing what it was like being in Combat in Vietnam. I grew up listening to my Dad and his fellow brothers tell there stories and this book is like the same. Can’t recommend it enough. And as my Dad would Say GarryOwen!

1 person found this helpful

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Very well written and descriptive

The story was told superbly. I thought I had a good idea of everything that when on in the field, but Larry’s stories meshed everything together perfectly: descriptions of his surroundings, his honest thoughts and fears, the sights and sounds, the good times and the bad and the very bad… the pacing was excellent, and the journey felt as though you were inside his head during his whole tour. Experiencing his personal transformation from day one to day 365 was as close to feeling like I was there as I could ever be. I thank him for this story and for sacrificing a part of his youth and enduring truly horrible days to protect the freedoms we often take for granted.

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An excellent account of heroism in Vietnam

I note that the narrator has received awards but I found him annoying. His attempt to be dramatic is distracting. This is an adult book and he treats it as a one for a group of young kids. Would not recommend a book narrated by this man.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Great Narrative

Always good to scare and encourage the reader. The discripts of the battle made you feel worried. great book