Thursday, April 26, 2007


Anthony Swofford is bracingly honest in this memoir of "the first Gulf War", as my copy calls it. He talks about all the emotions he passes through as part of a spotter-sniper unit in the Marine Corp, from fearful to bored to stir-crazy. He also is honest about the behavior of the Marines, which like any group run the gamut. He talks about how many Marines (at least the male marines of his acquaintance) cheat wildly on the women at home whenever given the opportunity, and are obsessed with thoughts of the wives and girlfriends cheating on them (sometimes with reason, sometimes not). He talks about the good and bad sides of life as a Marine (don't call them soldiers, they are Marines) and how his father's service during Vietnam shaped his own life and choices. A well written memoir that is better than the movie.

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