Kill Anything that Moves, by Nick Turse

Fall books

The My Lai massacre of March 1968—the murder of 500 South Vietnamese men, women and children by U.S. Army soldiers led by Lieutenant William Calley—is the only American war crime of the Vietnam War to survive the conflict in popular memory and in a great deal of historical scholarship. But this singularity is misleading.

As most Americans saw it, something went terribly wrong at My Lai. The massacre of innocent civilians was not the American way of war, and Americans recoiled in horror. Few contemplated a more horrible prospect: that My Lai was not aberrant but symptomatic of American military practice in the Vietnamese countryside—that My Lai was, in a nutshell, the American way of war.

Such is the prospect that Nick Turse would have us face, and skeptics will be hard pressed to dispute the evidence he has amassed for it.

 

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