Since time immemorial, human civilization has been experiencing tensions in its various pockets, and has blindly tried to resolve it through war. As an evolved race, facing the dawn of the era of the new millennium we still haven't dissolved our arms and ammunitions, instead, the fear has only grown in multitude, and most of the countries of the world spend a third of their resources on nuclear weapons and intelligent war machines. The author, Karl Marlantes was only 23 when he was sent to the vietnam war as a lieutenant with 40 soldiers under his command. He lived through the war and spent next 40 years contemplating on the concept of war, and how unprepared soldiers are to deal with the crisis that sets in the heart of a person in a war, where people are expected to kill a brother from another country, impersonal to his existence as a part of the one-human race.
The deepening of wounds sustained in wars tear the layers of life off our feelings and turn it rabid and let it decay in the heart. What It is Like to Go to War is a book based on what the title implies, and it is a gateway to the understanding of the many soldiers who merely represent the decisions of the politicians to kill and die, and follow it with utmost regard. The author discusses the spiritual and psychological consequences of wars on the minds of soldiers, as they breathe along while they pull the trigger to make someone breathe his last. The author has spent examining the after effects of war on an individual, the brunt that the kindness in heart has to bear. This book is true to the ordeal of the marines as it describes the insufficient methods of training of today where all the focus of training is on the physical debarring the subtler causal feelings and effects.
What It is Like to Go to War is a book that proves that the quest to attain everlasting peace in the world cannot be achieved if the governments and the other institutions are driven by fear at the base of their thinking, the astounding fact about the world of today is that wars still haven't become extinct. The various life-consuming factors that a soldier is moved by in the war-zone comes back to haunt him after the war, and he slips into a silent denial of the recoiling psyche. The trails of the war pounds the soul of an individual, and it is extremely tough on the young soldiers who are just out to become a marine.
The tremors of a mind, feeling the wounds on the oneness in life as the vision of the spilt blood of enemies and friends alike moves in cycle, in memory. The restlessness is all that oscillates in the consciousness of a soldier with an active conscience; the author discusses the unsaid and the unexpressed to touch the hearts of all, soldiers or otherwise.