War Day - War Literature

Marc Nash travels from Vietnam to Chechnya without leaving his screen as he tells us about a couple of war books that have left an impression...

History was my subject at school and the Second World War my specialist subject. Back in the day I learned the whole of "The World at War" for my revision and still watch the occasional episode when it crops up on the documentary channel. When the US pulled out of Saigon in 1975, I was only eleven and the war didn't make much impact on me. But like many I suspect, that slew of movies from about 1978-1987 starting with "The Deer Hunter" put Vietnam front and centre to my cultural appreciation. Indeed, "Apocalypse Now" remains my favourite ever movie of any genre, not just war. But the books on Vietnam left me a bit underwhelmed, until I read Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" a few years ago which blew me away. But then in the same year I read Nicolai Lilin's book on his experiences in the Russian army in Chechnya and that takes war literature on to a whole new level. I talk about these two books in this video.

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