Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam

Nick Turse. Metropolitan, $28 (384p) ISBN 978-0-8050-8691-1
After a decade of scouring Pentagon archives and interviewing Vietnamese survivors and American vets, Turse (The Complex) offers this detailed, well-documented account of the “real” Vietnam War, “the one that so many would like to forget.” The author shows that, contrary to popular belief, the massacre at My Lai was not an isolated incident; one soldier wrote in a 1971 letter to President Nixon that “the atrocities that were committed at Mylai are eclipsed by similar American actions throughout the country.” The bulk of the book is devoted to a grueling recounting of these killings, and Turse leaves little room for doubt that “[m]urder, torture, rape, abuse, forced displacement, home burnings, specious arrests, [and] imprisonment without due process” were encouraged by body count–minded war managers and badly trained junior officers, and abetted by Gen. William Westmoreland’s search-and-destroy strategy. Turse maintains a one-sided historicism regarding the innumerable American war crimes, and while this tight focus allows for an in-depth take on a horrific war, it’s hard to imagine what kind of readership the author had in mind when he began his gruesome project. Nevertheless, the whistle-blowers chronicled attest to the voices of reason that spoke up in the midst of carnage. Agent: Melissa Flashman, Trident Media Group. (Jan. 8)
Reviewed on: 10/15/2012
Release date: 01/08/2013
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FORMATS
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-8050-9547-0
Compact Disc - 525 pages - 978-1-62231-189-7
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-1-250-04506-5
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