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War Bound

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From the Civil War to the war in Iraq, Los Angeles Times book editor David L. Ulin discusses his favorite books about the experience of combat with SoCal Connected's Saul Gonzalez.


Ulin suggested these books to help civilians better understand the modern day warrior:

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Ulin's take: "The great novel of absurd authority run amuck....not just the absurdity of combat and battle but the absurdity of the power structure."

Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Ulin's take: "One of the most evocative accounts of what it's like to be in combat made all the more remarkable by the fact that Crane was never in combat himself, so it was all imagined."

Plowing the Dark by Richard Powers

Jarhead by Anthony Swofford

The Stars at Noon by Denis Johnson

Generation Kill by Evan Wright
Ulin's Take: "What Wright does and I think the same thing is true of Anthony Swofford's book Jarhead, which is about the first Gulf War, what those books do -- but particularly Wright -- is make those people real to us, they're the people we know...It's not war at a distance, its war out of your backyard."

Dispatches by Michael Herr
Ulin's take: "The greatest single piece of war writing I've ever read...I would just say, 'read this book.'"

The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer

U.S.A. Trilogy by John Dos Passos

Listen to the conversation and then tell us what would go on your list!

LEAVE A COMMENT Leave Comment  

Great interview. After listening, I am going to try to read "Dispatches." I have two personal favorites as they were given to me by my father, a Vietnam Vet; "The Grunts" by Charles Anderson, and "Everything We Had" by Al Santoli. I am still thinking about David's comment that the US has been at war nearly his entire adult life.