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Born on the Fourth of July: A Timeless Story of Survival and Triumph by a Disabled Vietnam Veteran

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Cultural Writing. This New York Times bestseller details the author's life story (portrayed by Tom Cruise in the Oliver Stone film)—from a patriotic soldier in Vietnam, to his severe battlefield injury, to his role as the country's most outspoken anti-Vietnam War advocate, spreading his message from his wheelchair. Ron Kovic served two tours of duty during the Vietnam War. Cultural Writing. This New York Times bestseller details the author's life story (portrayed by Tom Cruise in the Oliver Stone film)—from a patriotic soldier in Vietnam, to his severe battlefield injury, to his role as the country's most outspoken anti-Vietnam War advocate, spreading his message from his wheelchair. Ron 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. Kovic's powerful and moving new introduction sets this classic antiwar story in a contemporary context.


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Cultural Writing. This New York Times bestseller details the author's life story (portrayed by Tom Cruise in the Oliver Stone film)—from a patriotic soldier in Vietnam, to his severe battlefield injury, to his role as the country's most outspoken anti-Vietnam War advocate, spreading his message from his wheelchair. Ron Kovic served two tours of duty during the Vietnam War. Cultural Writing. This New York Times bestseller details the author's life story (portrayed by Tom Cruise in the Oliver Stone film)—from a patriotic soldier in Vietnam, to his severe battlefield injury, to his role as the country's most outspoken anti-Vietnam War advocate, spreading his message from his wheelchair. Ron 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. Kovic's powerful and moving new introduction sets this classic antiwar story in a contemporary context.

30 review for Born on the Fourth of July: A Timeless Story of Survival and Triumph by a Disabled Vietnam Veteran

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brett C

    I have to admit: this was a pretty painful to read. Ron Kovic's story is troubling and hard to believe it actually happened. The book goes back and forth between first-person perspective and third-person narrative. Ron Kovic gives the story of his life as a patriotic All-American youth, enlisting in the US Marine Corps with dreams of preserving the American way of life, serving horrific combat duty in Vietnam, and the shocking account living as a paralyzed veteran in 1970s America. Ron Kovic was I have to admit: this was a pretty painful to read. Ron Kovic's story is troubling and hard to believe it actually happened. The book goes back and forth between first-person perspective and third-person narrative. Ron Kovic gives the story of his life as a patriotic All-American youth, enlisting in the US Marine Corps with dreams of preserving the American way of life, serving horrific combat duty in Vietnam, and the shocking account living as a paralyzed veteran in 1970s America. Ron Kovic was able to articulate exactly how he felt throughout the book. He gives the reader a first-hand glimpse of his hardships of being paralyzed, his emotional highs and lows, dealing with the subpar healthcare system in the VA hospital network, and eventually becoming an outspoken member against the war in Vietnam. I felt post-traumatic growth was a huge protective factor in his life. Throughout the book, no matter how bad things got, Ron Kovic was always telling himself things like "I gotta get through this" and "I'm going to survive no matter what". His mental resilience kept him from developing unhealthy coping mechanisms and spiraling downward to the point of no-return. It was troubling to read about the thousands of Vietnam veterans who returned damaged and broken, only to be discarded as trash by the government. Overall this was a great read because of the reality-based narrative. The story is well put together, is insightful, and heartbreaking at the same time. I would recommend it. Thanks!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    This was a difficult, almost painful book to read. Ron Kovic was a United States Marine who did two tours of duty in Vietnam and then was tragically wounded, becoming paralyzed from the chest down for the rest of his life. Kovic delivers a powerful message about war and our government. Kovic’s 1976 novel describes his wounding in Vietnam and his dreadful time after that in VA hospitals. Kovic was also born on the fourth of July and grew up living the 1950s American dream with baseball and astronau This was a difficult, almost painful book to read. Ron Kovic was a United States Marine who did two tours of duty in Vietnam and then was tragically wounded, becoming paralyzed from the chest down for the rest of his life. Kovic delivers a powerful message about war and our government. Kovic’s 1976 novel describes his wounding in Vietnam and his dreadful time after that in VA hospitals. Kovic was also born on the fourth of July and grew up living the 1950s American dream with baseball and astronauts. His disillusionment and anger is understandable and his protests against the Nixon administration was inspiring. This reminded me somewhat of Elie Wiesel’s Night in that it describes such a nightmarish experience. As horrible as Kovic’s descriptions were, like Night, I felt like it was important to read, to honor his story and to recognize that the lessons he imparts, from experience, needs to be told.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cyndie Todd

    I knew Ron Kovic personally. He used to frequent the restaurant I worked at so much so that there was a dish on the menu named after him. Every dish on the menu was named after an author. Ron liked to have a steak with cottage cheese and fruit, so that was his dish. He would come to the restaurant and say to me, "I'll have me." He was very kind and funny and even flirty. He gave me the copy of his book, autographed, with his calling card tucked into it, which I still have. It's a great book, as I knew Ron Kovic personally. He used to frequent the restaurant I worked at so much so that there was a dish on the menu named after him. Every dish on the menu was named after an author. Ron liked to have a steak with cottage cheese and fruit, so that was his dish. He would come to the restaurant and say to me, "I'll have me." He was very kind and funny and even flirty. He gave me the copy of his book, autographed, with his calling card tucked into it, which I still have. It's a great book, as well as a personal treasure of mine.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Evan

    I saw the Oliver Stone/Tom Cruise movie version, which was decent. The book looks short and reads fast. This true-life expose starts with some splendid impressions of being wounded and confused on the battlefield in Vietnam. Am reading with intense interest... OK, getting close to the halfway point now and this book is quite sensational, really. From the confusion and hell of war it segues into the hellishness of immobility, impotence, dependence, loneliness in the VA hospital then to an intensel I saw the Oliver Stone/Tom Cruise movie version, which was decent. The book looks short and reads fast. This true-life expose starts with some splendid impressions of being wounded and confused on the battlefield in Vietnam. Am reading with intense interest... OK, getting close to the halfway point now and this book is quite sensational, really. From the confusion and hell of war it segues into the hellishness of immobility, impotence, dependence, loneliness in the VA hospital then to an intensely familiar and sweetly nostalgic section of reminiscences about growing up in the paradise of suburbia USA in the 1950s --- a period during which the pervasive nationalistic propaganda seeped into Kovic from seemingly every source --- and on to the marine recruiting office in 1964 and off to the mercilessness of boot camp. The parts in which Kovic fights zits and shyness with girls and seeks relief from his sexual urges and builds himself athletically are heartfelt and vivid. This is a beautiful memoir. Simply stated and perfectly so. Reading on... OK, just finished and am kind of speechless; tears running down my face. Such a sad story about a guy who grew up believing in doing the right thing by his country, an All-American boy, and realizing, too late, the betrayal that leads generation after generation into pointless sacrifice. He sacrificed his dick for his country. That's one way he puts it. The book is perfectly structured; stirring in its emotion, logical in its argument. There's a lot I can say, but will leave it there. It's almost like making a long speech at a graveyard, words become petty. This is one of my favorites, I think.

  5. 4 out of 5

    W

    Movie review This is part 2 of director Oliver Stone's Vietnam War trilogy.The first one is Platoon and the third is Heaven and Earth. The film is based on the autobiography of Vietnam veteran,Ron Kovic,who was born on the fourth of July,America's independence day. He joined the military straight out of school,being very enthusiastic about the Vietnam War.But once he got there,reality began to sink in. He was among the soldiers who killed a group of Vietnamese civilians,thinking they were enemy comb Movie review This is part 2 of director Oliver Stone's Vietnam War trilogy.The first one is Platoon and the third is Heaven and Earth. The film is based on the autobiography of Vietnam veteran,Ron Kovic,who was born on the fourth of July,America's independence day. He joined the military straight out of school,being very enthusiastic about the Vietnam War.But once he got there,reality began to sink in. He was among the soldiers who killed a group of Vietnamese civilians,thinking they were enemy combatants.Then,he was involved in the mistaken killing of a US soldier. Finally,he was wounded and sent home.Given a parade on his return in his hometown,he was confined to a wheelchair for life.Tom Cruise gives one of his finest performances as he vents his frustration at being paralysed. Director Oliver Stone was himself a Vietnam veteran.Ron Kovic would eventually become an antiwar activist. The film won an Oscar for best director and was a commercial success,too. 4 stars for the film.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jake

    The true story that the movie was based on. Ron Kovic was the stereotypical all-American kid. He was actually born on the fourth of July, and felt especially patriotic. He enlisted in the Marine Corps for two tours in Vietnam. His second tour ended with a bullet in his spinal cord which paralyzed him from the waist down. His disillusionment began in the VA hospital, terribly underfunded as the money was pouring in to winning the war. He had plenty of time to think while laying in his own feces w The true story that the movie was based on. Ron Kovic was the stereotypical all-American kid. He was actually born on the fourth of July, and felt especially patriotic. He enlisted in the Marine Corps for two tours in Vietnam. His second tour ended with a bullet in his spinal cord which paralyzed him from the waist down. His disillusionment began in the VA hospital, terribly underfunded as the money was pouring in to winning the war. He had plenty of time to think while laying in his own feces waiting for someone to help him. Eventually he became an anti-war activist, even getting beat up (from his wheelchair) by brave police officers (he always made it a point to ask them if they served in Vietnam, of course they rarely did). I couldn't help but compare this to Johnny Got His Gun, which I recently read. While Trumbull was a more skilled writer, this one was actually true. All in all, this is a depressing read, but at the same time, Kovic finds new purpose and learns to want to live again. So it's also one of those triumph of the human spirit type deals.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stewart Sternberg

    The ideas here are important, and I know this book was influential in the anti-war movement. That being said, I would have wished for a greater emphasis showing the shift from soldier to antiwar activist. It isnt covered well and it left me feeling that he made the shift more out of a need to belong to something and for attention than out of a growing ideological awareness. I was also bothered how he portrayed himself and the adoration he received during the protests. That reinforced the lack of The ideas here are important, and I know this book was influential in the anti-war movement. That being said, I would have wished for a greater emphasis showing the shift from soldier to antiwar activist. It isnt covered well and it left me feeling that he made the shift more out of a need to belong to something and for attention than out of a growing ideological awareness. I was also bothered how he portrayed himself and the adoration he received during the protests. That reinforced the lack of political awareness expressed in the book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    *

    No longer using this website, but I'm leaving up old reviews. Fuck Jeff Bezos. Find me on LibraryThing: https://www.librarything.com/profile/... I picked up this book to see the transformation of a patriotic GI into a Vietnam Veteran Against the War. I wanted to learn how the movement enticed him, when he had his epiphany, and how he reacted to the rest of the anti-war movement. I wanted to read the author grappling with the decision to join the anti-war movement. Unfortunately, the epiphany last No longer using this website, but I'm leaving up old reviews. Fuck Jeff Bezos. Find me on LibraryThing: https://www.librarything.com/profile/... I picked up this book to see the transformation of a patriotic GI into a Vietnam Veteran Against the War. I wanted to learn how the movement enticed him, when he had his epiphany, and how he reacted to the rest of the anti-war movement. I wanted to read the author grappling with the decision to join the anti-war movement. Unfortunately, the epiphany lasts only a couple of pages, and the conversion from skeptical injured veteran to strident anti-war activist is pretty sudden. Only one seven page chapter is devoted to his "conversion." Near as I can tell, only one sentence deals with him grappling with his dual life as a patriotic GI and as an anti-war veteran: "One part of me was upset that people were swimming naked in the national monument and the other part of me completely understood that now it was their pool, and what good is a pool if you can't swim in it." Hardly emotionally tugging or complicated prose. Kovic's book is authentic, written by a real paralyzed veteran, and Kovic's anti-war barnstorming is interesting to me as an anti-war civilian. But everything good about this book can be gleaned from the book "Johnny Got His Gun." In fact, Born on the Fourth of July refers to "Johnny Got His Gun" directly: "It was as if the book was speaking about me, my wound and the hell it had been coming back and learning to live with it." Yes. It was.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Keyana

    I'm still pretty shocked after finishing this book about an hour ago. Ron Kovic tells his story of how he goes from a young American patriot so enthusiastic and in love with his country; to a veteran who completely opposes it the Vietnam War. I'd never actually read any books about Vietnam until now, but Kovic words completely moved me. I wondered how so many young men could be sent to their deaths, thinking they were doing something noble and brave. How could they live with themselves knowing t I'm still pretty shocked after finishing this book about an hour ago. Ron Kovic tells his story of how he goes from a young American patriot so enthusiastic and in love with his country; to a veteran who completely opposes it the Vietnam War. I'd never actually read any books about Vietnam until now, but Kovic words completely moved me. I wondered how so many young men could be sent to their deaths, thinking they were doing something noble and brave. How could they live with themselves knowing they took away the lives of innocent children and just people in general. I fortunately didn't have to live through that yet I still got chills reading paragraph after paragraph of Kovic's first hand accounts (view spoiler)[ of taking the life of a fellow marine and the number of civilians they killed (hide spoiler)] It had been an accident and yet it was something he'd have to live with for the rest of his life. His story also shed light on the fact that veterans have been treated like complete and utter crap even back then which is something I still don't understand. How could people like Kovic give up everything for this country and come back and get swept under the rug? It was a manageable read about a serious subject but I'm glad I learned more about the war that so many Americans had grown to despise.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chris Stephan

    Born on the fourth of July, written by Ron Kovic is an American classic. The story takes place during the Vietnam war after the paralysis of Ron Kovic. This book is narrated through the eyes of Ron. This book gives us his life story about his hardships and his good times throughout his life, especially when he came home. But, Ron being in the war drives the plot. If he wasn't in the war he would't have brought enlightenment in so many people. His purpose in writing this book was to explain to Am Born on the fourth of July, written by Ron Kovic is an American classic. The story takes place during the Vietnam war after the paralysis of Ron Kovic. This book is narrated through the eyes of Ron. This book gives us his life story about his hardships and his good times throughout his life, especially when he came home. But, Ron being in the war drives the plot. If he wasn't in the war he would't have brought enlightenment in so many people. His purpose in writing this book was to explain to Americans why they should be thankful for his sacrifice and the sacrifice of others.This true story brings people together reminding people, how thankful we are for our soldiers, fighting for their country day in and day out. This book is very similar to his book,Around The World In Eight Days, which is a story about his time in the war. In my opinion, I enjoyed the book for what it is. It made me understand the sacrifice, thousands of people go through everyday. I would read more from Ron because I enjoy reading about courage and sacrifice. I highly encourage others to read this book, because everybody needs to understand the true meaning of sacrifice.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    Born on the Fourth of July should be required reading for seniors in high school. It is more effective than Johnny Got His Gun. This book shows the side of military service hidden by the politians and gunho military which is crippling and deadly. The cost of war is not just monetary but mentally and physically injurious to our young men and women.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Larry Bassett

    I have read quite a few books about Vietnam. Vietnam was my war but I didn’t fight in it. I stayed home thanks to several exemptions. When I came across this audible book on my list of books, I was surprised that I hadn’t already read it and had the feeling that I possibly had read it along time ago. But listening to it would have to be different than reading it. The authenticity of the anger in the book was captured so well by the reader. This book was probably angrier that any other Vietnam bo I have read quite a few books about Vietnam. Vietnam was my war but I didn’t fight in it. I stayed home thanks to several exemptions. When I came across this audible book on my list of books, I was surprised that I hadn’t already read it and had the feeling that I possibly had read it along time ago. But listening to it would have to be different than reading it. The authenticity of the anger in the book was captured so well by the reader. This book was probably angrier that any other Vietnam book I had read. Ron Kovic came home from Vietnam paralyzed from the chest down. He tells the story of growing up on Long Island. He is two months older than I am. He wanted to be a marine and volunteered after he graduated from high school. The story he tells About growing up is somewhat mundane but maybe about everyman. His story about Marine Boot Camp is brutal. Everything about this book is an explanation about his expectations And then his disillusionment and then his anger. He recalls his time in VA hospitals with others who had been maimed in the war. He talks graphically about his treatment in the VA hospital as he was housed with other grievously wounded men and poorly cared for by understaffed and overworked people who Treated him without humanity or respect. But mostly this book is about the anger of Ron Kovic who felt he had given His body and had been badly mistreated. He also felt guilty for what he had done in Vietnam and wanted to be sure that everybody understood what he had done and what had been done to him. This is a hard book to experience filled with brutality and anger. There is no redemption or evidence of light at the end of the tunnel. It is hard to know if a book like this can be part of the effort To expose the brutality and insanity of war.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Evan Schwartz

    Still so powerful, so sharp, so emotional, so provocative. Especially on this Memorial Day weekend. Even better as an audio book. Ron Kovic truly is an American hero and, I'm proud to say, a fellow grad of MHS - I was 18 yrs later, luckily for me, after all that. With a short but potent new preface read by Bruce Springsteen.

  14. 4 out of 5

    John

    Wow. I read this book in one evening; could not put it down. This is a dark, stark, honest book. I doubt Mr. Kovic and I would have a lot in common from a worldview perspective, but his story is compelling and I appreciate him sharing it. Having studied a bit to understand the 1960s and the Vietnam era, and planning to do more in the future, I think my comprehension would definitely be incomplete without Kovic's work.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Allan

    An extremely powerful and effective anti war book. I've read a few of these over the years, but the first two chapters, particularly the account of life in a veterans' hospital, was without doubt the most harrowing that I've ever experienced. Not an easy read, but definitely worthwhile.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ri/Faye

    What. A . Story. This will take you somewhere that might not end the way you want and may leave you a little messed up. Its a memoir about a vietnam veteran. Its doesn't censor or anything. Raw and emotional.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bob Box

    Read in 1977. Powerful true story of Ron Kovic who served in Vietnam and came home a paraplegic and became an anti war activist. Heartbreaking, funny and triumphant.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elise Skidmore

    Powerful and moving. I happened to listen to this book on audio and would add that the narrator does a fantastic job and brought the story to life in a way I'm not sure just reading words off the page would've done.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I must admit I saw the movie before reading the book. The book is very well written. Mr. Kovic switches narrative from first person to third person rather effectively in telling the story of his life. It is a powerful and thought provoking memoir.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Graydon

    I have to say that I have found Born on the Fourth of July to hold a fascinating view point on the Vietnam War. This book is far different from most anti-war novels of the era. Where most focused on the life of the GI in Vietnam or the counterculture at home, this book explores both through the eyes of a crippled volunteer to the war. It is Ron Kovic’s unique view of the war and his role in it which makes this book worth reading. As of now I am only at the one third mark of the novel, a surprisi I have to say that I have found Born on the Fourth of July to hold a fascinating view point on the Vietnam War. This book is far different from most anti-war novels of the era. Where most focused on the life of the GI in Vietnam or the counterculture at home, this book explores both through the eyes of a crippled volunteer to the war. It is Ron Kovic’s unique view of the war and his role in it which makes this book worth reading. As of now I am only at the one third mark of the novel, a surprisingly quick and easy to read 69 pages. In these mere 69 pages the author has focused primarily on the immediate aftermath of obtaining his crippling wound. He goes about describing the shock and confusion of being so grievously injured with gripping intensity while still maintaining a language which makes the readers feel as if they are on the stretcher at the frontline hospital. Kovic has simplicity about his language which can be easily related to the common young adult which Kovic was while he was in Vietnam. In this way the novel becomes even more enthralling as Kovic begins to explore his new paralytic life, comparing it to the much better days of his youth. The last important point I wish to touch on is Kovic’s treatment of Marines training. His description of boot camp is very reminiscent of Full Metal Jacket, the cruel way in which the sergeants would break the men into the mold of Marines. Kovic, in a move I had rarely seen used before, implemented a very unique way of presenting his experiences in boot camp by simple taking the most common phrases he had heard, than mashing them all together in bold without punctuation or spacing, creating the feeling of a rushed and tense atmosphere of pain and suffering at the hands of the drill instructors. Review #2 Born on the Fourth of July gains much more depth during the second third of the book. Whereas the first third was almost entirely devoted to depicting the life changing trauma Ron endured directly after sustaining his wound, the second third explores the emotional turmoil he suffers in the months and years afterward. The story changes tone to that of a depressed young man without a future. He laments his situation and tries desperately to find a way to feel normal again even though his entire life was essentially ruined when he was paralyzed. The second third of the book maintains this atmosphere for a long while before Ron starts to take up a more anti-war stance near the end of this third. My reaction to the latest developments in Born on the Fourth of July is one of disgust for our country and the veteran system. I am disgusted that our country would not give better treatment to its wounded veterans. The scenes of the VA hospital are almost needlessly depressing, especially when set to Ron's horrifically realistic description of his ordeal. I also feel a great bit of pity for Ron as he wanders through life, crippled before he had even begun to live. It was horrible reading about him describing how people would stare at him, and how he could no longer enjoy the physical pleasures of life. This entire section of the book was very depressing, yet a bit of hope did show through near the end as Ron began to find a new reason to live; to protest the war which had left him a living fatality.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    It's hard to give a book like this a negative or average review without feeling like you are being disrespectful to the author and what he went through. But the simple fact is, this book just isn't very well written. I recommend it to the extent that the author's experience is compelling reading; I just wish he had focus as well. Kovic's style is disjointed and random. The narrative jumps back and forth in time for no discernible purpose. Even more strange, he switches between talking about hims It's hard to give a book like this a negative or average review without feeling like you are being disrespectful to the author and what he went through. But the simple fact is, this book just isn't very well written. I recommend it to the extent that the author's experience is compelling reading; I just wish he had focus as well. Kovic's style is disjointed and random. The narrative jumps back and forth in time for no discernible purpose. Even more strange, he switches between talking about himself in the 1st and 3rd person between every chapter. Again, this serves no literary purpose, but it makes for a wildly jarring reading experience that undercuts the book's emotional connection to the reader. I also realize that this was written in the 70s, and perhaps this wouldn't have seemed out of place then, but Kovic feels the need to REPEATEDLY tell us whenever he's describing an African American. Every sentence about that person will be "the black orderly" "the black nurse," etc. It's never just "the nurse" it's always the BLACK nurse like a broken record. I'm not saying Kovic is racist or meant to sound racist but it's definitely not a way of writing about African Americans anyone would use (or get published) in 2012. Like I said, it's hard to say this without sounding disrespectful of Kovic's service and his injury, which I am NOT...but I think if this book were fiction, it would never have gotten published (or become a hit movie), because the writing just isn't good enough. Overall, the book is ok, but there are much better written anti war books out there. I'd recommend Karl Marlantes' What It Is Like To Go To War a million times more than I'd recommend this.

  22. 4 out of 5

    CMars

    Considering this isn't my usual genre of choice, I thought this was a pretty good book. I think that many people fault Kovic (and rightly so, I suppose) for not being much of a writer. However, what he lacks in literary talent he definitely makes up for in genuine vivid emotion. Kovic is, without question, a man with a story to tell. I think it is important for potential readers to keep in mind that this is not a literary masterpiece, but rather a stark, gritty and very genuine portrayal of a ve Considering this isn't my usual genre of choice, I thought this was a pretty good book. I think that many people fault Kovic (and rightly so, I suppose) for not being much of a writer. However, what he lacks in literary talent he definitely makes up for in genuine vivid emotion. Kovic is, without question, a man with a story to tell. I think it is important for potential readers to keep in mind that this is not a literary masterpiece, but rather a stark, gritty and very genuine portrayal of a very personal and traumatic series of events. Unlike so many others writing a book without a literary background, Kovic does not depend on someone to assist him in writing this story. He writes it how he remembers it and I think that the moments that would normally have been narrated with precision become choppy and sometimes disjointed. This didn't bother me at all personally because it made me realize the exact emotion Kovic had when he was going through each of these moments and made the book that much more interesting to me. I would recommend this book to anyone who had interest in the Vietnam War, although it would definitely not be satisfying for someone looking for a linear, precision story. Leave your expectations at the door if you are looking for a nasty story tied up in pretty packaging....

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bbrake1stumail.jccc.edu

    The first sentence in the story took me right in Vietnam, paralyzed me with Ron Kovic in the middle of the battle field. I was very impressed with the book considering it takes a lot for me to spark an interest in anything that consists of lots of reading, but this book grabbed my attention and kept me interested through his life as he shares it with us. This book starts with him wounded hearing the cries of his fellow Marines not able to feel anything below his waste, you feel the pain of his c The first sentence in the story took me right in Vietnam, paralyzed me with Ron Kovic in the middle of the battle field. I was very impressed with the book considering it takes a lot for me to spark an interest in anything that consists of lots of reading, but this book grabbed my attention and kept me interested through his life as he shares it with us. This book starts with him wounded hearing the cries of his fellow Marines not able to feel anything below his waste, you feel the pain of his comrades and the intense fear he goes through of him clinging on to his life not sure if he will make it. He tells the story of his childhood wanting to be the best at everything he does always striving for perfection, this strive of perfection and to become better pushes him to join the marines. Through the book he goes through life changing events in the marines and his childhood as he talks about the sports he played to being in Vietnam. The book puts a sense of irony that Ron Kovic birthday is on the fourth of July the most patriotic day where he once had lots of pride but slips away through the jungles of Vietnam. This book will bring you into his world of love, hate, and lost where you feel like you’re in his life. Once you pick this book up you won’t want to stop reading it, seeing how his life changes through the horrors of war.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Abel LaRoche

    Born on the Fourth of July is a great American Classic. This book is narrated by the author, Ron Kovic. Kovic does a great job of telling his story in the Vietnam war. He explains everything he went through in such great detail. He makes your imagination run wild while you read this novel. Kovic sends the message to never give up and always look on the bright side of things because Kovic went through a lot after he was injured in the war. He was constantly being positive and showed great will p Born on the Fourth of July is a great American Classic. This book is narrated by the author, Ron Kovic. Kovic does a great job of telling his story in the Vietnam war. He explains everything he went through in such great detail. He makes your imagination run wild while you read this novel. Kovic sends the message to never give up and always look on the bright side of things because Kovic went through a lot after he was injured in the war. He was constantly being positive and showed great will power to pus through the pain and troubles. This book is very enjoyable if you really want to know about the life of a Vietnam Veteran. Kovic finds every way to keep you interested in his life before, during, and after the Vietnam war. I highly encourage anyone to read this breath taking novel.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Granted, this book might not see publication today, mostly because of its disjointed style and non-existent core, but that does not diminish its importance. Kovic revealed, for the first time, not just the consequences of war, but the anguish of optimism and trust betrayed, the failure of our institutions to protect, respect and care for its members. PTSD is not relegated to veterans and the disenfranchisement Kovic experiences is rampant in other populations too (rape victims, living donors, di Granted, this book might not see publication today, mostly because of its disjointed style and non-existent core, but that does not diminish its importance. Kovic revealed, for the first time, not just the consequences of war, but the anguish of optimism and trust betrayed, the failure of our institutions to protect, respect and care for its members. PTSD is not relegated to veterans and the disenfranchisement Kovic experiences is rampant in other populations too (rape victims, living donors, disaster survivors, etc). If nothing else, his candor brought public awareness to a serious issue and helped change policy regarding its treatment.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sophia Lang

    This is one of the most powerful books I have ever read. I recommend it to anyone who is not aware of the massive tragedy that was the Vietnam war. It follows the story of a veteran from his childhood full of big dreams, to his time in the war, and to the paralysis of his entire lower body. His opinions on the war and honor completely reverse as the story progresses. This book is not for those who cannot handle gory imagery because many of the war and hospital scenes are very graphic. These part This is one of the most powerful books I have ever read. I recommend it to anyone who is not aware of the massive tragedy that was the Vietnam war. It follows the story of a veteran from his childhood full of big dreams, to his time in the war, and to the paralysis of his entire lower body. His opinions on the war and honor completely reverse as the story progresses. This book is not for those who cannot handle gory imagery because many of the war and hospital scenes are very graphic. These particular scenes make the book very intense, but it is the emotional aspects that hit even harder. Highly recommended

  27. 5 out of 5

    Caty

    I have the same response Anne Rice reportedly about IWAV about the movie version of this---"Tom Cruise???!" For all that, it's not such a bad movie, either. But the book....the book, with its deceptively bare prose, sets about breaking your heart in earnest. An essential memoir of one of the country's most prominent anti-war veterans and veteran's rights activists.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Owen Mckenna

    (Owen McKenna Rio Rancho, NM-NY) I read the book in 2 days. Having had the opportunity to visit the Author's hometown, Massapequa, NY, after having read the book. I thought it was amazing of how much details he put into his descriptions. I did not care for the movie, but I enjoyed the book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Watts

    we read an excerpt of this in school and I really liked it. I need to read the whole book soon. It is really depressing so i might have to read small parts of it at a time. Ron kovic is a great writer. He painted a picture in my head from the moment I began reading.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brent

    Disappointed. Love the movie, though.

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