read kindle ç Dispatches Ô È reflectionslisburnltd

pdf í » Michael Herr

DispatchesMichael Herr went to Vietnam in 1967 as Esuire's correspondent From the very first with the publication of his famous art Having been in VietNam and having been in some of the Marine Units that Michael Herr writes about in Dispatches is the best depiction of war in general and VietNam in particular that I have ever read It started me on the path to healing that I had kept hidden since I came back from Nam Thank You Michael

epub Dispatches

read kindle ç Dispatches Ô È reflectionslisburnltd ✓ Michael Herr went to Vietnam in 1967 as Esuire's correspondent From the very first with the publication of his famous article Hell Sucks he was accorded widespread fervent acclaim Dispatches confirms what his early admirers already knew no one else has wrIcle Hell Sucks he was accorded widespread fervent acclaim Dispatches confirms what his early admirers already knew no on This is war reportage as heartbreaking poetry One of the roughest pieces of writing I have ever encountered Beautiful angular and harsh stylistically There is a wonderfully and terrifyingly immersive uality to this book

Michael Herr » Dispatches doc

E else has written so elouently so powerfully so terrifyingly about what it was to fight in and to survive that ghastly w I'd never heard Dispatches mentioned in speech or in print until I got a copy of it in a package sent to me from my uncle who'd died three or four days earlier Imagine my surprise when I found it was the basis for not only Full Metal Jacket but also to some degree Apocalypse Now It's or less what you'd expect a war correspondent travels all around Vietnam for what seems to be several years I'm not sure how long Herr was actually there talking to the foot soldiers and the officers and anybody else who's willing So you get to see all sorts of coping mechanisms and rationalizations and characters including several who'd go on slightly modified to be characters in Full Metal Jacket But the book brings up mostly obliuely two ideas that are very interesting to meThe first is that the grunts consistently call the correspondents crazy This makes sense at first; the grunts are forced to be there and given the chance most of them would leave instantly So it's a mystery to them why the correspondents don't feel roughly the same way And it's unclear whether Herr is conscious of the main difference between him and them wrt leaving He can which automatically makes it unnecessary Just the idea of being able to peace out when things get really nasty would have to be a pretty significant sleep aid And Herr makes himself look a little foolish every time he mentions how badass he feels staying there because he may know what it's like to be in Vietnam but he has no idea what it might feel like to be stuck in Vietnam The second is the uestion of what exactly it is that makes Vietnam so much relentlessly horrifying to our soldiers than any other war we'd fought up to that point and possibly any war since There are all the obvious answers they lacked widespread homefront support; the Vietcong were indistinguishable from their allies; success couldn't be measured because there was no clear front to show advances and retreats; the climate and weather were hellish; et cetera But Herr has made me think of it in terms of broader trends in American culture I'm sure these answers are obvious to some but I really don't know much of anything about the Vietnam War or American history for that matter mainly alienation of battle and iconoclasmAlienation of battle makes sense Before guns existed you pretty much had to either kill your enemy face to face or maybe shoot him with an arrow but at any rate you had to be able to see him to kill him Even in World War II you were pretty likely to be able to see the people you were trying to kill And the key thing there is that your enemy had to be able to see you in order to kill you So if you weren't at the front you could be reasonably sure of not being suddenly murdered Vietnam was different You'd fire into the jungle almost at random wasting thousands of rounds of suppressive fire and you'd never even see who you were shooting at until they were dead So if that's the MO you'd have to admit to yourself that you could easily be killed without ever seeing your own killer Add that to the possibility read probability of ambushes and the realities of guerrilla fighting and you can see how American soldiers tended to be a wreck Not that soldiers from other wars came home perfectly well adjusted but I think we can agree that the Vietnam War was a bit differentThen there's iconoclasm Anybody can defend his or her homeland; defense is a cause in and of itself That's where the home team advantage comes from But if you're going to fight an offensive war you've got to have a cause Religion is a common one as is acuisition of wealth Ours in Vietnam was a little shakier democracy or anti communism That worked well for the Cold War but not as well for its proxy wars If you have to come with something like the domino effect to explain your war you're not going to get the kind of fanatical support that you need to win From the troops or the home front I mean If you don't have a really compelling cause you've got to have some faith And not that I know a lot about the 1960's and 1970's but it seems to me that America's religious fervor was somewhat lacking compared to what it was during World War II and earlier Actually I don't know why I've been carrying on Herr puts it way better than I couldyou couldn't blame anybody for believing anythingGuys stuck the ace of spades in their helmet bands they picked relics off of an enemy they'd killed a little transfer of power; they carried around five pound Bibles from home crosses St Christophers mezuzahs locks of hair girlfriends' underwear snaps of their families their wives their dogs their cows their cars pictures of John Kennedy Lyndon Johnson Martin Luther King Huey Newton the Pope Che Guevara the Beatles Jimi Hendrix wiggier than cargo cultists One man was carrying an oatmeal cookie through his tour wrapped up in foil and plastic and three pairs of socks He took a lot of shit about it When you go to sleep we're gonna eat your fucking cookie but his wife had baked it and mailed it to him he wasn't kiddingSomething has to replace religion and in this case it's superstition Come on an oatmeal cookie? People went crazy because they had nothing to fall back on nothing to believe would save them Herr makes this abundantly clear I think Recommended for anyone interested in the Vietnam War