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Jarhead by Anthony Swofford
In Jarhead, Anthony Swofford has written a powerful and riveting memoir of his life, particularly his involvement as a Marine during the first Persian Gulf war. He recounts his experiences in the Marine culture, the blood lust, the alternating boredom and terror, and the absurd moments including wearing camouflage uniforms because their desert ones hadn't arrived yet. He watched the burning wells rain oil on the desert and the desecration of Iraqi corpses. At the same time he became aware that becoming a man involved more than becoming a soldier. The New York Times says, "By turns profane and lyrical, swaggering and ruminative, Jarhead -- referring to the marines' 'high-and-tight' haircuts, which make their heads look like jars -- is not only the most powerful memoir to emerge thus far from the last gulf war, but also a searing contribution to the literature of combat."