Saturday, November 24, 2007

James Webb, Fields of Fire

Look at his resume and see if you'd expect great things from this man: Highly decorated combat marine during the Vietnam War, journalist, Secretary of the Navy, Assistant Secretary of Defense--and now: Senator from Virginia!

Let me add one more accolade: novelist.

Although Fields of Fire will never be a great novel-chronicle as The Red and the Black or War and Peace, it is an important American work of fiction because it brings to our consciousness the absurdity of our Country's misadventures; in particular the enormous misadventure in Vietnam. The narrative is lively and it portrays a variety of well drawn characters.

When Bob Hodges, Snake, or Goodrich walk point in the Godforsaken jungles of Vietnam, James Webb makes one tremble, shake, and suffer in our civilian shoes, as we commiserate with the grunts. And one can only imagine the stark, lonely and dark nights streaked by the slowly hanging flares with which you could see the face of the Vietcong, the North Vietnamese soldiers, or even the Chinese troopers.

That we only lost 50,000 American troops in Vietnam is a miracle given the impossibility of fighting such a guerrilla war where your enemy was your waiter during the day. Live and learn: Vietnamization then. Or so we thought until the new misadventure now called Iraq.

We should be on the lookout for great things from James Webb. Here in our midst we have a quiet, humble American hero who wore his son's combat boots to make a point, but never once did he wave his medals to belittle his now forgotten racist opponent.

Webb never run away from service--or hid in the National Guard, or sought deferments--when his country needed him during war-time. Having served with distinction he deserves to be not only a U. S. Senator but perhaps even president of the United States!

To think that there are virile men like James Webb fills me with great pride, just as shame rushes to my heart and angers me when I think of cowards who advocate war not having fired a single shot in defense of their country.

Warmongers, and their relatives, should be allowed the opportunity to be in the first wave of attack. Only then should war proceed. Those who advocate and press for war should not be allowed to push other people's children to death.

We have to be thankful to James Webb and his son for what they are: American heroes.

The writing techniques I employ in this article are all explained in Mary Duffy's writing manual:

Augustine, City of God
Austen J, Pride and Prejudice
Austen J, "Marriage Proposals and Me"
Austen J, Emma
Borges, The Aleph
C. Bronte, Jane Eyre
Burroughs E,Tarzan
Cervantes, Don Quijote
Chaucer, Wife of Bath
Coelho P,The Alchemist
Coyle H, They Are Soldiers
Dante, New Life
Dickens C, David Copperfield
Dostoevsky, Crime&Punishment
ConanDoyle,Hound of Baskervilles
Dubner S, Superfreakonomics

DuMaurier D, Rebecca
Ellis B. E. American Psycho
Fitzgerald S, Great Gatsby
Flaubert G, Madame Bovary
Fleming I,Doctor No
Freud S, Leonardo Da Vinci
Friedan B, Feminine Mystique
GarciaMarquez, Of Love & OtherDemons
Guerrero M,ThePoison Pill

Grass G, The Tin Drum
Harris T, Hannibal Rising
Heidegger M,House of Being
Ishiguro K, Remains of The Day
Johnson S,Rasselas
Kosinski J, The Painted Bird
Lee H,To Kill a Mockingbird
McBain Ed,Gutter and Grave
Murakami H,Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Nabokov V, Lolita
Meyer, S, Twilight
Ortega,Dehumanization of Art
Poe E A, Gordon Pym
Prose F, Reading Like a Writer
Rushdie S,Midnight Children
Sabatini R, Scaramouche
Spark M, Prime of Miss Brodie

Stendhal, Red and Black
Sterne L,Tristram Shandy
Stevenson R, Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde
Stoker B, Dracula
Thackeray W,History of Pendennis
Tolstoy L, Anna Karenina
Trollope A, Autobiography
Unamuno M, Tragic Sense of Life
Voltaire, Candide
Webb J, Fields of Fire
Wharton E, The House of Mirth
Woolf V, To The Lighhouse

The secrets of 'no-doze' prose:
Mary Duffy's Sentence Openers

Lindsey Vonn after winning the Downhill World ...
Image via Wikipedia

Lindsey Vonn

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