What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes

What It Is Like to Go to War

By Karl Marlantes

  • Publication Date: 2011-08-30
  • Genre: Military
3.5 Score: 3.5 (From 156 Ratings)

Book Overview

From the author of the award-winning, best-selling novel Matterhorn, comes a brilliant nonfiction book about war

In 1968, at the age of twenty-three, Karl Marlantes was dropped into the highland jungle of Vietnam, an inexperienced lieutenant in command of a platoon of forty Marines who would live or die by his decisions. Marlantes survived, but like many of his brothers in arms, he has spent the last forty years dealing with his war experience. In What It Is Like to Go to War, Marlantes takes a deeply personal and candid look at what it is like to experience the ordeal of combat, critically examining how we might better prepare our soldiers for war. Marlantes weaves riveting accounts of his combat experiences with thoughtful analysis, self-examination, and his readings—from Homer to The Mahabharata to Jung. He makes it clear just how poorly prepared our nineteen-year-old warriors are for the psychological and spiritual aspects of the journey.

Just as Matterhorn is already being acclaimed as acclaimed as a classic of war literature, What It Is Like to Go to War is set to become required reading for anyone—soldier or civilian—interested in this visceral and all too essential part of the human experience.

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Recent Reviews

  • What it's like to go to War

    5
    By Dollardays
    Outstanding analysis of the emotions a warrior experiences when facing a life and death situations. The moral conflict we experience and have to resolve to be whole again.
  • Outstanding! Highly recommended.

    5
    By 5thTimesACharm
    I found this book to be powerful, poignant, and extremely relevant. Through deeply personal experiences, perspectives gained only by time, humble self reflection, and academic prowess, Marlantes exceeds expectations, and accomplishes more than what he set out to do. His exploration of the warrior psyche and the worlds it lives in, as well as the temptations, risks, and benefits are keenly insightful. I found this book helped frame, and provide a basis to better understand myself, my profession, the emotions that come with it, and exposed some of my own failings and shortcomings. I also found ways in which to learn more, grow, heal, and better prepare myself. Thank you for writing this book, I'm glad I found it.
  • Changed my perspective

    5
    By Universaltrendsetter
    I wanted badly to join the military before i read this book. But now i am not all the crazy about it. Even if i go, i'll be prepared.
  • Nothing like his first novel

    1
    By Mzhenya
    Couldn't get through it.
  • A management read

    5
    By Flex51
    Non-veterans, like myself should read this, particularly those who might get into management or government leadership. I have had veterans in my organizations with problems and incidents that I would have handled differently. New recruits would benefit also to counter the development of killing skills with an appreciation of the enemy and civilian casualties. I have new appreciation for the wages of military engagement whether in wartime or not, on both ends of the weapon. JGriffith Houston, Texas
  • What It Is Like To Go To war

    5
    By geohawk15
    I highly recommend this book. It gives you pause to think about the tragic consequences of war and the responsibility of the society who sent their young to consider how to bring them home not only physically but morally and emotionally. I agree with the author there is a time to have warriors defending us but we also, as a society, have an obligation to heal those who defended us. Great book to discuss and consider it's lessons. Geo.
  • Why we go to war.

    5
    By Will Pennington
    An excellent book. I was a corpsman in VN in '68. A good Lt., like the author, was hard to come by. I am now a professor of surgery at a University in the Midwest War is hard on all. .

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