Dispatches by Michael HerrRead about another entry on the list.
I reread Dispatches recently and what struck me most was not the descriptions of combat that blew me away the first time – although these are still fiercely vivid – but rather the characters Michael Herr meets in Vietnam. In just a few short sentences, Herr manages to sum up entire personalities. There’s the veteran killer who’s left sanity far behind; the war-chasing journalists, desperate for adrenaline and glory; and, of course, the average grunts who are slogging their way through, longing just to get back home. You find the same types in every warzone across the world, but no writer has done a better job of cataloguing them and capturing what war has done to make them how they are.
Dispatches appears on George Saunders' six favorite books list, Lawrence F. Kaplan's list of five books on American intervention abroad, Gail Caldwell's five best list of memoirs, and Judith Paterson's list of the 10 best books of social concern by journalists.