This is the first noteworthy Vietnam memoir by a member of the artillery. Thoroughly nonconformist, the author showed up for induction with long hair, graduated at the top of his basic training class, and was sent to Vietnam. He bucked the system every step of the way, opposing the war, wearing unauthorized peace symbols, smoking a prodigious amount of marijuana. Though white, he socialized and smoked with blacks and Hispanics. The narrative is sincere, but overlong: Olsen would have done better to relate key episodes than attempt comprehensiveness. Of special interest are the details of field artillery operations, and the artillery fighter's frustration when not permitted to fire into certain areas even in support of U.S. forces engaged in combat--the "free fire zone" dilemma. Recommended for general readers as well as specialists. --Richard W. Grefrath, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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