THE MAN WHO WON THE MEDAL OF HONOR by Len Giovannitti

THE MAN WHO WON THE MEDAL OF HONOR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Medal is a bureaucratic snafu, but Private David Glass does think he performed heroic acts above and beyond the call of duty -- by wiping out various American officers (a Patton.like general and his obsequious colonel) and enlisted men who delight too much in their jobs of killing VC, gook, Charlie, gink. Both the plot (culminating in an uncertain assassination attempt on the President during the award ceremony) and the motivation of this eighteen-year-old orphan (whom we are apparently to consider both sane and admirable) become increasingly implausible; not that brutality is good, or the war justified, but didactic morals, however lofty, do not a convincing psychology make; soldiers do frag officers, but not for these reasons. The trouble with Glass, and the book, is that he 'ends up committing the same crimes with the same rationalizations that the Army used to explain its actions in this mess: killing is OK as long as you're on the right side, wherever that happens to be; like Calley, Glass also gets his kicks. Unfortunately, this sensationalistic and rather offensive work may very well overshadow the many fine ones (Josiah Bunting's The Lionheads (1972), for example) that have come out of America's longest war -- books written by people that have been there and back.

Pub Date: Nov. 2nd, 1973
Publisher: Random House