On Books on War

I’ve said on here multiple times that Lone Survivor is easily the best book I’ve ever read. At this point it’s actually the only war book I’ve read, although I’ve acquired several over the last few months. The thing is that I don’t expect any of them to read like a novel, which might be a turn off for some and obvious to others.

But these books are important. Not because of the cliche that if we don’t learn from history we’re bound to repeat it. As true as that statement might be, I can’t foresee a future on earth in which wars are not taking place. To me, it’s a part of the human condition. It’s an unfortunate truth.

But these books are important because they show us a side of what it means to be human that we just don’t get to see firsthand. Most people will only see pictures and reports of war. They’ll never be on the front lines with a rifle. But books on war put a face and a story to it. We see more than the news reports and the images and the aftereffects of war. We get a glimpse into the minds of the men and women who volunteer (mostly) to partake in the ugliest of human interaction. We get to learn about them, and about what happens to them between the time they first deploy to the time they return home.

To me, books on war are not for the oblivious or close-minded. They’re not written for those who go days, weeks, or months at a time without at least thinking of the men and women at war in the world and why they’re usually far from home. Books on war are important to people who may never experience it firsthand, but who truly appreciate and support those who do. Not because they have to or because there’s some feeling of guilt for what militaries have to do, but because supporting one’s military members is right. Even if they disagree with things they have to do.

Books on war are important to me because I know fellow Americans are putting their lives at risk every single day, and I think there’s a lot I can learn from them.

What’s your opinion on these books?

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11 thoughts on “On Books on War

  1. I agree. These books are so important for educating people on what our brave men and women actually go through–how much they sacrifice in the name of safety and justice.
    Though, like you, I haven’t read all that many war books. Most were from WWI and WWII. I can’t think of any from recent years, though Lone Survivor is on my TBR list.

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  2. I’ve read rather a lot of war books, mainly first person accounts (I majored in it). Obviously I think it’s important. I can’t help but think if more people read the reality they’d be less likely to judge.

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  3. I’m a big history buff and read a lot of books about different wars and first person accounts. There are a lot of great authors and books out there that tell the stories of personal accounts and from the views of different people in different wars. People who abhor war and judge it definitely need to take a look at these books. We don’t go into war to have war and the men and women who are involved in these wars aren’t there for the hell of it.

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    • Exactly. I think it’s a good idea to know as many perspectives on war as you can, especially from those who’ve experienced it firsthand. It’d give those of us a better understanding of the impact of war on the human body, in general. And the more we know about that, the better we can serve the men and women affected.

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  4. I could not agree more. These books are vital to our culture. Being so close to death, and surrounded by the potential to killed, they offer us an insight of what means to human and alive.

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  5. I love books on war.
    I only just started reading them- Maus and Persepolis, both graphic novels- and I absolutely love em.
    You should definitely try them.
    And I totally agree with you. And I also think that it is an eye opener- at least to me- to see how some humans can behave inhumanly.

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