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Born on the Fourth of July by Ron Kovic

Born on the Fourth of July

by Ron Kovic

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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The true story of young Marine Kovic, who's combat injury in Vietnam left him paralyzed from the chest down. The writing can be stilted sometimes but that doesn't stop the reader from feeling the impact of Kovic's story. The first two chapters are very difficult, as they take place in the battle when he was shot and surrounded by other wounded men, then the treatment he received in the VA hospital immediately afterwards, which was just as horrifying as the battleground. I actually put the book down for about a week and wondered if I'd keep going, but then figured that he lived it and all I had to do was read about it.
Kovic's story was published over 40 years ago, and it's probably more introspective than most, as he deals with isolation, loneliness, grief over the loss of sexual functioning, and his desire to be seen as a symbol of the war. 4 stars ( )
  mstrust | Jul 21, 2019 |
This is the few times where the movie was better than the book. The book is about Ron's story how he grew up, went to Vietnam, got paralyzed and what happened after he came home. The simplistic writing was not what I expected for a book turned into a movie.

For the rest of the review, visit my blog at: http://angelofmine1974.livejournal.com/123850.html ( )
  booklover3258 | Mar 18, 2017 |
I think I may have too many war/horror stories under my belt to find this one particularly novel. Volunteer marine goes back for a second tour during Vietnam and is paralyzed. Becomes disillusioned with the ongoing war following his poor treatment at the VA hospital and his generation losing their lives/limbs/minds over a cause the growing majority of the American public no longer supports. Begins speaking out/protesting while attempting to cope with the rest of his life imprisoned in a chair. Intrigued by his follow-up novel focused on improving the treatment of disabled veterans.

"No government will ever teach me to hate another human being." ( )
  dandelionroots | Nov 12, 2016 |
Wrenching, infuriating, saddening, enthralling, inspiring. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
Though not well-written, [i:]Born on the Fourth of July[/i:] is still worth reading. The best aspect of the memoir is Kovic's struggle between his patriotism and his indignation. Kovic's patriotic feelings are expressed in the language of treacly 1950's stereotypes, which may express how he actually formulated it, or his wholesale and uncritical swallowing of a widespread fantasy of the American Dream, or poor retrospective description. It remains the case, no matter which is true, that Kovic's disillusionment, despair, and anger are intimately related to the betrayal of a cultural promise in which he (as well as many others) deeply believed.

Some reviewers fault Kovics for his repeated discussions of his injury-related impotence. It's hard for me to imagine that a 21 year old who lost his sexual functioning wouldn't ruminate over this; in fact, given his angry outbursts about this, it's surprising how coy he is about the character of his later romantic relationships. ( )
1 vote OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ron Kovicprimary authorall editionscalculated
Daly, GerryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I am the living death the memorial day on wheels. I am your yankee doodle dandy, your John Wayne come home, your Fourth of July firecracker exploding in the grave.
For my country and its people. Happy birthday.
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The blood is still rolling off my flak jacket from the hole in my shoulder and there are bullets cracking into the sand all around me.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067173914X, Paperback)

Exceedingly honest, personal account of one young man's experience fighting in the Vietnam War.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:29 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

This New York Times bestseller details the author's life story-from a patriotic soldier in Vietnam, to his severe battlefield injury, to his role as the country's most outspoken anti-Vietnam War advocate. Kovic served two tours of duty during the Vietnam War. He was paralyzed from his chest down in combat in 1968 and has been in a wheelchair ever since. Includes a new introduction by the author.

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Akashic Books

An edition of this book was published by Akashic Books.

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