THE OFFERING by Tom Carhart


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A graphic account of Vietnam by a West Pointer who distained the safety of the rear echelon and slogged through the mud with the GIs. He is alternately gungho, disobedient and a dedicated warrior, but always observant. His forthright honesty impresses. The author describes himself and those with whom he fought in a war no one liked as brothers and outcasts. The battles reek of mud, rot, and one can feel the discomfort of sodden bodies ravaged by leeches and the jungle's heat. However, there is a probing, questioning mind at work here, operating with remarkable restraint in that the author is able to present himself with his strengths and weaknesses without allowing hindsight to distort the portrait, in a sense, he is neither pro nor anti-war, but instead interested in depicting what the experience was like for a young man who was an Army brat and had certain preordained beliefs. Wounded twice, he is eager each time to get back to his men. His desire to fight leads him into taking desperate risks, even to the extent of involving himself with Operation Phoenix. The author believed in his government and learned some painful lessons as a result. He went on to a career as a policy analyst for the Pentagon and as a veterans' spokesman. Yet, one feels his year in Vietnam has left a wound that has never healed, so this book is both his purgation and his deliverance.

Pub Date: March 25th, 1987
Publisher: Morrow