When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

17 December 2006

Writers and books on war

In today's Sunday Book Review, the New York Times puts together a, you know, topical editorial package: prominent writers offering their opinions about the best books on war ever written.
Theorists, novelists and partisans of all stripes have written on war. The Book Review asked a range of writers to recommend titles they find particularly illuminating.
They've also reviewed a bunch of books about war this week.

Next week, of course, actual Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines will be offering their opinions about the best books on writing ever written.

I'm breathless with anticipation to see where the representative from the Marine Corps comes down on The Elements of Style, and to see what the Air Force guy thinks of Zinsser's On Writing Well.

Yeah, right.

1 comment:

Christopher D. Campbell said...

See. That's why I love you, man. :-)

For those who might be interested, though, here's two recommendations from what too many of my Officer Performance Reports refer to as a "Warrior/Scholar."

On war, as the endless, essentially human and divine (yes, divine) thing is is: read Cormac McCarthy's, _Blood Meridian_. It is also (PhD'ed scholar speaking now) the best book written by an American in the last half of the last century. "War is God." 'Nuff said.

On the current war, as the conflicted, heartbreaking, occasionally beautiful, intensely personal experience that all wars are (been there, done that, warrior speaking now), read Brian Turner's poems in, _Here, Bullet_. I read them, last year, to my lit classes at the USAF Academy--on the days I thought I could get through them without too much embarrassment. They affect me. Maybe because I've been there (in Afghanistan; not Turner's Iraq). Maybe they're just that good. Maybe they're just that good because I've been there.

I hope to interview Turner in California during our Christmas trip. If it happens, and it makes it into our journal, I'll send you a link.

Merry Christmas, from one pedant to another.