R.I.P.: Michael Herr

Dispatches bookended Stone’s Dog Soldiers to change my life. Finally, at 25 and lucky enough to have a very high draft number, I realized how much war had been glorified and romanticized in fact and film and fiction my whole life. But even then I could sense it was the final moments to come to grips with what Viet Nam had done to all sides. I also sensed that Dispatches might be a once-in-a-writing-lifetime shot, and sure enough Hollywood gulped Herr down (though I argue Apocalypse Now is a dangerous drug of a movie). The best part is that Dispatches will always be there and it’s where I would tell the curious to begin their understanding.

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