The (very personal) truth about the war

From the first days of the invasion of Iraq, it’s been a boilerplate anti-war argument that we’re in “another Vietnam.” A good place to look beyond the surface rhetoric and consider the actual parallels is Tom Bissell’s The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam (out 3/6), a gripping history, unflinching memoir, and travelogue rolled into one.

Bissell and his dad travel together to the country where the elder Bissell fought and was wounded. There they bicker about everything from politics (Tom’s dad jokes that his son’s a Communist) to choice of deodorant — but these differences fall away when they visit the site of the My Lai massacre, which sickens both men.

The most unsettling thing about this powerfully personal look at a not-so-distant war is that at times it seems like a preview of what we may be hearing in 30 years from the children of soldiers serving in Iraq right now.

“>BUY The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam

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The (very personal) truth about the war