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NAM by Robert McGowan

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"We were in our fresh new jungle fatigues at that point. Brand new green-dressed guys all lined up, standing in that field of red dust. And with that empty blue sky extending out forever and ever over the flat plain where this place was, it felt so . . . vast. And all of us new guys, the way I see it now in my memory, so little, like nothing, out there in all that space. You felt like you might float away into it. "
[Robert McGowan, from the opening story "What It Was Going To Be Life," NAM]

The thirty-seven stories in this sometimes harrowing, sometimes hilarious collection look back at the Vietnam War from a distance of over forty years. It is derived of the author's Vietnam War experience, and adds the perspectives of not only the soldiers themselves, but also their children, spouses, siblings, parents, friends.

This is hardly just another batch of macho war stories. These short fictions, most of them memoir-based, neither glorify nor excuse war. They are, instead, an eloquent testament to the tragic lunacy of war. Nothing comparable to this collection exists within the literature growing out of the Vietnam War.