Today is Memorial Day in the United States. This holiday was celebrated as long ago as 1868 and is meant to be a day of remembrance for the many, many members of the Armed Forces who have lost their lives.
Here are five books that will help you understand what the life of soldiers on the front lines are like.
This classic novel is set during the American Civil War. It’s the story of one soldier, Henry Fleming, who finds himself in the center of a brutal battle and deserts. He does return to his regiment but has to learn to deal with the shame that follows deserting.
Part of what Ernest Hemingway is known for is writing about war. In this novel, an American ambulance drive falls in love with an English nurse during World War I on the Italian front.
David Finkel’s nonfiction book is about the lives of the US 2-16 Infantry Battalion in Baghdad. Not only do we find out what it’s actually like to be on the front lines, but Finkel followed them home to find out how the soldiers deal with what they saw and did during their time at war.
Michael Herr wrote this book during the Vietnam War while he was on the front lines, and it’s a brutal look at what happened during those years when American troops fought there.
Red Tail Captured, Red Tail Free: Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman and POW by Alexander Jefferson
This memoir is one of very few written by African American soldiers during World War II, and also serves as his account of life in a German prison camp.