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Black Virgin Mountain: A Return to Vietnam

Black Virgin Mountain: A Return to Vietnam

Written by Larry Heinemann

Narrated by Larry Heinemann


Black Virgin Mountain: A Return to Vietnam

Written by Larry Heinemann

Narrated by Larry Heinemann

ratings:
4.5/5 (2 ratings)
Length:
9 hours
Released:
Apr 15, 2007
ISBN:
9781598874266
Format:
Audiobook

Description

An intense, harrowing recounting of Larry Heinemann’s brutal tour of duty in Southeast Asia that tragically and irrevocably altered his life and that of his family, and the long journey of mourning that led him, ultimately, to reconciliation.
Released:
Apr 15, 2007
ISBN:
9781598874266
Format:
Audiobook

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4.5
2 ratings / 1 Reviews
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  • (4/5)
    This book held my attention, altho at the end I'm not sure who it was written for. Heniemann tells us "Writing as therapy, God help us; the world doesn't work that way" but that "the impulse to tell the story of the war rose out of an undeniable authenticity of exhausted, smothered rage perhaps more bitter than the tongue can tell." (p. 46).The first section presents us with that rage, and distinguishes between the attitude of the front line soldier versus that of the "lifers" who were often more distanced from the scene. And he lets us know that the bitterness is not just felt by soldiers in combat areas, but from many of the working class draftees who never felt they had a choice, who finally saw thru the lies that the military propagandists push at our naive high school students, the "nitwit Hollywood war movie myth" (p211), the "institutional clumsiness of large, overequipped, and spectacularly arrogant armies from postindustrial countries" (p202).The remainder of the book at times becomes a travelogue, at other ascends to trying to answer: "there remained, still, the itchy, undeniable sense of unfinished business between us Americans and the Vietnamese. At bottom...was always the question, 'Who are these guys?'"(p56) Here he presents us with a view of "the country at peace" (p 62), a country whose inhabitants are able to distinguish American people from the American government, and who treat visitors with a warm welcome, who "are more than empathetic with Americans returned to settle a grief that will not sit." (p118).In the last section, he also writes about the Wall Memorial in Washington DC, and contrasts it with the Iwo Jima Memorial, nearby, specifically in terms of the different energy of the two, the different emotions they draw out of the viewer. I am hoping that more people will read this book, and others like it (Heinemann references a number of books and writers within the text) so that our country will realize that war is not the answer.