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Preview — What It is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes
What It is Like to Go to War
From the author of the New York Times bestseller Matterhorn, this is a powerful nonfiction book about the experience of combat and how inadequately we prepare our young men and women for war.
War is as old as humankind, but in the past, warriors were prepared for battle by ritual, religion and literature -- which also helped bring them home. In a compelling narrative, Marla...more
A few caveats to add context to my review of the book:
1) I won this book through Good Reads.
2) I am a civilian.
3) I am a US citizen.
4) I am an opponent of the vast majority of wars that we have participated in.
5) I am a counselor; the counseling p ...more
- Karl Marlantes, What it is Like to Go to War
[my little brother in Afghanistan]
An exploration of war. Part memoir of a Marine (Vietnam War), part Joseph Campbell/Jungian exploration of the warrior, part critique of policy. The book is also written directly to those men/boys (and yes, women I guess too) preparing for war. Having suffered PTSD from Vietnam, Marlantes uses this book to instruc ...more
The list o ...more
This is a fascinating book - an odd but effective blend of memoir and carefully thought-out recommendations for helping soldiers to come to terms with the nature of their profession (and the killing it entails) and reintegrate with their societies when they return ...more
After the warrior returns home from the initiation of combat, he becomes a member of “The Club” of combat veterans. It has always been a club with its own secrets and its own and societally-imposed rules of silence. Traditionally, it has been a club tied in with the mystery of gender because being a warrior was tied in with manhood. This ancient mystery combined with the silence forms an intriguing and powerful combination for attracting future members, particularly boys. You don’t join this cl...more
This was a bad choice to avoid sadness.
About 20 mins into the walk I wanted to scrape my face off the sidewalk. I felt this heaviness in my chest and ...more
What It Is Like to Go to War is written in a genuinely honest tone. There is a degree of self-degradation m ...more
I had put this on my to-read list after reading a review of the book that earmarked it as one of the best insights into the modern-day warrior mind that the reviewer had ever read. Although I can’t say I’ve read every book in this genre in order to make that comparison myself, I can say that this book—and Marlantes’ pers ...more
Marlantes can write descriptively and honestly. I particularly recall one scene during boot camp when he swatted a mosquito. His drill sergeant took him to a slough and had him stand naked in a swarm of mosquitoes. I also enjoyed his description of how becoming a marine changes how he thought about danger and his abilities. These scenes were descriptive and I found them ...more
Marlantes provides a riveting account of what it is like to be sent to war and points out how ill-prepared our young men are. Previous generations spent years preparing warriors. Modern Americans should and could do mo ...more
Marlantes reveals in this non fiction book what you no doubt already suspected, that much of his fiction was based on truth and at times, danced very close to being an exact blow by blow of events.
Many who know me on Goodreads, know that I lay my heart on the table in my review of Karl Marlantes ...more
I have a group of about 20-25 Vietnam veterans that I lunch with monthly and have done so for almost five years. They are Army and Marine veterans, Navy and Airforce and SeaBees. They are former Army 11B-grunts, Huey pilots, door gunners, medics, mechanics and artillerymen; former officers, NCOs and enlisted men. Draftees and volunteers. Regulars who joined up. What they all have in common is that they were all engaged in direct combat with the enemy. They went belly-to-bel ...more
However, I found that I just couldn't get through this book. It read very slow with lofty psychological language (and I even have my BA in P ...more
This is a great piec ...more
Marlantes gives not only a "this is the way it is" narrative, but also a rather in depth philosophical look at the way American boys are (or ...more
First, I appreciate that the author is writing about something he knows first hand about. (I get upset when people write or talk about something they have never experienced.) I felt Marlantes' experience was explained appropriately and held my attention without being over the top in bloody details.
Second, I want to thank all veterans who have served our country in the past and pre-thank ...more
I was so pleased when I heard I had won this book. It took me a few days to read but that was because I needed time to let each bit I had read sink in. Some parts were harder than others but only because my heart ached for the soldiers. In my life I have heard stories from teachers, family and friends who honorably served in different branches of the military, however nothing compares to the sheer hones ...more
|Which one should I read first?||7||48||Sep 03, 2015 08:21AM|
|Marine Corps L.E....: Is it possible to be a "moral fighter?"||1||4||Jan 26, 2015 01:43PM|
|Marine Corps L.E....: Discuss Marlantes description of loyalty. What role does it play in being an ethical warrior?||1||2||Jan 26, 2015 01:39PM|
|Marine Corps L.E....: Is it ever right to kill? What does Marlantes think?||1||2||Jan 26, 2015 01:37PM|
|Marine Corps L.E....: What role should society play in supporting warriors,according to Marlantes?||1||1||Jan 26, 2015 01:35PM|
|Marine Corps L.E....: How does Marlantes approach the notion of sin and guilt? Does being a warrior change the meaning of these words?||1||1||Jan 26, 2015 01:34PM|
|Marine Corps L.E....: How does Marlantes think soldiers should be prepared spiritually for warfare?||1||1||Jan 26, 2015 01:33PM|
Most of us, including me, would prefer to think of a sacred space as some light-filled wonderous place where we can feel good and find a way to shore up our psyches against death. We don't want to think that something as ugly and brutal as combat could be involved in any way with the spiritual. However, would any practicing Christian say that Calvary Hill was not a sacred space?”