“Few writers since Stephen Crane have portrayed men at war with such a ring of steely truth.”—The Houston Post
With a new introduction by the author for the book’s 40th anniversary.
They each had their reasons for joining the Marines. They each had their illusions. Goodrich came from Harvard. Snake got the tattoo—“Death Before Dishonor”—before he got the uniform. And Hodges was haunted by the ghosts of family heroes. They were three young men from different worlds, plunged into a white-hot, murderous realm of jungle warfare as it was fought by one Marine platoon in the An Hoa Basin, 1969. They had no way of knowing what awaited them. Nothing could have prepared them for the madness to come. And in the heat and horror of battle they took on new identities, took on each other, and were each reborn in fields of fire.
Fields of Fire is James Webb’s classic novel of the Vietnam War, a novel of poetic power, razor-sharp observation, and agonizing human truths seen through the prism of nonstop combat. Weaving together a cast of vivid characters, Fields of Fire captures the journey of unformed men through a man-made hell—until each man finds his fate.
Praise for Fields of Fire
“A stunner . . . Webb gives us an extraordinary range of acutely observed people, not one a stereotype, and as many different ways of looking at that miserable war.”—Newsweek
“A novel of such fullness and impact, one is tempted to compare it to Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead.”—The Oregonian
“Webb’s book has the unmistakable sound of truth acquired the hard way. His men hate the war; it is a lethal fact cut adrift from personal sense. Yet they understand that its profound insanity, its blood and oblivion, have in some way made them fall in love with battle and with each other.”—Time
If anyone has ever served in the combat arms of the Marine Corps - more specifically the infantry for a lengthy period of time...this book will absolutely make sense to you. You have a young "boot" LT who links up with a seemingly endlessly experience squad leader in Vietnam...how they meet is by pure coincidence and it goes from there...the character development is amazing...and if you've ever been in combat this book definately captures alot of the emotion and heart that can be associated with it. Must read!
This is an excellent account, and well written as well. A 3rd person narrative, it deals with the moral issues of the war, both on the ground in Vietnam Nam and in the protest movement, the practical experience of combat, and the personal experience of a survivor. No easy judgments, a very credible reflection on the ambiguities of Viet Nam and war in general.
I was not there but it almost feels like I was.