Going Back: An Ex-marine Returns to Vietnam

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In February 1967, W.D. Ehrhart went to Vietnam as an 18-year-old Marine Corps volunteer. He took part in the siege of Con Thien and the historic battle for Hue, earning numerous decorations including the Purple Heart and two Presidential Unit Citations. Since then, he has earned recognition as one of the best poets and nonfiction writers to emerge from the Vietnam experience.
Soon after the war finally ended, in a poem called Letter, Ehrhart wondered, What's it like back there? Not content to wonder, in December 1985, Ehrhart accepted a high level invitation to return--one of the few writers to have visited postwar Vietnam. From Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, from the Cambodian border to the South China Sea, Ehrhart rediscovers his own past from a new perspective. In the process, he also offers us a lucid and insightful look at contemporary Vietnam ten years after.

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