War Is: Soldiers, Survivors and Storytellers Talk about War by Mark Aronson and Patty Campbell | Teen Ink

War Is: Soldiers, Survivors and Storytellers Talk about War by Mark Aronson and Patty Campbell

July 16, 2015
By N.R.Anon PLATINUM, Ayer, Massachusetts
N.R.Anon PLATINUM, Ayer, Massachusetts
21 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't be like so many writers, don't be like so many thousands of people who call themselves writers." (Charles Bukowski, So You Want to be a Writer)


Is war avoidable through peace, or is it completely unavoidable, bred into the very fabric of our genetics? These are the two opinions discussed in the book War Is: Soldiers, Survivors and Storytellers Talk about War by Mark Aronson and Patty Campbell. Their book is a brilliant compilation of various letters, stories, songs and miscellaneous works of literature; all centered on the subject of war.

What is unique about this particular book is that it is a truly diverse compilation; Aronson and Campbell share two completely differing views on war itself, yet decided to put together a book that combined both their feelings towards the existence and continuity of war. Aronson believes that war is unavoidable, that humans enjoy it and therefore, it is destined to continue throughout time, while Campbell believes that war is ultimately asinine in nature and can be overcome through various means; peaceful tactics being among them- and both of these opinions are present throughout the various sections of the book itself.

Unless you are particularly captivated by the experiences and documentations of a soldiers’ life in the armed forces, (which is what the majority of the book covers) I would not particularly recommend it as a leisure read. However, it was definitely an eye-opening piece of literature, and I learned a lot about the conditions and challenges (both physical and emotional) that a soldier faces on and off the battlefield.


The author's comments:

I was assigned this book for a reading assignment over the summer; and while I did not enjoy it, I learned a lot from it. I tend to favour Campbell's view of war being unecessary- and I suppose by that sense I was a bit biased to the whole book. I did quite enjoy one of the pieces included in it though: The War Prayer by Mark Twain- and I would reccomend you give that a read as it is very eye-opening as well.


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