Skip to content
Hardcover The Education of Lieutenant Kerrey Book

ISBN: 0312285477

ISBN13: 9780312285470

The Education of Lieutenant Kerrey

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good*

*Best Available: (ex-library)

Save $20.76!
List Price $24.95

1 Available

Book Overview

On the night of February 25, 1969, an inexperienced, 25-year-old lieutenant, Bob Kerrey, led a commando raid on an isolated hamlet called Thanh Phong in Vietnam's Mekong Delta. While witnesses and official records give varying accounts, one thing is certain: around midnight, Kerrey and his men killed nearly two dozen unarmed women and children. What happened that night and why? It's a terrible secret that Kerrey has borne for more than thirty years...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A tome for our times

Contrary to a couple of the other "amateur" reviews already posted on this book, I say that, given the unfolding of events in Iraq, particularly the atrocities of the American military against prisoners and the shame of immorality that those atrocities carry, that are only just now beginning to surface and be investigated, this is perhaps the most timely book one could read today. Vistica uses the events of February, 1969, in Vietnam to examine America's collective self-image and the guilt of not living up to that image when engaged in battlefield realities. I say if you read no other book this year, this month, you must read this one. In it you will find grave lessons for those who are involved in fighting and policing overseas, as well as for politicians who are sending them as our agents. What will be said thirty years from now about what the United States is doing today?

There But for the Grace of God, Go I ...

...My loyalty, unashamedly, will always be with the American Warrior, my band of brothers. But this allegiance, lest we become the enemy we scorn, is coupled to a Code, a universal discipline that does not tolerate or celebrate the slaughter of unarmed civilians, especially the uninvolved women and children we profess to be saving...I salute unsung hero, Gerhard Klann, for his bravery in Vietnam, his daring counterterrorism exploits in Iran and for his moral courage to set the record straight.Acknowledging the many legendary accomplishments of Senator Kerrey, his greatest contributions and his own salvation are yet to come. Seeking redemption, I believe that like many great men before him, he will eventually use his influence and personal experience to help prevent future Thanh Phongs.Proving that courage and patriotism takes many forms, Greg Vistica?s, The Education of Lieutenant Kerrey, released after the events of September 11, is a ruthlessly honest book that helps answer one of the most important questions of our time ? ?Why do they hate us??

Senators as war criminals

It's the rare book that exposes clear wrongdoing but does so in a way that stirs sympathy for those involved. Though this important book by the respected journalist Gregory Vistica uncovers a horrendous war-time atrocity, it has no anti-military theme to it. It's an engaging and thoughtful story of how members of a Navy SEAL unit have lived with the horrible memory of massacring some two-dozen women and children in a tiny Vietnamese village. Even when Vistica methodically builds a case against Bob Kerrey, the commander of the SEAL unit who later became a popular U.S. senator and presidential candidate, he does so with great fairness. He relies on Kerrey's own words and actions to show how he dissembled and changed his story numerous times about his role in the killings. By Kerrey's own acknowledgement that he committed an "atrocity," one senses that he is slowly coming to terms with what the real truth of that brutal night is. Vistica convincingly shows how Kerrey fights within his own mind and rationalizes that this atrocity is different than a war crime. There is more than ample evidence in this well written and authoritative book, including vivid passages about how the SEALs slit the throats of their victims, to warrant a government investigation. Yet, to his credit, Vistica's goal is not to prosecute Kerrey. If anything, as this country prepares for war with Iraq, he has written a cautionary tale of how good men can do bad things in combat. A superb read that deserves wide-spread attention -- especially among those who want to hold our military to high ethical standards.

A Cautionary Tale

This book is must reading for any policymaker, or citizen, as this country moves inexorably toward war. Whatever your view of our iraq policy, "The Education of Lt. Kerrey" will make you give some real thought about the impact of war on the young men and women we put in harm's way. I was capitivated by the narrative and appalled at the position we put our soldiers in in Vietnam. The question of individual guilt is a difficult one. Each of us will have to decide for ourselves the individual culpability of Bob Kerrey, although it certainly seems that he, himself, feels the guilt deeply. As a nation, however, Vistica's book leaves no doubt in my mind that we carry a signficant burden of guilt with regards to the war in Vietnam. This riveting tale has to give us some pause before sending our troops on another foreign adventure. The education of Lt. Kerrey can serve as a cautionary tale to the rest of America. Let us hope we can benefit, through this terrific book, from his education without having to relearn old lessons with the blood of our children.

Penetrating..provocative... & painful

This book is not a biography of Bob Kerrey. In the words of the author, "it is a story about war, memory, and the terrible corrosive power of secrets." If you are fond of Bob Kerrey, you may not want to read this book...because it will more than likely change your opinion of him. Author Greg Vistica clearly establishes himself as one of the finest young journalists in America with the publication of "The Education of Lieutenant Kerrey." This book is penetrating, provocative and painful. It is also bound to accumulate many journalistic laurels for its extraordinary fairness and maturity.The plot of this explosive nonfiction book is whether Bob Kerrey conducted an atrocity or orchestrated a war crime while leading an elite team of Navy SEAL commandos in Vietnam. The facts are straightforward. Vistica spends three long years putting the puzzle together. His big break takes place when the most credible member of Kerrey's Vietnam SEAL team admits the young Lieutenant from Nebraska ordered the brutal murder of unarmed civilians...mostly women and children. Some were carved up with knives and the others were riddled with bullets from point blank range. The evidence collected by Vistica is so compelling you will have to suppress the urge to vomit in horror.Unfortunately at the conclusion of this book one is left to think that Bob Kerrey is not a hero. In defense of the former Senator Americans must bear in was the poor decisions of politicians that created the Vietnam quagmire. In addition, the many brave soldiers that answered the nation's call were subjected to a sinister White House and Pentagon obsession with "body counts."Still and all, Bob Kerrey is his own worst enemy by authoring misleading and inconsistent explanations. Moreover, his employment of mercenary "spin masters" to control the damage of Vistica's journalistic investigation is absolutely dishonest. This is a book you make time to read and then pray that you find the moral strength to forgive. Nevetheless, as a lifelong Democrat dedicated to the protection of human rights...the bottom line of this book is that Bob Kerrey is probably not qualified to run for President of the United States.
Copyright © 2023 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information | Cookie Preferences | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured