Kien’s job is to search the Jungle of Screaming Souls for corpses. He knows the area well – this was where, in the dry season of 1969, his battalion was obliterated by American napalm and helicopter gunfire. Kien was one of only ten survivors. This book is his attempt to understand the eleven years of his life he gave to a senseless war. Based on true experiences of Bao Ninh and banned by the communist party, this novel is revered as the ‘All Quiet on the Western Front for our era’.
“In my opinion, the finest of the Vietnam novels.”—Tom Wolfe Now featuring a new introduction by the author They each had their reasons for being a soldier. They each had their illusions. Goodrich came from Harvard. Snake got the tattoo—Death Before Dishonor—before he got the uniform. And Hodges was haunted by the ghosts of family heroes. They were three young men from different worlds plunged into a white-hot, murderous realm of jungle warfare as it was fought by one Marine platoon in the An Hoa Basin, 1969. They had no way of knowing what awaited them. Nothing could have prepared them for the madness to come. And in the heat and horror of battle they took on new identities, took on each other, and were each reborn in fields of fire. . . . Fields of Fire is James Webb’s classic, searing novel of the Vietnam War, a novel of poetic power, razor-sharp observation, and agonizing human truths seen through the prism of nonstop combat. Weaving together a cast of vivid characters, Fields of Fire captures the journey of unformed men through a man-made hell—until each man finds his fate. Praise for Fields of Fire “In swift, flexible prose that does everything he asks of it—including a whiff of hilarious farce just to show he can do it—Webb gives us an extraordinary range of acutely observed people, not one a stereotype, and as many different ways of looking at that miserable war . . . Fields of Fire is a stunner.”—Newsweek “James Webb has rehabilitated the idea of the American hero—not John Wayne, to be sure, but every man, caught up in circumstances beyond his control, surviving the blood, dreck, and absurdity with dignity and even a certain elan. Fields of Fire is an antiwar book, yes, but not naively, dumbly anti-soldier or anti-American . . . Webb pulls off the scabs and looks directly, unflinchingly on the open wounds of the Sixties.”—Philadelphia Inquirer “Webb’s book has the unmistakable sound of truth acquired the hard way. His men hate the war; it is a lethal fact cut adrift from personal sense. Yet they understand that its profound insanity, its blood and oblivion, have in some way made them fall in love with battle and with each other.”—Time “Few writers since Stephen Crane have portrayed men at war with such a ring of steely truth.”—The Houston Post “A novel of such fullness and impact, one is tempted to compare it to Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead.”—The Oregonian
On March 19, 1969, First Lieutenant Homer R. Steedly, Jr., shot and killed a North Vietnamese soldier, Dam, when they met on a jungle trail. Steedly took a diary—filled with beautiful line drawings—from the body of the dead soldier, which he subsequently sent to his mother for safekeeping. Thirty-five years later, Steedly rediscovers the forgotten dairy and begins to confront his suppressed memories of the war that defined his life, deciding to return to Viet Nam and meet the family of the man he killed to seek their forgiveness. Fellow veteran and award-winning author Wayne Karlin accompanied Steedly on his remarkable journey. In Wandering Souls he recounts Homer's movement towards a recovery that could only come about through a confrontation with the ghosts of his past—and the need of Dam's family to bring their child's “wandering soul” to his own peace. Wandering Souls limns the terrible price of war on soldiers and their loved ones, and reveals that we heal not by forgetting war's hard lessons, but by remembering its costs.
"The best book to have been written about the Vietnam War" (The New York Times Book Review); an instant classic straight from the front lines. From its terrifying opening pages to its final eloquent words, Dispatches makes us see, in unforgettable and unflinching detail, the chaos and fervor of the war and the surreal insanity of life in that singular combat zone. Michael Herr’s unsparing, unorthodox retellings of the day-to-day events in Vietnam take on the force of poetry, rendering clarity from one of the most incomprehensible and nightmarish events of our time. Dispatches is among the most blistering and compassionate accounts of war in our literature.
An intimate narrative history of World War I told through the stories of twenty men and women from around the globe--a powerful, illuminating, heart-rending picture of what the war was really like. In this masterful book, renowned historian Peter Englund describes this epoch-defining event by weaving together accounts of the average man or woman who experienced it. Drawing on the diaries, journals, and letters of twenty individuals from Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Venezuela, and the United States, Englund’s collection of these varied perspectives describes not a course of events but "a world of feeling." Composed in short chapters that move between the home front and the front lines, The Beauty and Sorrow brings to life these twenty particular people and lets them speak for all who were shaped in some way by the War, but whose voices have remained unheard.
Chanrithy Him felt compelled to tell of surviving life under the Khmer Rouge in a way "worthy of the suffering which I endured as a child." In the Cambodian proverb, "when broken glass floats" is the time when evil triumphs over good. That time began in 1975, when the Khmer Rouge took power in Cambodia and the Him family began their trek through the hell of the "killing fields." In a mesmerizing story, Him vividly recounts a Cambodia where rudimentary labor camps are the norm and technology, such as cars and electricity, no longer exists. Death becomes a companion at the camps, along with illness. Yet through the terror, Chanrithy's family remains loyal to one another despite the Khmer Rouge's demand of loyalty only to itself. Moments of inexpressible sacrifice and love lead them to bring what little food they have to the others, even at the risk of their own lives. In 1979, "broken glass" finally sinks. From a family of twelve, only five of the Him children survive. Sponsored by an uncle in Oregon, they begin their new lives in a land that promises welcome to those starved for freedom.
Intense, powerful, and compelling, Matterhorn is an epic war novel in the tradition of Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead and James Jones’s The Thin Red Line. It is the timeless story of a young Marine lieutenant, Waino Mellas, and his comrades in Bravo Company, who are dropped into the mountain jungle of Vietnam as boys and forced to fight their way into manhood. Standing in their way are not merely the North Vietnamese but also monsoon rain and mud, leeches and tigers, disease and malnutrition. Almost as daunting, it turns out, are the obstacles they discover between each other: racial tension, competing ambitions, and duplicitous superior officers. But when the company finds itself surrounded and outnumbered by a massive enemy regiment, the Marines are thrust into the raw and all-consuming terror of combat. The experience will change them forever. Written by a highly decorated Marine veteran over the course of thirty years, Matterhorn is a spellbinding and unforgettable novel that brings to life an entire world—both its horrors and its thrills—and seems destined to become a classic of combat literature.
While most historians of the Vietnam War focus on the origins of U.S. involvement and the Americanization of the conflict, Lien-Hang T. Nguyen examines the international context in which North Vietnamese leaders pursued the war and American intervention ended. This riveting narrative takes the reader from the marshy swamps of the Mekong Delta to the bomb-saturated Red River Delta, from the corridors of power in Hanoi and Saigon to the Nixon White House, and from the peace negotiations in Paris to high-level meetings in Beijing and Moscow, all to reveal that peace never had a chance in Vietnam. Hanoi's War renders transparent the internal workings of America's most elusive enemy during the Cold War and shows that the war fought during the peace negotiations was bloodier and much more wide ranging than it had been previously. Using never-before-seen archival materials from the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as materials from other archives around the world, Nguyen explores the politics of war-making and peace-making not only from the North Vietnamese perspective but also from that of South Vietnam, the Soviet Union, China, and the United States, presenting a uniquely international portrait.
From the author of the award-winning, best-selling novel Matterhorn, comes a brilliant nonfiction book about war In 1968, 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 What It Is Like to Go to War, 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. Marlantes weaves riveting accounts of his combat experiences with thoughtful analysis, self-examination, and his readings—from Homer to The Mahabharata to Jung. He makes it clear just how poorly prepared our nineteen-year-old warriors are for the psychological and spiritual aspects of the journey. Just as Matterhorn is already being acclaimed as acclaimed as 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.
At the age of twenty-four, Dang Thuy Tram volunteered to serve as a doctor in a National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) battlefield hospital in the Quang Ngai Province. Two years later she was killed by American forces not far from where she worked. Written between 1968 and 1970, her diary speaks poignantly of her devotion to family and friends, the horrors of war, her yearning for her high school sweetheart, and her struggle to prove her loyalty to her country. At times raw, at times lyrical and youthfully sentimental, her voice transcends cultures to speak of her dignity and compassion and of her challenges in the face of the war’s ceaseless fury. The American officer who discovered the diary soon after Dr. Tram’s death was under standing orders to destroy all documents without military value. As he was about to toss it into the flames, his Vietnamese translator said to him, “Don’t burn this one. . . . It has fire in it already.” Against regulations, the officer preserved the diary and kept it for thirty-five years. In the spring of 2005, a copy made its way to Dr. Tram’s elderly mother in Hanoi. The diary was soon published in Vietnam, causing a national sensation. Never before had there been such a vivid and personal account of the long ordeal that had consumed the nation’s previous generations. Translated by Andrew X. Pham and with an introduction by Pulitzer Prize winner Frances FitzGerald, Last Night I Dreamed of Peace is an extraordinary document that narrates one woman’s personal and political struggles. Above all, it is a story of hope in the most dire of circumstances—told from the perspective of our historic enemy but universal in its power to celebrate and mourn the fragility of human life. From the Hardcover edition.
WITH A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR TO HIS CANADIAN READERS It is said that a picture may be worth a thousand words but an old photograph can inspire many more. In this beguiling book, McCall Smith casts his eye over five “orphaned” photographs from the era of black-and-white photography and imagines the stories behind them. Who were those people, what were their stories, why are they smiling, what made them sad? What emerges are surprising and poignant tales of love and friendship in a variety of settings an estate in the Highlands of Scotland, a travelling circus in Canada, an Australian gold-mining town, a village in Ireland, and the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. A dapper, roguish-looking man perching on a lady’s knee sparks the story of a ventriloquist and an animal handler who work in a circus, and who, under the most delightfully unexpected circumstances, fall in love. The image of a woman haloed by light in a train station becomes the lighthearted tale of a nun’s decision to leave the sisterhood and discover what and whom the big city has to offer. Some will find joy and fulfillment; others would prefer happier endings. Each of them, though, will find love, and that is ultimately what matters. Romantic, wistful and poignant, Chance Developments brims with flourishes of grace and humor that could only come from the pen of Alexander McCall Smith. From the Hardcover edition.
In this provocative and compelling examination of the deep politics of war, Carolyn Nordstrom takes us from the immediacy of war-zone survival, through the offices of power brokers, to vast extra-legal networks that fuel war and international profiteering. She captures the human face of the front lines, revealing both the visible and the hidden realities of war in the twenty-first century. Shadows of War is grounded in ethnographic research carried out at the epicenters of political violence on several continents. Its pages are populated not only with the perpetrators and victims of war but also with the scoundrels, silent heroes, and average families who live their lives in the midst of explosive violence. War reconfigures our most basic notions of humanity, Nordstrom demonstrates. This book, of crucial importance at the present moment, shows that war is enmeshed in struggles over the very foundations of the sovereign state, the crafting of economic empires both legal and illegal, and innovative searches for peace. Nordstrom describes the multi-trillion-dollar international financial networks that support warfare. She traces the entangled routes by which illegal drugs, precious gems, weapons, basic food supplies, and pharmaceuticals are moved by an international cast of businesspeople, profiteers, and black-market operators. Shadows of War demonstrates how the experiences of both the architects of war and of ordinary people are deleted from media accounts and replaced with stories about soldiers, weapons, and territory. For the first time, this book retrieves from the shadows the faces of those whose stories seldom reach the light of international recognition.
It is said that in war heaven and earth change places not once, but many times. When Heaven and Earth Changed Places is the haunting memoir of a girl on the verge of womanhood in a world turned upside down. The youngest of six children in a close-knit Buddhist family, Le Ly Hayslip was twelve years old when U.S. helicopters langed in Ky La, her tiny village in central Vietnam. As the government and Viet Cong troops fought in and around Ky La, both sides recruited children as spies and saboteurs. Le Ly was one of those children. Before the age of sixteen, Le Ly had suffered near-starvation, imprisonment, torture, rape, and the deaths of beloved family members—but miraculously held fast to her faith in humanity. And almost twenty years after her escape to Ameica, she was drawn inexorably back to the devastated country and family she left behind. Scenes of this joyous reunion are interwoven with the brutal war years, offering a poignant picture of vietnam, then and now, and of a courageous woman who experienced the true horror of the Vietnam War—and survived to tell her unforgettable story.
From Andrew X. Pham, the award-winning author of Catfish and Mandala, a son’s searing memoir of his Vietnamese father’s experiences over the course of three wars. The Philadelphia Inquirer hailed Andrew Pham’s debut, Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam, for evoking “the full sadness of the human condition . . . marveling at spiritual resilience amid irreconcilable facts.” The New York Times Book Review called it, simply, “remarkable.” Now, in The Eaves of Heaven, Pham gives voice to his father’s unique experience in an unforgettable story of war and remembrance. Once wealthy landowners, Thong Van Pham’s family was shattered by the tumultuous events of the twentieth century: the festering French occupation of Indochina, the Japanese invasion during World War II, and the Vietnam War. Told in dazzling chapters that alternate between events in the past and those closer to the present, The Eaves of Heaven brilliantly re-creates the trials of everyday life in Vietnam as endured by one man, from the fall of Hanoi and the collapse of French colonialism to the frenzied evacuation of Saigon. Pham offers a rare portal into a lost world as he chronicles Thong Van Pham’s heartbreaks, triumphs, and bizarre reversals of fortune, whether as a South Vietnamese soldier pinned down by enemy fire, a prisoner of the North Vietnamese under brutal interrogation, or a refugee desperately trying to escape Vietnam after the last American helicopter has abandoned Saigon. This is the story of a man caught in the maelstrom of twentieth-century politics, a gripping memoir told with the urgency of a wartime dispatch by a writer of surpassing talent. From the Hardcover edition.
A Distinguished and Bestselling Historian and Army Veteran Revisits the Culture War that Raged around the Selection of Maya Lin's Design for the Vietnam Memorial A Rift in the Earth tells the remarkable story of the ferocious “art war” that raged between 1979 and 1984 over what kind of memorial should be built to honor the men and women who died in the Vietnam War. The story intertwines art, politics, historical memory, patriotism, racism, and a fascinating set of characters, from those who fought in the conflict and those who resisted it to politicians at the highest level. At its center are two enduring figures: Maya Lin, a young, Asian-American architecture student at Yale whose abstract design won the international competition but triggered a fierce backlash among powerful figures; and Frederick Hart, an innovative sculptor of humble origins on the cusp of stardom. James Reston, Jr., a veteran who lost a close friend in the war and has written incisively about the conflict's bitter aftermath, explores how the debate reignited passions around Vietnam long after the war’s end and raised questions about how best to honor those who fought and sacrificed in an ill-advised war. Richly illustrated with photographs from the era and design entries from the memorial competition, A Rift in the Earth is timed to appear alongside Ken Burns's eagerly anticipated PBS documentary, The Vietnam War. “The memorial appears as a rift in the earth, a long polished black stone wall, emerging from and receding into the earth."—Maya Lin "I see the wall as a kind of ocean, a sea of sacrifice. . . . I place these figures upon the shore of that sea." —Frederick Hart
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time In this magisterial book, a monument of history and biography that was awarded the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, renowned journalist Neil Sheehan tells the story of Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann–"the one irreplaceable American in Vietnam"–and of the tragedy that destroyed that country and the lives of so many Americans. Outspoken and fearless, John Paul Vann arrived in Vietnam in 1962, full of confidence in America's might and right to prevail. A Bright Shining Lie reveals the truth about the war in Vietnam as it unfolded before Vann's eyes: the arrogance and professional corruption of the U.S. military system of the 1960s, the incompetence and venality of the South Vietnamese army, the nightmare of death and destruction that began with the arrival of the American forces. Witnessing the arrogance and self-deception firsthand, Vann put his life and career on the line in an attempt to convince his superiors that the war should be fought another way. But by the time he died in 1972, Vann had embraced the follies he once decried. He went to his grave believing that the war had been won. A haunting and critically acclaimed masterpiece, A Bright Shining Lie is a timeless account of the American experience in Vietnam–a work that is epic in scope, piercing in detail, and told with the keen understanding of a journalist who was actually there. Neil Sheehan' s classic serves as a stunning revelation for all who thought they understood the war. From the Hardcover edition.
The Vietnamese are in the unusual situation of being both colonizers themselves and the victims of colonization by others. Their country expanded, shrunk, split and sometimes disappeared, often under circumstances way beyond their control. Despite these often overwhelming pressures Vietnam has survived and is universally recognized as forming one of Asia's most striking and complex cultures. As more and more visitors come to this extraordinary country, there has been for some years a need for a major history - a book which allows the outsider to understand the many complex layers left by earlier emperors, rebels, priests and colonizers. Vietnam's role in one of the Cold War's longest conflicts has meant that its past has been endlessly abused for propaganda purposes and it is perhaps only now that the events which created the modern state can be seen through a truly historical perspective. Christopher Goscha is a leading expert on Vietnam, and this book draws on the latest research and discoveries in Vietnamese, French and English. It is a major achievement, describing both the grand narrative of Vietnam's story but also many of the remarkable byways and what ifs, and is particularly strong on the countless minority groups who have done so much over the centuries to define the many versions of Vietnam.
Awe and exhiliration--along with heartbreak and mordant wit--abound in Lolita, Nabokov's most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert's obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love--love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.
“I sat on a bench near a willow tree and watched a pair of kites soaring in the sky. I thought about something Rahim Khan said just before he hung up, almost as an afterthought, ‘There is a way to be good again.’” Now in paperback, one of the year’s international literary sensations -- a shattering story of betrayal and redemption set in war-torn Afghanistan. Amir and Hassan are childhood friends in the alleys and orchards of Kabul in the sunny days before the invasion of the Soviet army and Afghanistan’s decent into fanaticism. Both motherless, they grow up as close as brothers, but their fates, they know, are to be different. Amir’s father is a wealthy merchant; Hassan’s father is his manservant. Amir belongs to the ruling caste of Pashtuns, Hassan to the despised Hazaras. This fragile idyll is broken by the mounting ethnic, religious, and political tensions that begin to tear Afghanistan apart. An unspeakable assault on Hassan by a gang of local boys tears the friends apart; Amir has witnessed his friend’s torment, but is too afraid to intercede. Plunged into self-loathing, Amir conspires to have Hassan and his father turned out of the household. When the Soviets invade Afghanistan, Amir and his father flee to San Francisco, leaving Hassan and his father to a pitiless fate. Only years later will Amir have an opportunity to redeem himself by returning to Afghanistan to begin to repay the debt long owed to the man who should have been his brother. Compelling, heartrending, and etched with details of a history never before told in fiction, The Kite Runner is a story of the ways in which we’re damned by our moral failures, and of the extravagant cost of redemption. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Powerful tragedy of an aging king, betrayed by his daughters, robbed of his kingdom, descending into madness. Perhaps the bleakest of Shakespeare's tragic dramas, complete with explanatory footnotes.
The most famous and perhaps greatest novel of all time, Tolstoy's 'War and Peace' tells the story of five families struggling for survival during Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812. As Napoleon's army invades, Tolstoy brilliantly follows characters from diverse backgrounds—peasants and nobility, civilians and soldiers—as they struggle with the problems unique to their era, their history, and their culture. And as the novel progresses, these characters transcend their specificity, becoming some of the most moving—and human—figures in world literature. Among its many unforgettable characters is Prince Andrey Bolkonsky, a proud, dashing man who, despising the artifice of high society, joins the army to achieve glory. Badly wounded at Austerlitz, he begins to discover the emptiness of everything to which he has devoted himself. His death scene is considered one of the greatest passages in Russian literature. The novel's other hero, the bumbling Pierre Bezukhov, tries to find meaning in life through a series of philosophical systems that promise to resolve all questions. He at last discovers the Tolstoyan truth that wisdom is to be found not in systems but in the ordinary processes of daily life, especially in his marriage to the novel's most memorable heroine, Natasha. Both an intimate study of individual passions and an epic history of Russia and its people, 'War and Peace' is nothing more or less than a complete portrait of human existence. Publisher : General Press
The fall brings four more antic novels from comic genius, P. G. Wodehouse. In Picadilly Jim (soon to be a major motion picture), Jimmy Crocker has a scandalous reputation on both sides of the Atlantic and must do an about-face to win back the woman of his dreams. Uneasy Money sees the hard-up Lord Dawlish off to America to make a fortune, while in Cocktail Time events turn on the fate of a filmscript. Spring Fever is a light-hearted comedy involving love and various complications.
On Platform One of Paddington Station in London, there is a statue of an unknown soldier; he’s reading a letter. On the hundredth anniversary of the declaration of war everyone in the country was invited to take a moment and write that letter. A selection of those letters are published here, in a new kind of war memorial – one made only of words.
A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Duong Van Mai Elliott's The Sacred Willow illuminates recent Vietnamese history by weaving together the stories of the lives of four generations of her family. Beginning with her great-grandfather, who rose from rural poverty to become an influential landowner, and continuing to the present, Mai Elliott traces her family's journey through an era of tumultuous change. She tells us of childhood hours in her grandmother's silk shop, and of hiding while French troops torched her village, watching while blossoms torn by fire from the trees flutter "like hundreds of butterflies" overhead. She makes clear the agonizing choices that split Vietnamese families: her eldest sister left her staunchly anti-communist home to join the Viet Minh, and spent months sleeping in jungle camps with her infant son, fearing air raids by day and tigers by night. And she follows several family members through the last, desperate hours of the fall of Saigon-including one nephew who tried to escape by grabbing the skid of a departing American helicopter. Based on family papers, dozens of interviews, and a wealth of other research, this is not only a memorable family saga but a record of how the Vietnamese themselves have experienced their times.
“An intimate―and disturbing―account of war at its most brutal, told from the point of view of civilians trying to survive the maelstrom.” —Publishers Weekly Vietnam, January, 1968. As the citizens of Hue are preparing to celebrate Tet, the start of the Lunar New Year, Nha Ca arrives in the city to attend her father’s funeral. Without warning, war erupts all around them, drastically changing or cutting short their lives. After a month of fighting, their beautiful city lies in ruins and thousands of people are dead. Mourning Headband for Hue tells the story of what happened during the fierce North Vietnamese offensive and is an unvarnished and riveting account of war as experienced by ordinary people caught up in the violence. “A visceral reminder of war’s intimate slaughter.” —Kirkus Reviews “[A] searing eyewitness account . . . It makes for an intimate―and disturbing―account of war at its most brutal told from the point of view of civilians trying to survive the maelstrom.” —VVA Veteran
After her nightmarish recovery from a serious car accident, Faye gets horrible news from her doctor, and it hits her hard like a rock: she can’t bear children. In extreme shock, she breaks off her engagement, leaves her job and confines herself in her family home. One day, she meets her brother’s best friend , and her soul makes a first step to healing.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ZADIE SMITH Into the intrigue and violence of Indo-China comes Pyle, a young idealistic American sent to promote democracy through a mysterious 'Third Force'. As his naive optimism starts to cause bloodshed, his friend Fowler, a cynical foreign correspondent, finds it hard to stand aside and watch. But even as he intervenes he wonders why: for the sake of politics, or for love?
THE LETTERS FROM THE SUITCASE by Rosheen and Cal Finnigan reveals the detailed and poignant wartime romance between David and Mary Francis. For readers of Sheila Hancock's MISS CARTER'S WAR or Helen Simonson's MAJOR PETTIGREW'S LAST STAND 'I still have that recurring fear of something happening to me before I see you again, and before I can tell you myself just how much and how often I've realised during the last few months that I love you completely and to the exclusion of all others. Remember that, because if there wasn't you, my darling Mary, the world would seem very empty and meaningless.' Mary and David Francis were only twenty-one and nineteen when they met in 1938. They fell in love instantly, and against the wishes of David's parents, they lived together and married, in secret. These poignant letters reveal their intelligence and thoughtfulness, their passion, the everyday details of their lives working as a secretary at Bletchley Park and as a young officer in action on the other side of the world, and Mary's experience of bringing up a small baby alone in London. David was to die in India, five years after their first encounter, though his letters continued to reach Mary long after the event. At heart, this is the story of a young couple who were utterly devoted to one another. It is also the story of a father that Rosheen Finnigan never knew but came to love.
A New York Times Best Seller! A New York Times Notable Book! A unique and sweeping debut novel of an American female combat photographer in the Vietnam War, as she captures the wrenching chaos and finds herself torn between the love of two men. On a stifling day in 1975, the North Vietnamese army is poised to roll into Saigon. As the fall of the city begins, two lovers make their way through the streets to escape to a new life. Helen Adams, an American photojournalist, must take leave of a war she is addicted to and a devastated country she has come to love. Linh, the Vietnamese man who loves her, must grapple with his own conflicted loyalties of heart and homeland. As they race to leave, they play out a drama of devotion and betrayal that spins them back through twelve war-torn years, beginning in the splendor of Angkor Wat, with their mentor, larger-than-life war correspondent Sam Darrow, once Helen's infuriating love and fiercest competitor, and Linh's secret keeper, boss and truest friend. Tatjana Soli paints a searing portrait of an American woman's struggle and triumph in Vietnam, a stirring canvas contrasting the wrenching horror of war and the treacherous narcotic of obsession with the redemptive power of love. Readers will be transfixed by this stunning novel of passion, duty and ambition among the ruins of war.
Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie's friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.
From Melos to My Lai presents an erudite, provocative and moving analysis of the accounts of violence in the literature and history of ancient Greece and in the film literature and veterans' accounts of the Vietnam War. This comparative investigation examines the nature of violence, its impact on society and culture, especially as reflected from the perspective of the survivors. The survivors include not only actual combatants, but those with whom they interact: their comrades, their wives and children, families and society as a whole. From Melos to My Lai provides a unique contribution to the study of the impact of violence on its participants and its audience which combines an examination of the artistic representations of violence and the real-life accounts of those involved in it.
For the first time, nine women who made journalism history talk candidly about their professional and deeply personal experiences as young reporters who lived, worked, and loved surrounded by war. Their stories span a decade of America’s involvement in Vietnam, from the earliest days of the conflict until the last U.S. helicopters left Saigon in 1975. They were gutsy risk-takers who saw firsthand what most Americans knew only from their morning newspapers or the evening news. Many had very particular reasons for going to Vietnam—some had to fight and plead to go—but others ended up there by accident. What happened to them was remarkable and important by any standard. Their lives became exciting beyond anything they had ever imagined, and the experience never left them. It was dangerous—one was wounded, and one was captured by the North Vietnamese—but the challenges they faced were uniquely rewarding. They lived at full tilt, making an impact on all the people around them, from the orphan children in the streets to their fellow journalists and photographers to the soldiers they met and lived with in the field. They experienced anguish and heartbreak—and an abundance of friendship and love. These stories not only introduce a remarkable group of individuals but give an entirely new perspective on the most controversial conflict in our history. Vietnam changed their lives forever. Here they tell about it with all the candor, commitment, and energy that characterized their courageous reporting during the war. From the Hardcover edition.
Since Achilles first stormed into our imagination, literature has introduced its readers to truly unforgettable martial characters. In Men at War, Christopher Coker discusses some of the most famous of these fictional creations and their impact on our understanding of war and masculinity. Grouped into five archetypes-warriors, heroes, villains, survivors and victims-these characters range across 3000 years of history, through epic poems, the modern novel and one of the twentieth century's most famous film scripts. Great authors like Homer and Tolstoy show us aspects of reality invisible except through a literary lens, while fictional characters such as Achilles and Falstaff, Robert Jordan and Jack Aubrey, are not just larger than life; they are life's largeness-and this is why we seek them out. Although the Greeks knew that the lovers, wives and mothers of soldiers are the chief victims of battle, for the combatants, war is a masculine pursuit. Each of Coker's chapters explores what fiction tells us about war's appeal to young men and the way it makes- and breaks-them. The existential appeal of war too is perhaps best conveyed in fictional accounts, and these too are scrutinized by the author.
This text examines the Pacific War, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, from the perspective of those who fought the wars and lived through them. The relationship between history and memory informs the book, and each war is relocated in the historical and cultural experiences of Asian countries.
In the context of the current explosion of interest in Gothic literature and popular culture, this interdisciplinary collection of essays explores for the first time the rich and long-standing relationship between war and the Gothic. Critics have described the global Seven Year’s War as the "crucible" from which the Gothic genre emerged in the eighteenth century. Since then, the Gothic has been a privileged mode for representing violence and extreme emotions and situations. Covering the period from the American Civil War to the War on Terror, this collection examines how the Gothic has provided writers an indispensable toolbox for narrating, critiquing, and representing real and fictional wars. The book also sheds light on the overlap and complicity between Gothic aesthetics and certain aspects of military experience, including the bodily violation and mental dissolution of combat, the dehumanization of "others," psychic numbing, masculinity in crisis, and the subjective experience of trauma and memory. Engaging with popular forms such as young adult literature, gaming, and comic books, as well as literature, film, and visual art, War Gothic provides an important and timely overview of war-themed Gothic art and narrative by respected experts in the field of Gothic Studies. This book makes important contributions to the fields of Gothic Literature, War Literature, Popular Culture, American Studies, and Film, Television & Media.
Reverberations of the Vietnam War can still be felt in American culture. The post-9/11 United States forays into the Middle East, the invasion and occupation of Iraq especially, have evoked comparisons to the nearly two decades of American presence in Viet Nam (1954-1973). That evocation has renewed interest in the Vietnam War, resulting in the re-printing of older War narratives and the publication of new ones. This volume tracks those echoes as they appear in American, Vietnamese American, and Vietnamese war literature, much of which has joined the American literary canon. Using a wide range of theoretical approaches, these essays analyze works by Michael Herr, Bao Ninh, Duong Thu Huong, Bobbie Ann Mason, le thi diem thuy, Tim O'Brien, Larry Heinemann, and newcomers Denis Johnson, Karl Marlantes, and Tatjana Solis. Including an historical timeline of the conflict and annotated guides to further reading, this is an essential guide for students and readers of contemporary American fiction
War has been a perennial feature of human history since ancient times, yet it remains a poorly understood phenomenon. It has done much to shape our world, from overthrowing leaders, establishing international governance, and inspiring social change, to destroying cities, dividing nations and breeding animosity. In this book, Dr Aaron Edwards succinctly combines political theories with historical realities. Using eyewitness accounts, war poetry and insightful analysis of a wide range of conflicts, War: A Beginner's Guide introduces the reader to the complexity and human face of war and invites readers to question whether violence is the most effective way to resolve disputes.
During the Vietnam War, Vietnamese Buddhist peace activists made extraordinary sacrifices -- including self-immolation -- to try to end the fighting. They hoped to establish a neutralist government that would broker peace with the Communists and expel the Americans. Robert J. Topmiller explores South Vietnamese attitudes toward the war, the insurgency, and U.S. intervention, and lays bare the dissension within the U.S. military. The Lotus Unleashed is one of the few studies to illuminate the impact of internal Vietnamese politics on U.S. decision-making and to examine the power of a nonviolent movement to confront a violent superpower.
Although many young Americans are highly trained to be skilled soldiers, they have little or no training in dealing with the realities of combat. They have not been trained to deal with the consequences of war, namely: psychological injuries, deaths of close friends, and the betrayal of what is morally right. All this has lead to soldiers experiencing a spiritual death and emotional numbness. The church and the government have ignored the soldiers who have been acting out. “Silencing the survivor”, is not working, too many soldiers are suffering and it is time for the church and government to aid these heroic warriors. This is a personal story of my struggle with my conscience and what I was asked to do. It is a story of my battle with the psychological consequences of war and the spiritual battle that took place within my soul as I tried to recover from the horrors of war. I in hope that it will help other young men and women deal with the realities of war.
Between 1740 and 1832, England witnessed what has been called its 'golden age of caricature', coinciding with intense rivalry and with war with France. This book shows how Georgian satirical prints reveal attitudes towards the French 'Other' that were far more complex, ambivalent, empathetic and multifaceted than has previously been recognised.