A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles

Book - 2003
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This is a harrowing, yet inspiring portrait of a tormented consciousness struggling for reconciliation and peace. Anthony Swofford's grandfather fought in World War II, his father fought in Vietnam, and he, a directionless, testosterone-battered teenager, became a scout/sniper in the US Marines and fought in the Gulf War. His account of that time is also part of a lineage - after Wilfred Owen, Norman Mailer, Michael Herr and Tim O'Brien, it brings the raw and searing tradition of soldiers' tales up to date.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, c2003
ISBN: 9780743239189
Characteristics: 260 p. ; 24 cm


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Sep 17, 2015

Anthony Swofford's celebrated memoir of his time as a marine in the first Gulf War. It was praised for its rawness and unsentimental view of combat, but few pointed out that the Gulf War was hardly a major conflict for America and involved minimal fighting and few casualties. So it is interesting in the sense that it's about the build up to the war and the boredom that the men experience waiting around for combat. Yet this becomes somewhat tedious after a while and you can sense Swofford trying to make it more interesting, but you can't help but think, "This was hardly Tet or Omaha Beach." Worth reading for a look at an oft forgotten conflict, but not exactly a classic. A decent film version came out in 2005.

JCLHelenH Mar 05, 2013

I heard Swofford speak at the 2012 Disabled American Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, where he shared that re-adjusting to civilian life was very difficult. He writes beautifully about ugly and confusing things.


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