What It is Like to Go to War

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What It is Like to Go to War am Ebook I am of the age where I could very well have been a veteran of the Vietnam War Or I could have died there But I was spared that first by student deferm

What It is Like to Go to War am Ebook I am of the age where I could very well have been a veteran of the Vietnam War. Or, I could have died there. But I was spared that, first by student deferments and then the timeliness of the Paris Peace Talks. However, I know and have known many men who fought there. On the surface, they seem fine. Their silence about their experiences is uniform. Yet, I know one man who cannot stand to be touched. He has an exaggerated startle response at the slightest contact. And a good lady friend had a lengthy relationship with another veteran of that war. That ended after too many nights shattered by his night terrors and, on more than one occasion his choking her, believing he was engaged in hand to hand combat.My Uncle celebrated his 21st birthday at Hickham Field on December 7, 1941. During his lifetime he never spoke of that morning. Island hopping across the Pacific, his only story regarding New Guinea was having been in the same unit as Mario Lanza. He didn't like him. Crude, vulgar, he described him.But if you want to know what it is like to go to war, Karl Marlantes will tell you. He leaves no doubt as to what it is like.The briefest biography of Karl Marlantes immediately informs the reader his books will not be ordinary fare. A National Merit Scholar, Marlantes attended Yale University. He attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, interrupted by his service in Vietnam as a young Lieutenant. There he was awarded the Bronze Star, the Navy Cross, and twelve Air Medals. Marlantes earned the right to be called a warrior and to educate those who have never been to war what it means to be one.Marlantes battled thirty years to achieve publication of his novel "Matterhorn" in 2010. Now, Marlantes has followed up his novel with a memoir on his experiences in Vietnam and his opinions on how young men sent into war are done so without the necessary education to understand what they will experience and without the appropriate services necessary to reintegrate them into civilian life."What it is Like to Go to War" is a hard hitting portrait of the experience of war and its effect on the human psyche. When an author of Marlantes' stature rubs elbows with Joseph Campbell and Robert Bly, the end result is an eloquent, articulate, and psychologically astute punch to the gut.Generations ago, young men were sent to war by old men who had forgotten what it was like. That is no longer the case. Our military has grown successively younger. No longer do green young men have the benefit of older career non-coms and officers who have fought in previous wars. Nor have the vast majority of our nation's leaders had actual combat experience. The graying Master Sergeant portrayed by Sam Elliott in "We Were Soldiers" is fast becoming a thing of the past.Marlantes expresses disdain for congressional combat junkets where representatives never see the results of actual combat. Their experience is one of calm and quiet, conducted to assure their constituency that all things are under control and there is nothing to worry about.Interlaced with Marlantes' personal experiences are frequent references to classic military quotations and writings that address the essence of what it is like to go to war. Here, Marlantes shows us ancient cultural examples including the Celtic mythos surrounding Cuchulain, examples of the Code of Bushido, and some pointed quotations from General Patton addressing the importance of the principles of loyalty flowing from the top of leadership down to the enlisted man being more important than its flow in the opposite direction.Marlantes is merciless in his exposure of lying in the military world for the protection of career reputation and personal aggrandizement. His primary example centered on the false importance of "body counts" during the Vietnam War. Marlantes cheered Schwarzkopf when that General indicated the number of Republican Guard destroyed was irrelevant--that what mattered what who gave in first. In the end, that is what matters.Today, unless we have family members stationed in a hot spot, that we have troops engaged in military operations causes us little concern. Marlantes reminds us, "Warriors deal with death. They take life away from others. This is normally the role of God...The Marine Corps taught me how to kill but it didn't teach me how to deal with the killing."It is impossible to read Marlantes' account without realizing that our young men who have returned from Iraq and who have yet to return from Afghanistan will not be the same young men we knew when they first went there. As they have served to ostensibly protect us, in turn we must now see that we acknowledge their return and welcome them home with the necessary services to lead the semblance of a normal life away from the sound of the guns. . From the author of the New York Times bestseller Matterhorn, this is a powerful nonfiction book about the experience of combat and how inadequately we prepare our young men and women for war.War is as old as humankind, but in the past, warriors were prepared for battle by ritual, religion and literature which also helped bring them home In a compelling narrative, MarlaFrom the author of the New York Times bestseller Matterhorn, this is a powerful nonfiction book about the experience of combat and how inadequately we prepare our young men and women for war.War is as old as humankind, but in the past, warriors were prepared for battle by ritual, religion and literature which also helped bring them home In a compelling narrative, Marlantes weaves riveting accounts of his combat experiences with thoughtful analysis, self examination and his readings from Homer to the Mahabharata to Jung He talks frankly about how he is haunted by the face of the young North Vietnamese soldier he killed at close quarters and how he finally finds a way to make peace with his past Marlantes discusses the daily contradictions that warriors face in the grind of war, where each battle requires them to take life or spare life, and where they enter a state he likens to the fervor of religious ecstasy.Just as Matterhorn is already being 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.. Good Ebook What It is Like to Go to War This wasn't an easy read. But then, nothing about war is easy, much less the psychological and spiritual effects of war on our combat vets. This was as thought provoking, challenging, and emotionally draining as any solid book about war should be. A few caveats to add context to my review of the book: 1) I won this book through Good Reads. 2) I am a civilian. 3) I am a US citizen. 4) I am an opponent of the vast majority of wars that we have participated in. 5) I am a counselor; the counseling profession has a recent yet fast moving awareness to the effects war can have on the psyche. Marlantes gently and intellectually challenged my views of war. In a profession where entire scholarly journals, conferences, and specializations are dedicated to the trauma or war, I had become even more set in my "anti-war" ways. This is certainly not to say that I am pro-war now. What I am, though, is aware of my previous sophomoric "anti-war" views. Marlantes presented a middle ground to me. This is a slow read. It should be this way too, as war is slow. At the end I knew this was a necessary read for me. It won't be long before this is required reading in High Schools (hopefully we will be wise enough to require it before our youth are of age to sign up for the draft). While never directly mentioning either, Marlantes helped me understand both a generation and political party I have never seen eye to eye with. I have not moved to stand on the other sides of those painted lines. But now, thanks to Marlantes, I stand closer to the center and have more balance, understanding, and compassion. What a surprisingly impacting read.
Urban Dictionary what it is An all but lost phrase from the seventies era of ebonics, the closest contemporary equivalent being, What up WHAT IT IS is often a rhetorical question like, How s it hanging or What s going on it is what it is Dictionary Jul , It is what it is is an expression used to characterize a frustrating or challenging situation that a person believes cannot be changed and must just be accepted Where does it is what it is come from JONATHAN DAVIS What It Is Official Music Video EPISODE Jan , Song What It Is Artist Jonathan Davis Album What It Is Licensed to YouTube by WMG on behalf of Sumerian Records LatinAutor PeerMusic, Reservoir Media Publishing , BMI Broadcast Music Mark Knopfler What It Is Official Video YouTube Nov , Mark Knopfler What It Is Official Video YouTube What It Is is the opening track from Mark s album Sailing To Philadelphia released in September MarkKnopfler KYLE What It Is Lyrics Genius Lyrics May , What It Is Lyrics If that s what it is If you gotta leave me, baby, I won t shed no tears If that s what it is If you gotta go I hope you re happier with him If that s what it is If you Mark Knopfler What It Is YouTube Jun , Classic Mark Knopfler Song enjoy Thanks to ThaJonas for helping It is what it is Idioms by The Free Dictionary it is what it is The situation, circumstance, or outcome has already happened or been decided or established, so it must be accepted even if it is undesirable Look, we lost the game, but it is what it is All we can do is work even harder for the next one. Who Coined the Phrase It Is What It Is Though there s no official dictionary definition of the phrase, you can figure out the meaning of It is what it is based on how it is used When someone says this, it s often an expression of frustration or resigned acceptance of a situation It s usually used to answer a The Hidden Meaning of It Is What It Is Psychology Today May , The increased use of it is what it is seemed to be a sign that people are increasingly comfortable with states of potentiality, which are states that could collapse to different Why It Is What It Is is a Stupid Phrase The Military Nov , It is what it is He used the phrase to explain or rather, excuse action and inaction, misfortune and blessing, success and failure And as I alluded, the phrase had evolved from words to mindset and permeated the command climate in the unit.

About Author

  • Karl Marlantes Post author

    A graduate of Yale University and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, Karl Marlantes served as 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 is the author of Matterhorn, which won the William E Colby Award given by the Pritzker Military Library, the Center For Fiction s Flaherty Dunnan First Novel Prize, the 2011 Indies Choice Award for Adult Debut Book of the Year and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation s James Webb Award for Distinguished Fiction He lives in rural Washington.

One thought on “What It is Like to Go to War

  • I am of the age where I could very well have been a veteran of the Vietnam War Or, I could have died there But I was spared that, first by student deferments and then the timeliness of the Paris Peace Talks However, I know and have known many men who fought there On the surface, they seem fine Their silence about their experiences is uniform Yet, I know one man who cannot stand to be touched He has an exaggerated startle response at the slightest contact And a good lady friend had a lengthy rela [...]


  • This wasn t an easy read But then, nothing about war is easy, much less the psychological and spiritual effects of war on our combat vets This was as thought provoking, challenging, and emotionally draining as any solid book about war should be A few caveats to add context to my review of the book 1 I won this book through Good Reads 2 I am a civilian 3 I am a US citizen 4 I am an opponent of the vast majority of wars that we have participated in 5 I am a counselor the counseling profession has [...]


  • Warriors must touch their souls because their job involves killing people Warriors deal with eternity Karl Marlantes, What it is Like to Go to War my little brother in Afghanistan An exploration of war Part memoir of a Marine Vietnam War , part Joseph Campbell Jungian exploration of the warrior, part critique of policy The book is also written directly to those men boys and yes, women I guess too preparing for war Having suffered PTSD from Vietnam, Marlantes uses this book to instruct younger wa [...]


  • So, if a lifelong pacifist liberal says a book about how to train our soldiers is a must read, it must be full of peacenik bullshit aimed at undermining the military, right Believe me, though, when I say that s not the case with Karl Marlantes What It Is Like to Go to War Marlantes brings experience and knowledge to bear on something about which I know little to nothing Yet I find the book so profound that I do call it a must read, an appellation that rarely passes my lips.The list of those who [...]


  • The author of the popular Matterhorn A Novel of the Vietnam War has turned his talents to writing a nonfiction book about his experiences in Vietnam, how present day warriors are not trained to emotionally and spiritually deal with the jobs they physically must do, what we ve done wrong, what we need to do better He looks at the history of war and warriors in ancient cultures and mythology, and how the wars we fight are changing every day He has advice for warriors, those who are serving now, th [...]


  • After the warrior returns home from the initiation of combat, he becomes a member of The Club of combat veterans It has always been a club with its own secrets and its own and societally imposed rules of silence Traditionally, it has been a club tied in with the mystery of gender because being a warrior was tied in with manhood This ancient mystery combined with the silence forms an intriguing and powerful combination for attracting future members, particularly boys You don t join this club you [...]


  • I didn t intend to read this book, but my boyfriend recently got it as an mp3 through the library, and since he never follows through on things he gets from the library, and the other mp3 I wanted to listen to was broken, I snagged this one on my way out the door one day because I have to listen to something while I walk the dogs or else I get sad.This was a bad choice to avoid sadness.About 20 mins into the walk I wanted to scrape my face off the sidewalk I felt this heaviness in my chest and o [...]


  • I read Tim O Brien s The Things They Carried in July and decided to chase it with Karl Marlantes What It Is Like To Go To War.Marlantes can write descriptively and honestly I particularly recall one scene during boot camp when he swatted a mosquito His drill sergeant took him to a slough and had him stand naked in a swarm of mosquitoes I also enjoyed his description of how becoming a marine changes how he thought about danger and his abilities These scenes were descriptive and I found them illum [...]


  • Karl Marlantes and I share a good bit in common as regards the subject matter of this book We both entered the service as Privates in 1964 he a Marine, me the Army , we both were commissioned as Lieutenants through OCS, and we were both rifle platoon leaders and interim company commanders in Vietnam in 1966 I am somewhat conflicted in commenting on this book I read it principally because I read Matterhorn and and felt that it was the only Vietnam novel that I have encountered that was worth ones [...]


  • Matterhorn was certainly a notable book, so I had to enter the giveaway for this one Marlantes as usual did not disappoint, and the subject matter of his book is one that everyone should be deeply concerned about, especially with the high suicide rate for out returning soldiers.Marlantes provides a riveting account of what it is like to be sent to war and points out how ill prepared our young men are Previous generations spent years preparing warriors Modern Americans should and could do to sup [...]


  • Probably go so far as to say there was some over intellectualising going on here, but that aside, this book gave me many a valuable moment as it unlocks much of Matterhorn The Marlantes fiction memoir Marlantes reveals in this non fiction book what you no doubt already suspected, that much of his fiction was based on truth and at times, danced very close to being an exact blow by blow of events.Many who know me on , know that I lay my heart on the table in my review of Karl Marlantes book Matter [...]


  • Vietnam veteran Karl Marlantes wrote this haunting nonfiction book about the realities and after effects of combat, in the context of both historical conflict and modern day war.I had put this on my to read list after reading a review of the book that earmarked it as one of the best insights into the modern day warrior mind that the reviewer had ever read Although I can t say I ve read every book in this genre in order to make that comparison myself, I can say that this book and Marlantes person [...]


  • One of the best books I have ever read about war and my first book about the Vietnam War I have always avoided movies and books about Vietnam because of having grown up while the war raged My cousin who was a helicopter commander was shot down in 1970, he and two others out of his crew of 4 died I ll never forget the day that my family heard the news that he died and to this day that fact is still lodged firmly in my memory While reading this book I constantly thought about Alex and what his exp [...]


  • What It is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes was a book that I won through , and I was looking forward to reading it My husband is an Army vet who spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as on the Korea DMZ I thought that perhaps the book would touch on war experiences of multiple soldiers and provide insight on how the war affects soldiers.However, I found that I just couldn t get through this book It read very slow with lofty psychological language and I even have my BA in Psychology and [...]


  • As one of tens of thousands of readers who read and marveled at Karl Marlantes best selling novel of the Vietnam war, MATTERHORN, and wondered either privately or publicly how he managed to write such a viscerally real, honest and gut wrenching fictional account of that war, here is our answer Or at least Marlantes attempt to answer that question Because this follow up book, WHAT IT IS LIKE TO GO TO WAR, reads like a cross between a psychological and sociological inquiry into the hell that is wa [...]


  • I m a sucker for books about war, or the effect that war has on people Until I saw this book, I had never heard of Karl Marlantes I mentioned this on Twitter soon after starting it, and was deluged with people recommending that I read his book, Matterhorn called by many the best novel written about Vietnam Reel back to when I picked up What It Is Like To Go To War I was hooked within a page Good enough reason to buy, so I bought it, and read it all in about 24 hours.This is a great piece of writ [...]


  • I ve met Karl Marlantes a couple of times now, and each time I ve been deeply impressed with his intense intelligence, his ability to tell a story, and his bravery to talk so very honestly about war, what he did in it, what he got out of it, and what he wishes were different, then and now This book is very much like having a long conversation albeit with footnotes with the man himself He opens up about everything which requires a depth of bravery that far surpasses that of a traditional warrior, [...]


  • Quite possibly the best book written about the subject, at least the best I ve ever read I admit that as a contemporary of Marlantes, I had than a passing interest in the subject, as a combat veteran Marine Corps officer myself If I ever wanted to take the easy way out to try to explain my post war self to my children, I d simply hand them this book.Marlantes gives not only a this is the way it is narrative, but also a rather in depth philosophical look at the way American boys are or at least [...]


  • What an amazing book It s part memoir, confession, ethics workshop, psychology, mythology tutorial, and war story While Dave Grossman s much touted On Killing gets into the psychology of killing, Marlantes book delves into the soul of the matter It s heartfelt, raw, prescriptive, and wise It doesn t have the I told you so admonition nor does it have the I m old and wise now, so listen up aura about it But it s compelling reading Marlantes sounds like a real jerk as a young man seeker of medals, [...]


  • This book gave me an entirely different perspective about war and what the men and women who fight them really experience.I have deep respect and empathy for the young men and women from all over the world who make incredible sacrifices sometimes sacrificing their own lives to fight wars, our wars.Karl Marlantes a Vietam War veteran, a Marine very eloquently and with amazing depth explores just how little preparation young warriors receive in terms of how their minds and their spirits will heal [...]


  • This was an interesting companion to Matterhorn, Marlantes novel about Vietnam Here Marlantes further examines the preparation and repercussions of serving in combat Pulling from his own experiences and historical references Marlantes offers suggestions for the military to better prepare soldiers before and after I found Matterhorn to also be well written but had of an emotional punch I would recommend this to contemporary memoir readers and those interested in combat and impacts of war on warr [...]


  • Karl Marlantes What It is Like to Go to War hit me so hard within just the few minutes of listening, that I immediately wondered why I hadn t heard of this book before As it turns out, I had Sort of The year before What It is Like to Go to War was published 2011 , Marlantes published the award winning, much reviewed, best selling novel Matterhorn, which I had heard something about You can read an NYT review of that book here Many of the events depicted in Matterhorn are identical in What It is L [...]


  • One of the best books of this kind I have read The key is to be honest To tell the truth about how intense life can feel when you can lose it at any time I read part of this book while watching young boys and girls at a baseball camp in a minor league park with Knocking on Heaven s Door playing over the loudspeaker The combination of the song, the book, and the kids playing made me feel like this is what we want to fight to preserve.


  • I was a First Reads winner of this book and I was fortunate to have this book land in my possession.First, I appreciate that the author is writing about something he knows first hand about I get upset when people write or talk about something they have never experienced I felt Marlantes experience was explained appropriately and held my attention without being over the top in bloody details.Second, I want to thank all veterans who have served our country in the past and pre thank all of those wh [...]


  • I received What It Is Like To Go To War by Karl Marlantes as a Good Reads First Reads GiveawayI was so pleased when I heard I had won this book It took me a few days to read but that was because I needed time to let each bit I had read sink in Some parts were harder than others but only because my heart ached for the soldiers In my life I have heard stories from teachers, family and friends who honorably served in different branches of the military, however nothing compares to the sheer honesty [...]


  • I appreciate Mr Marlantes book and how it puts the human experience of war in context Everyone should have to read this book and get a better understanding of what we ask our soldiers to do, to commit to Perhaps then there would be a bit compassion and support for soldiers at home, in the field, and those just returning For someone who has, thankfully and especially thanks to soldiers like Mr Marlantes, never had to go to war, I appreciate the perspective he provides His book offers a glimpse i [...]


  • This book was tough to read, but phenomenal I myself am a civilian, but I grew up in a military family my father was in the Air Force and I currently work with veterans as part of a legal clinic at my law school that represents veterans in attempting to get benefits, discharge upgrades, etc My main client through the clinic is a Vietnam War veteran who has suffered from severe PTSD since his time in combat, and I ve been on a mission to read everything I can about Vietnam, war, the military, and [...]


  • I was a huge fan of Marlantes MATTERHORN, which is one of the Great War Novels, up there with NAKED AND THE DEAD, THE THINGS THEY CARRIED which is, I know, a collection of stories , CATCH 22 and SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE I admired this work of non fiction from Marlantes and found a lot of interesting and often powerful insights into what it means to be a soldier Most of the book is an outstanding meditation on not just war but what it s like to be a human being The aspect of it that kept it from earni [...]


  • If this doesn t describe what it s like to go to war I am pretty sure nothing will Not only is it a dark rumination, a book of atonement, it is also a book of ideas of how we can help our military deal with the psychological toll that war takes on our nation s youth I am looking forward to sinking my teeth into Matterhorn, but first I m going to need a short break from these themes.



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