Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries Tagged as 'Vietnam War'

Can’t Buy a Thrill

October 16th, 2012 · No Comments

Given that 2.4 million Americans have served in either Afghanistan or Iraq, there is bound to be a point at which some veterans who run afoul of the law will point to their combat experience as a mitigating factor. When lawyers cobble together such defenses, they will doubtless flip back to United States v. Tindall […]

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The Christmas Fake-Out

December 23rd, 2011 · 4 Comments

Put yourself in the shoes of a G.I. slogging his way across Italy or New Guinea in December 1943. You’ve been subsisting on tinned ham and cold coffee for days; your feet are bleeding; your best friend took a bullet to the skull on Thanksgiving. The last thing in the world you want to think […]

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Reeling in the Days

November 23rd, 2011 · 2 Comments

One of my very first posts, way back in the unenlightened days of April 2009, was about the art objects crafted by World War I’s unfortunate grunts. Since then, I’ve always kept an eye peeled for the artwork of combat soldiers, which is often formed in the most desperate and uncomfortable of circumstances. I love […]

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Where Do We Go Now?

November 1st, 2011 · 4 Comments

With roughly six months to go ’til my first book is due, you can expect plenty more research extras in the coming weeks. A lot of those posts will be designed to help me think through some of the slippery issues I’m encountering as I shape the central narrative—I’m still struggling to understand the mindsets […]

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Arm in the Mouth of the Beast

October 6th, 2011 · No Comments

One of those days in which I’ve got to wrestle a chapter to the ground, lest it come to occupy too much real estate in my head. Back tomorrow with something worthwhile.

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Grunt’s Eye View

September 21st, 2011 · 1 Comment

I never did care much for war comics as a kid, and so always flipped past back issues The ‘Nam when searching for the latest Wolverine. But now that the latest book has got me looking for ways to bring the jungles of Long Khanh Province alive, I’ve found myself relying on some choice The […]

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A Pro’s Pro

September 6th, 2011 · 4 Comments

At the risk of alarming folks who have a vested interest in my creative progress, I must confess that the book-writing process is proceeding at a snail’s pace. In a wildly optimistic moment last month, I vowed to have two entire chapters done by Labor Day; now my best-case scenario is that I’ll have a […]

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The Underwhelmer

August 31st, 2011 · No Comments

Hacking my way through a tricky part of the book today—a section in which I must encapsulate the tumult of late-1960s South Vietnamese politics in the space of two paragraphs. The chore has me focusing on the figure of Nguyen Cao Ky, the air marshal who became South Vietnam’s prime minister in 1965 (and who […]

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The Empty File

August 17th, 2011 · No Comments

As part of my ongoing, book-related effort to gain a better understanding of the Vietnam War, I recently started diving into the documentary series based on Stanley Karnow’s Vietnam: A History. (Yeah, I know, I should’ve started with the source material—my bad.) I’ve found the first episode particularly enlightening, since part of my book will […]

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Dreaming in the Trenches

February 23rd, 2011 · No Comments

From the 1915 paper that first legitimized the scientific study of combat-related trauma, Charles Samuel Myers’ “A Contribution to the Study of Shell Shock”: Dec. 27th–While in hypnosis he gives the name of hte man in the same trench with him as K. He “sees” very clearly the position of the trenches, their shallowness and […]

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The Grim Handiwork of Man

February 1st, 2011 · 2 Comments

In researching my Teddy Weatherford yarn for The Atavist, I was compelled to revisit a tragic event that I described in Now the Hell Will Start: the Bengal famine of 1943, which ultimately claimed the lives of 3 million Indians. In the book, I detail how a bare modicum of foresight could have prevented the […]

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Carving Out a New World

February 18th, 2010 · 1 Comment

If you haven’t caught it already, The Independent‘s latest dispatch from the jungles of Laos is well worth a read. It’s an eye-opening look at life for the Hmong tribespeople who decided to remain in Southeast Asia after the end of the Vietnam War, rather than take the CIA up on its offer to resettle […]

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The Questionable Power of Horse

February 18th, 2010 · 8 Comments

In keeping with our recent paying-gig focus on addiction science, we’d like to turn your attention toward the remarkable work of Lee N. Robins, who recently passed away. In the early 1970s, after hearing rumors that tens of thousands of Vietnam War veterans had come stumbling home as hopeless heroin addicts, Robins vowed to determine […]

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Back from the Land of Shadows

December 22nd, 2009 · No Comments

Upon recently hearing the classic Super Cat track “Scalp Dem” on WeFunk, we were reminded of a curious incident in dancehall history: Super Cat’s resurrection from the dead. Okay, perhaps it wasn’t quite as dramatic as alll that. But back in May of 1997, the wire services ran a story stating that Super Cat had […]

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