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What it is Like to Go to War [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Karl Marlantes
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1. Juli 2012
In 1968, at the age of 22, Karl Marlantes abandoned his Oxford University scholarship to sign up for active service with the US Marine Corps in Vietnam. Pitched into a war that had no defined military objective other than kill ratios and body counts, what he experienced over the next thirteen months in the jungles of South East Asia shook him to the core. But what happened when he came home covered with medals was almost worse. It took Karl four decades to come to terms with what had really happened, during the course of which he painstakingly constructed a fictionalized version of his war, MATTERHORN, which has subsequently been hailed as the definitive Vietnam novel. WHAT IT IS LIKE TO GO TO WAR takes us back to Vietnam, but this time there is no fictional veil. Here are the hard-won truths that underpin MATTERHORN: the author's real-life experiences behind the book's indelible scenes. But it is much more than this. It is part exorcism of Karl's own experiences of combat, part confession, part philosophical primer for the young man about to enter combat. It It is also a devastatingly frank answer to the questions 'What is it like to be a soldier?' What is it like to face death?' and 'What is it like to kill someone?'

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  • Taschenbuch: 256 Seiten
  • Verlag: Corvus Books (1. Juli 2012)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0857893807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857893802
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 20 x 13 x 2,2 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 96.931 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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"Karl Marlantes has written a staggeringly beautiful book on combat . . . In my eyes he has become the preeminent literary voice on war of our generation. He is a natural storyteller and a deeply profound thinker . . . As this generation of warriors comes home, they will be enormously helped by what Marlantes has written--I'm sure he will literally save lives."--Sebastian Junger "Marlantes is the best American writer right now on war and the extreme costs to society of sending young men and women off to combat without much of a safety net for them when they land back home. . . . With "What It Is Like to Go to War" a second Marlantes book resides on the top shelf of American literature."--Anthony Swofford, author of "Jarhead" "Marlantes brings candor and wrenching self-analysis to bear on his combat experiences in Vietnam, in a memoir-based meditation whose intentions are three-fold: to help soldiers-to-be understand what they're in for; to help veterans come to terms with what they've seen and done; and to help policymakers know what they're asking of the men they send into combat."--"The New Yorker" "A precisely crafted and bracingly honest book."--"The Atlantic" ""What It Is Like to Go to War" is a well-crafted and forcefully argued work that contains fresh and important insights into what it's like to be in a war and what it does to the human psyche."--"The Washington Post" "With an intellect as sharp and critical as Marlantes', and a temperament not afraid to display confusion or remorse, "What It Is Like" is more than worth the effort of any reader."--"Los Angeles Times" ""What It Is Like to Go to War" ought to be mandatory reading by potential infantry recruits and by residents of any nation that sends its kids--Marlantes's word--into combat."--San Francisco Chronicle" "Marlantes delivers one of the most powerful meditations on the meaning of war and its impact. A necessary book as America welcomes home a new ge

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

A graduate of Yale University and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, Karl Marlantes served as a Marine in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals for valor, two Purple Hearts, and ten air medals. Matterhorn, his novel about the Vietnam War, took over three decades to complete and was an international bestseller. He and his wife Anne live on a small lake in western Washington state.

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4.0 von 5 Sternen
4.0 von 5 Sternen
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Come to think of it... 7. Juli 2013
Von Jules
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Even for someone who has not gone to war - and is not likely to - it gave me something to think. Too many similarities to be found in myself to be merely an interesting read.
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2.0 von 5 Sternen Nice try 3. August 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This book covers several topics which need to addressed separately.

- Combat. I take my hat off to Karl Marlantes for having been in combat- an experience which I have had the good fortune not to have to make. His description is excellent and gripping.

- Leadership. First Lieutenants have the toughest job: Generals send divisions into battle, even Captains deal with units rather than individuals. It is the Lieutenant who orders Joe and Jim to get into a firefight, and he knows them personally, and they might even be his friends, and it might, and very often does, get them killed. You guys out there in ROTC land, listen up: rank does not only come with privileges, it also comes with responsibilities- and some of them might backfire. Better make sure you are ready.

- PTSD. Karl seems to have suffered severely from it- although it is probably incorrect to attribute all his problems to it. I mean, even guys without PTSD have gotten divorced! However, writing the book seems to have helped him, and maybe others like him, so it is legitimate and thus acceptable. It just does not do anything for people without PTSD, because there is hardly any accurate description and definitely no analysis.

- Psychology. This is the part that I had the most problems with. The mixture of Mysticism, Jungianism and New Age might be appealing to some, but it is just too subjective to be of value. I had thought that we have long since recognized Carl Jung (et al.) as what they are: the blind scientists trying to explore an elephant. Modern evolutionary psychology is effortlessly able to explain how a reflecting individual and an instinctive fighter can inhabit the same mind. Switching when ordered is, of course, difficult, especially if you lost friends and definitely if you lost the war. Shamanism is, however, not the solution.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Important book on a grave subject 6. Februar 2013
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Karl Marlantes' "What Is It Like To Go To War" is an essay about war fighting - why individuals are lured into it and how the experience changes the participants. Marlantes draws from his own experience as a young USMC officer in the Vietnam War and he does not shy away from telling us the gory and (seemingly) shameful details.
Furthermore, Marlantes thinks about the possible mental and ethical strengthening to protect individuals against the utter destruction of their personality in war.

I may not agree a 100% with Mr Marlantes, but his reasoning is quite strong and a very good starting point for anybody who wants to form a well-founded opinion concerning soldiers, veterans and the ever-important question of “Shall we or shouldn’t we take up the fight?”

In my humble opinion a must-read for any leader of troops and all politicians.

Karl Marlantes "What Is It Like To Go To War" ist ein Essay über Soldaten im Krieg, warum Menschen vom Krieg fasziniert sind und wie die Erfahrungen ihre Persönlichkeit verändern. Marlantes geht dabei auch auf seine eigenen Erlebnisse als junger Offizier der US Marineinfanterie im Vietnamkrieg ein und er scheut nicht davor zurück, auch abstoßende und scheinbar beschämende Details zu berichten und zu bewerten.

Außerdem zeigt Marlantes seine Überlegungen, ob und wie es möglich ist, Menschen, die in den Krieg ziehen müssen, geistig und ethisch zu stärken, um sie vor der Zerstörung ihrer Persönlichkeit durch den Krieg zu bewahren.

Auch wenn ich nicht gänzlich mit Marlantes einer Meinung bin, ist seine Argumentation abgerundet und solide.
Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Vor dem freiwilligen Militärdienst unbedingt lesen 12. November 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Marlantes ergänzt sein Meisterwerk "Matterhorn" mit einigen bemerkenswerten Gedanken zum Dienst im Militär und zum Kampfeinsatz junger Menschen. Das Büchlein sollte zur Pflichlektüre von (Militär-)Politikern und denen werden, die im Begriff sind, sich freiwillig zu melden. Dass einiges sehr auf amerikanische Soziostrukturen zugeschnitten ist, liegt in der Natur der Sache, macht das Buch aber nicht weniger lesenswert. Schade, dass es bisher nur in Englisch vorliegt und deshalb nicht für jeden uneingeschränkt zugänglich ist.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 von 5 Sternen  306 Rezensionen
417 von 443 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Speaking of the Unspeakable 4. August 2011
Von George Webster, Ph.D., - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I went off to war in 1942, and spent my time bombing Germany and watching my fellow flyers die at an alarming rate. Thus, I can attest that the author's splendid piece of writing conveys a realistic picture of war and its effect on the human spirit. General Sherman is reported to have said, "War is Hell". It certainly is, as the author found in the jungles of Vietnam, and I found at 25,000 feet above Germany. War is fire and explosions and machine guns pounding and dying men screaming for help. The author lost many members of his platoon. I lost five of my crew killed, and two (including me) wounded. Thus, war's combat is the same, wherever and whenever we find it.
Likewise, the effects of combat on humans seem to be the same, no matter which war we consider. In Vietnam, the author describes his post traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) that caused trouble even after he had come home. His description had a familiar ring. I fought it for eight years after World War Two ended. Now, I read in newspapers that PSTD is a major problem for troops back from the Iraq and Afghan wars.
But some things have changed. When I went off to war, it seemed like the whole nation was supporting me, and we came home from the war to adulation and happy times. In contrast, when the author came home, a young woman spit at him, and people expressed their contempt. Today, it is remarkable if we hear anything on the news about our troops in the Middle East.
This very readable narrative is fascinating and disturbing, but it is well-worth your time.
192 von 201 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Should be required reading. 7. August 2011
Von Theoden Humphrey - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
This is a remarkable book. I haven't read a lot of military literature, fiction or non-fiction; I have no personal connection to the military and never served. But I am a high school teacher, and every year I see some number of students -- sometimes more, sometimes less; quite a lot more since the economy sank in 2008 -- leave high school and go off to serve their country. I wanted to get some perspective on what they were in for, and perhaps a better idea of why they did it, why they signed up when the conventional wisdom is always for young men and women to go to college.

I got that perspective. And much more. I got a real glimpse into a soldier's heart and mind, told with clarity and great intelligence and heroic honesty; if for nothing else (and of course there is much), Marlantes should be honored for his willingness to delve so very deep into his own experiences, and to share them with the reading public in stark, perfect detail, hiding nothing. It made the book difficult to read at times, an experience that I can only think would be a thousand times more intense for fellow soldiers, but it made the book that much more necessary to read.

I also got led through an insightful plan for how a modern nation should treat its soldiers, how they should be trained, how the officers should deal with their commands, how the public should treat their warriors before, during, and after combat. This is where the author's intelligence and education shine: calling on mythology, psychology, sociology, history, and of course his own experiences, Marlantes lays out a set of suggestions for the military that made me think this book should be not only required reading for past and future soldiers (which it should be), but also required reading for elected officials who intend to send soldiers into harm's way -- whether they themselves are veterans or not. The basic concept is that we must give our military men and women time and tools to adjust, both before and after combat, both in the short and long term. Soldiers must be prepared for what they will have to face -- all they will have to face, the fear and the excitement, the heroism and the honor and the horror and the lies -- and they must be given the chance to work through what they have dealt with afterwards; Marlantes shows how asking soldiers to return from the field to civilian life in as little as a 24 or 48 hours, as happened to Vietnam veterans like Marlantes, is perhaps the largest root cause of trauma for all involved, especially since neither our government nor our society have policies in place to help soldiers make that difficult transition. It's a shame, and it should be changed.

I wish the book was a little easier to read; it gets a bit academic and complex at times, when the author is working through some difficult concepts -- such as the enemy within, or the idea of heroism, both in abstract and practical terms -- and some of the students I'd like to give this book to would have trouble following it. But I'm going to give it to them anyway, and they're going to be fascinated by it, as I was, even if there are some small bits they struggle with (Hey, I'm an English teacher; I'll help them through the hard parts.). Almost everything in the book is so real and so well-told that anyone can follow and appreciate it.

And this book should be read.
101 von 106 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Timely book takes you into experience of war and its aftermath 19. August 2011
Von James Korsmo - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
In this reflective memoir, Karl Marlantes, writer of the widely acclaimed Vietnam War book Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War, takes a probing look at his own experiences of going to war, and of coming home again. Because it is more of a series of reflections than a continuous narrative, I will review it in kind, with some impressions and appreciations. First, Marlantes's book is honest, sometimes brutally so. And I think this is one of the keys that makes it work. The reader gets the distinct impression that he has carefully worked and reworked his memories until they come out as honestly and completely as possible. Even though at times this means recounting memories of his own brutalities in war. But along with these sometimes tortured memories come candid memories of his own emotions, impressions, and motivations that help bring the experience of war to life. They also guarantee that war isn't glorified, and neither is the warrior. Instead, we meet the brutality along with the valor.

A second impression one gets is that these are carefully analyzed reflections. He has quite obviously held his own experiences, indeed his own person, under the light of careful scrutiny. This means the narratives and accounts he relates are thick descriptions of events, filled out with his own psychological analysis about not only what he and those around him experienced but why. And this also means he often extends his reflections beyond his own experiences, through an analysis of why, to a discussion of what we might constructively draw from them. One key example that comes up repeatedly in the book is the experience of coming home from war. He recounts many of the difficulties of going from a life-or-death struggle in the jungles of Vietnam, where you are dealing death in a god-like fashion, to being rapidly transported via helicopter and airplane, back to your family and friends in everyday society in a matter of hours. And that jarring transition is made without reflection, significant preparation, or guidance. He recommends greatly increasing the debriefing and processing time for returning veterans, both before and after they come home. At one point he recommends returning to the WWII practice of returning home by ship: "We should have had time to talk with our buddies about what we had all shared" (150). And he says so much more about this key issue of reintegration and the need for acceptance, especially dealing with the challenges of returning from Vietnam to a country that didn't appreciate his service or the battle he was sent to fight. This important and timely issue alone makes the book a compelling and worthwhile read, and has given me renewed respect and concern for our current crop of returning vets.

Last, in my unsystematic collection of reflections, I would say this book is vivid. It takes you not only into the battles but into the very experiences of being there and the psyches of the soldiers involved. The horrors of war are inherent, and an honest account like his helps keep us from sugar coating the experience and practice of war. He also raises interesting questions regarding the modern practice of war, with drone pilots dropping death by day and having dinner with the family "after work" in the evening. The psychological effects are hard to fathom.

Marlantes writes well, with carefully crafted words and deeply reflective ideas. I hope this book gains a wide readership, as it has brought home to me a fuller understanding of the exercise of war and also a much deeper appreciation for the men and women we commission to carry out war on our society's behalf. I also applaud his aims to send out warriors who are better trained to face the psychological and ethical aspects of war, and I expect that his candid memoirs will be a tool toward just such an end.
26 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Lifetime of Thinking about the Meaning of Combat 30. August 2011
Von Jeffrey D. Kenyon - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is not a Vietnam memoir, such as Tim O'Brian's If I Die in a Combat Zone or Robert Mason's Chickenhawk. That's not meant as criticism, because Karl Marlantes clearly wasn't trying to write a Vietnam memoir. Instead, it has the flavor of a book that has been a very long time under consideration, the distillation of his thinking, during all of his adult life, about the nature and implications of war.

The book is broken into chapters dealing with specific themes ("Killing," "Guilt," "Lying," etc.), an organizational strategy that well supports what Marlantes is trying to achieve. Much of the power of the book comes from the author's own experiences in Vietnam, used to illustrate the points he is making. The book is at its best at those moments (and bumps the author's Matterhorn closer to the top of my "To Be Read" list). His description of calling in a fire mission on elephants is heart-breaking. And his use of the experiences of others (especially those of the WWII-era Major von Luck) is often equally graceful.

While I certainly agreed with his suggestions of how the experience and rituals of the warrior may be changed to make it easier to return to society after combat is through, I had the feeling of reading suggestions that would never be followed. To follow them would require society to admit that war and aggression is part of who we are. But the truth, as Marlantes himself points out is that "War is society's dirty work, usually done by kids cleaning up some failure on the part of the adults."

The book is not perfect. The galley copy that I reviewed showed signs of insufficient surface editing; examples are a reference to a "mystical experience" at fifteen that "scared the hell" out of him but is never explained or referenced again, the possessive of Robert Graves being "Grave's," the use of "will he nil he" rather than "willy-nilly." At a higher level, it sometimes feels choppy, lurching from a scholarly dissertation supported by references from classical literature into first-person experience in the jungle. The book may be have been more effective had it been shorter and tighter, more starkly making the points that the author was seeking to make. Although scarcely over 200 pages, it felt long at times. All these are minor concerns, however.

This is an impressive book, written by someone who has experienced the best and worst of combat, who has thought deeply about it, and wants the nature of the experience to change for those doing battle now and in the future.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Difficult Memories 19. August 2011
Von Lee S. Mairs - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
This was a tough book to read. The author came to my attention early last year with a novel of his services as an officer of Marines during the Vietnam war. "Matterhorn" was a novel but it apparently was based on Marlantes actual experiences. Matterhorn is a powerful book and ranks up their with Jime Webb's "Fields of Fire".
"What It Is Like to Go to War" is a recommendation of the type of psychological training tht Marlantes believes will best train people before they experience the crushing violence of war. The book draws heavily on incidents that Marlantes suffered through on his Vietnam tour as a Marine infantry officer. This is a powerful book, and enjoyable to read; however, the case he makes needs to be examined. As a Vietnam veteran, I am just happy to have had a much easier war than Marlantes experienced.
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