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am 16. Januar 2015
Das Buch von Philip Caputo zählt mittlerweile zu den Klassikern den Vietnam-Literatur und zum Standard-Lesestoff in Schulen in den USA.

Caputo erlebt 1965 den Beginn des Vietnam-Konflikts als 2nd Lieutenant und Zugführer bei den ersten US-Marines, die in Vietnam eingesetzt werden. Was mit Hurra-Patriotismus und einem grenzenlosen Überlegenheitsgefühl beginnt, endet schnell im Verlust aller Illusionen und der vom Militär anerzogenen Werte.

Der anfangs begrenzte Konflikt mit wenigen Verlusten wächst sich schnell zum ausgewachsenen Dschungelkrieg mit unzähligen Toten und Verwundeten aus. Caputo erlebt dabei hautnah und am eigenen Leib die Verrohung der amerikanischen Marines und Kriegsverbrechen an der einheimischen Bevölkerung.

Der Feind sitzt auch im eigenen Lager, in Form von unfähigen und nur aufs eigene Image bedachten Vorgesetzten, die den Autor schlussendlich sogar vors Kriegsgericht zerren, wo ihm die Todesstrafe für eine Fehlentscheidung droht.

Caputo kehrt nach einem Jahr Vietnam in die USA zurück, schliesst sich der Anti-Vietnam-Bewegung an und wird Journalist und Kriegsberichterstatter. Der Job führt ihn nach 10 Jahren, 1975, ins belagerte Saigon zurück, wo er mit den letzten Amerikanern evakuiert wird.

Dieses Buch ist schwere Lektüre, weil es die innersten Gefühle, die Zerrissenheit und die Verzweiflung des Autors wiedergibt. Hier gibt es keine Lobhudelei auf die "Ehre der Marines" und keinen übersteigerten Patriotismus, hier wird geschildert, was ein Soldat in Vietnam tatsächlich erlebt hat. Caputo nimmt schon 1975 die Interpretation vorweg, die der Vietnam-Konflikt heute in der Geschichtsforschung erfährt. Das macht das Buch bis zur letzten Seite zum authentischen Zeitzeugnis.

Ein "must read" für jeden, der an wahrhaftiger und authentischer Dokumentation und Erzählung interessiert ist, 5*.
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am 18. Juni 2000
Phillip Caputo's "A Rumor of War" takes a place along with Fredrick Downs's "The Killing Zone" and Lt. General Harold G. Moore's "We Were Soldiers Once...and Young" as one of the best first person accounts to come from the Vietnam War. Caputo was not grievously wounded like Downs or Ron Kovic of "Born on the Fourth of July" fame. His scars were more of the psychological variety. He served his country faithfully and for his efforts he was nearly court-martialed. Caputo is an excellent writer (he became a journalist after the war) and his descriptions are among the war's most vivid. Not a heroic tale, unless you consider that every man who went to Vietnam and did his duty rather than following the example of our current commander-in-chief is in his own way heroic.
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am 27. April 1999
Rumor Of War is about the 1st Battalion Third Marine Regiment in Vietnam. There have been many books written about 1/3, but this is, and probably will remain, the classic. This book has become required reading in many high schools. Mr. Caputo is an excellent writer, and this is the story of his time in Vietnam. I served with 1/3 a year after Mr. Caputo, and combat officers didn't last long without death or injury. A must read to understand one important view of the Vietnam War.
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am 11. Mai 2000
Caputo describes "the splendid little war" as his road from an enthusiastic idealist poisoned by the romanticized view of war as a chivalrous and noble enterprise to the dehumanized and desensitized wreck that he becomes during his tour in Vietnam. The book is an amazing testimony about the true nature of war with all its atrocities and horrors. Caputo brilliantly captures the endless despair of being strained in the jungle with no clear reason for being there, the hopeless madness of chasing the guerillas and the agony of loosing friends. But the most important aspect of this book is that it shows how a normal mentally healthy person can be turned into a thoughtless killing machine in the course of a few months, fast on the trigger, without any remorse for his victims. Caputo uses very strong and vivid images such as "pigs eating napalm-charred human corpses" to force the reader into his story and feel what Caputo has felt. Very realistic book that cannot leave you indifferent, definitely up there with Remarque's "All quiet on the Western front." If you want to know what fighting the Vietnam War was really like, I can't imagine how any book can possibly be better than Rumor of War.
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am 10. Mai 2000
There are a few books which I believe should be mandatory reading for everyone, regardless of age, social position, political leaning, etc. "A Rumor of War" by Philip Caputo is one of those books. I would put it at the top of the list of most important books of the 20th century. What Caputo does with remarkable skill and power is strip away all the myths that have ever been perpetuated about the act of war, whether those myths came from sanctimonious politicians, overly vocal patriotic robots, or bleeding hearts subject to knee-jerk bouts of insecere moral condescention.
Caputo's approach is simple. He tells it like it was, without embellishment or concealment. He says early on in his forward that every word contained in the book is ture and thanks to his clear and lucid memory, the plausibility of his stories, and the attention paid to detail. He doesn't try to shock us with overwrought language or uptight narratives, he simply lets the truth present itself. He tells us what he did and why he did it; what he felt and why he felt it. The beauty of this approach is the empathy it inspires. It is not at all hard for the reader to imagine himself as Caputo in the jungle, waiting for the VC to show himself.
"A Rumor of War" thrusts us into the heart of the Vietnam War, one of the most important and forgotten chapters of 20th century history. Through this book we bear witness to the essence of warfare, without the moralizations and distortions of those who make the wars, those who justify them, or those who condemn them. I think anyone in a position of power should be required to read this book, as should everyone else. It's not easy for the conscience to rest once we realize that this is the kind of world we live in.
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am 11. Mai 2000
Seit Generationen haben meine Vorfahren im Felde gelitten oder sind gefallen; ich bin der erste Wehrpflichtige der Familie, dem der Waffendienst im Felde erspart blieb. Um mir ein Bild vom Kriege zu machen und was er den Menschen antut, nahm ich eine umfangreiche Lektüre deutscher, englischer und amerikanischer Werke auf. Caputo hat als einer der Besten meine Neugier gestillt. Er schreibt einen hervorragenden Stil: einfach, ehrlich, und doch spricht aus seinen Zeilen der gebildete Offizier. Wer Caputos Buch gelesen hat, weiß, worauf er sich einläßt, wenn er dem Kalbfell folgt.
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am 7. Oktober 1999
This an excellent description of the beginning of the American ground involvement in Viet Nam. I especially like the way Caputo describes his and his fellow Marines' attitudes before they shipped out, and how they soon changed as they started to fight the war. It took me several reads to fully comprehend how much he and his fellows changed in less than a year. His account of the fall of Saigon is a real snapper too, when it's compared to the beginning of the book. A fine companion to the Best and The Brightest, and A Bright and Shining Lie.
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am 29. August 1999
if you were fortunate enough to miss the horror of the vietnam war but always wondered what it was truly like, then phillip caputo puts you there. he makes you experience the war with all of your senses. i spend very little time reading but was unable to let this book set for more than a few hours at a time, if you only read one book about vietnam, do yourself a favor and read this one, you wont be disappointed, i have a new found respect for our vietnam vets after reading this book.
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am 13. Februar 2000
I must say this book really opened my eyes. I never quite understood why many people have troble whith thier lives after coming back from war. Well this book totaly opened my eyes. It showed my the horrors of war. It showed me what people go through. It contains a little bit of everything action, hummor, and most of all honesty. If you want a book that will give you the absoulutly brutally honest truth of Vietnam this is the book.
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am 23. August 1998
Philip Caputo gives an honest and hard-hitting account of the Vietnam War. I felt the tension and could hear the screams as if I was truly there. It is a book that leaves the reader with a glimpse of what it must have been like to fight in Vietnam, as well as an anger for the many who lost their lives for an unwinnable cause. This is a must read for all those who want to experience the realities of the Vietnam War.
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