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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)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Personal Story of the Authors' Days In Country

The story line was a very interesting personal take on the authors' days in country in the Central Highlands of Vietnam with the famed 1st Cavalry Division. The performance of the reader though, left a lot to be desired with many cringe-worthy pronunciations of military jargon and excited vocalizations. For me, the reader made me want to buy the book as he failed to convey any sense of the picture of what I thought the author was trying to put down on paper. I am ex-military though and served with many 1st Cavalry Veterans at the end of the Vietnam War so my criticism should be taken with a grain of salt.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Yes, Another great book

Thank you for the great book and I understand some of the feelings within each action... Death was always a companion.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good account of Vietnam

I enjoyed the story, very good personal account of experiences during the war. The narrator took a little bit to get used to but he did a good job of changing tone and sound among the characters in dialog. Good listen.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Narrator

Would you listen to Baptism again? Why?

Great story.

Any additional comments?

It was very annoying that the narrator had no knowledge of how words are pronounced by soldiers.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a man's life in a terrible place

How do you review a story about a life that was lived? all I can say is thanks for giving what you gave.