THE RIGHT KIND OF WAR by John McCormick

THE RIGHT KIND OF WAR

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A Marine Raider veteran of the war in the Pacific puts his WW II battle memories into unsentimental, unrevisionist novel form. No-nonsense prose--plus a refusal to load in five decades of postwar psychochat or political hindsight--keeps McCormick's account of island-hopping and man-to-man combat crystal-clear and unusually immediate. Today's gentle readers may find themselves gasping to discover that the ``Right Kind of War'' for the Marine Raiders was a war in which no questions were asked and few prisoners taken. But for the young men yanked from their farms and blue-collar jobs to defend democracy from Japanese expansionism, it was the only way to fight. As the Pacific war was a series of battles fought island by island, the novel is a series of anecdotes leading to the horrors of Okinawa and Guam. The narrator is a matter-of-fact Illinoisan fighting alongside boys from all over the country, following the orders of sergeants more frightening than the enemy, doing the bidding of generals and admirals who may or may not know what they are about. There are no detailed portraits of the boys, everything is action, but there are amusing moments- -and moving ones--and flitting through the narrative are spooky appearances and reappearances of a boot-camp buddy who became an assassin for the corps and kept his job classification afterward. Gung-ho and good.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 1-55750-574-8
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1992