“Can the foot soldier teach anything important about war, merely for having been there? I think not. He can tell war stories.”
2018 is a year charged with political symbolism. It marks not only the 50th anniversary of May 1968 in France, but also one of the major events of the Vietnam War: the Tet Offensive, a series of North Vietnamese surprise attacks against South Vietnamese and U.S troops. The offensive is identified as the moment that turned U.S public opinion against the war effort, even though the conflict only officially ended in 1975.
It was in this context that American novelist Tim O’Brien was drafted to serve his country in the summer of 1968. His experience as a foot soldier in Vietnam served as a leitmotiv for most of his works, such as “If I Die in a Combat Zone”, first published in 1973. Through the 23 chapters of the book, we take on the author’s journey from a small town in Minnesota until his final days of military service in the Vietnam War. Continuer de lire « “If I Die in a Combat Zone”: a personal account of the Vietnam War »