A combat veteran’s astute look at the Vietnam War, both captivating and emotionally forthcoming.

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BURY HIM

A MEMOIR OF THE VIETNAM WAR

A veteran recounts his harrowing experiences as a Marine commander during the Vietnam War.

Debut author Chamberlain was born in 1942, the youngest of five children, and grew up in rural Wyoming and Nebraska. He enjoyed a “storybook” life before the conflict in Vietnam changed him forever. After enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1965 and training in Quantico, Virginia, he was deployed to Da Nang in South Vietnam. A first lieutenant in a class of officers dying at an alarming rate, he soon became the commander of Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines. Given his lack of combat experience when assuming the post, the men under him experienced “obvious concern.” He was also “amazed” at the “poor quality” of the clothing and equipment they were issued, including the M-16 rifles, defects he partly attributed to both incompetent decision-making and the profiteering of the military industrial complex. Chamberlain provides an unflinching account of the “classic” guerrilla warfare he regularly encountered, the grim conditions he suffered along with his men, and the nihilism of the enemy he faced. His recollection of his time in Vietnam culminates in a dispiriting event poignantly conveyed. He recovered the body of a Marine killed in action only to discover a previous mission to do the same had failed. The author claims the operation was deceitfully covered up, an issue he investigated later. In addition, Chamberlain’s feelings of betrayal at the “deplorable” treatment of veterans following the war and the diminishment of his “patriotic fervor” are powerfully and sadly expressed. His memoir, which features uncredited photographs, is as candidly personal as it is historically astute. Besides a captivating account of the war itself, he affectingly shares his struggles with PTSD in the years that followed the conflict and the consolations he found in public service.

A combat veteran’s astute look at the Vietnam War, both captivating and emotionally forthcoming. (photographs)

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-950647-03-3

Page Count: 348

Publisher: Love the West Publications LLC

Review Posted Online: March 9, 2020

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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