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Word of Honor by Nelson DeMille
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Word of Honor (original 1985; edition 1985)

by Nelson DeMille

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865910,312 (3.96)12
Member:Snowstorm14
Title:Word of Honor
Authors:Nelson DeMille
Info:Grand Central Publishing (1985), Edition: 1St Edition, Hardcover, 526 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:thriller

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Word of Honor by Nelson DeMille (1985)

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I just loved this book and found it very difficult to put down. I hadn't read a page turner like this for quite some time.

In Word of Honor Demille tells the story of Ben Tyson, a Vietnam vet with a secret. Upon the publication of a book which names him as the officer responsible for a horrific war crime, Ben's world is turned upside down. He is forced to leave his corporate executive position, his Garden City home to return to the army while they investigate the allegations. ( )
  AstridG | Jun 30, 2014 |
Finished. Totally excellent.

I'm about half way through and I have to say I suspect this may be the best DeMille I have read. I believe that DeMille was an infantry Lt. in Vietnam and it shows. I've read a lot of Vietnam books and I think this one captures the impact on the soldiers and the internal conflicts many of them suffered as well or better than any of the others. The scene where Tyson "confronts" the author of the book that reveals the details of the massacre is a classic. The inner turmoil of both men is apparent. I'll never look at Calley and My Lai in quite the same way again. DeMille novelistically raises many important issues with regard to war crimes and the assignment of blame.

UPDATE: The issue of command culpability has intrigued me for years and is certainly of paramount importance given our history with the Nuremberg trials, Vietnam, and now Iraq. It was our moral position at Nuremberg that the higher command had to be accountable for their orders and actions. We went after the top guys. We executed top commanders even though, in many cases, they were totally unaware of the specific actions of those under their command. (Check out who got the axe for Abu Ghraib.) Japan was castigated for failures to follow the Geneva Convention even though they were not signatories. (The Emperor had indicated , however, they no longer needed to be bound by the Hague Convention in the treatment of Chinese prisoners.) Similarly, Bush's AG wrote an opinion with the concurrence of Cheney that the Geneva Convention did not apply in the case of the the prisoners at Gitmo. I'm not arguing the validity of these decisions (although you can guess where I stand, those idiots) but given our positions at Nuremberg and public posturing we need to be very careful.

Of course, it's the winner of every war who writes history and makes the rules. We need to be mindful of how those rules may be applied in the future as we may not always be the winner and we may not always be innocent, regardless of how we may view our own actions. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
Extremely long, paper back is 855 pages, and boring in places that shouldn't have even been in the book. ( )
  PatrickJIV | Apr 6, 2011 |
read book and saw movie pretty good
  jmundhenk | Oct 2, 2010 |
Absolutely my favorite from this unusually gifted writer of suspense. ( )
  MichieB | Apr 11, 2009 |
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Epigraph
It is easier to find false witnesses against the civilian than anyone willing to speak the truth against the interest and honor of the solider
~Juvenal
He who does not prevent a crime when he can, encourages it.
~Seneca: Troades
Dedication
To Ginny 
with love
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Ben Tyson folded his Mi
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446674826, Paperback)

He is a good man, a brilliant corporate executive, an honest, handsome family man admired by men and desired by women.But a lifetime ago Ben Tyson was a lieutenant in Vietnam.There the men under his command committed a murderous atrocity -- and together swore never to tell the world what they had done. Now the press, army justice, and the events he tried to forget have caught up with Ben Tyson. His family, his career, and his personal sense of honor hang in the balance. And only one woman can reveal the truth of his past -- and set him free.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:27 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The publication of a book--claiming to document the facts about a massacre of civilians that occurred in a French hospital outside Hue in 1968 under the command of American Lieutenant Ben Tyson--upends Tyson's suburban life and rocky marriage.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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