Kill Anything That Moves

Kill Anything That Moves : The Real American War in Vietnam

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Americans have long been taught that events such as the notorious My Lai massacre were "isolated incidents" in the Vietnam War, carried out by a few "bad apples." However, as award-winning journalist and historian Nick Turse demonstrates in this pioneering investigation, violence against Vietnamese civilians was not at all exceptional. Rather, it was pervasive and systematic, the predictable consequence of official orders to "kill anything that moves." Drawing on a decade of research into secret Pentagon files and extensive interviews with American veterans and Vietnamese survivors, Turse reveals the policies and actions that resulted in millions of innocent civilians killed and wounded. He lays out in shocking detail the workings of a military machine that made crimes in nearly every American unit all but inevitable. "Kill Anything That Moves" takes us from archives filled with Washington's long-suppressed war crime investigations to the rural Vietnamese hamlets that bore the brunt of the war; from boot camps where young American soldiers learned to hate all Vietnamese to bloodthirsty campaigns like Operation Speedy Express, in which a general obsessed with body counts led his troops to commit what one participant called "a My Lai a month."

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  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 160.02 x 238.76 x 38.1mm | 589.67g
  • Henry Holt & Company Inc
  • Metropolitan Books (imprint of Henry Holt & Company)
  • New York, NYUnited States
  • English
  • two 8-page inserts
  • 0805086919
  • 9780805086911
  • 110,034

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No book I have read in decades has so shaken me, as an American. Turse lays open the ground-level reality of a war that was far more atrocious than Americans at home have ever been allowed to know. He exposes official policies that encouraged ordinary American soldiers and airmen to inflict almost unimaginable horror and suffering on ordinary Vietnamese, followed by official cover-up as tenacious as Turse's own decade of investigative effort against it. "Kill Anything That Moves" is obligatory reading for Americans, because its implications for the likely scale of atrocities and civilian casualties inflicted" "and covered up in our latest wars" "are inescapable and staggering.--Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers

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About Nick Turse

Nick Turse is the author of "The Complex," the managing editor for, and a fellow at the Nation Institute. His work has appeared in the "Los Angeles Times," the "San Francisco Chronicle," and "The Nation," among other publications. Turse's investigations of American war crimes in Vietnam have gained him a Ridenhour Prize for Reportorial Distinction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. He lives near New York City.

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