Michael Herr Writing Styles in Dispatches

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Perspective

Michael Herr writes as a curious journalist with a solid background in fictional war stories that he has read, seen in movies, and watched on television. He arrives in Vietnam with no direct experience in the military, let alone a war, during the time of the Tet Offensive, a push by the NVA and VC that may have marked a turning point in the war, and not in the direction of the South Vietnamese or Americans.

The author's saving graces include a good listening ear, an honest respect for the grunts and Lurps, a sense for disinformation when he comes across it and a vivid writing style. Over a period of months, Herr learns exactly what combat soldiers experience, what they think, sometimes how they think, and to the core of matters, what they feel. He arrives in Vietnam a greenhorn with new boots. He leaves a veteran...

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