Tim O’Brien

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Tim O'Brien USA

Antiwar storyteller. In 1968, the U.S. Army drafted Tim O’Brien where he served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970. A unit in his division had previously engaged in the My Lai massacre a year earlier. After the war, O’Brien participated in at least one antiwar protest in St. Paul. In his memoir, O'Brien asks, "Can the foot soldier teach anything important about war, merely for having been there? I think not. He can tell war stories." O’Brien is credited with a “meta-fictional approach . . . blurring the distinction between fact and fiction.” He believes “story truth is emotional truth,” as apparently Ken Burns does in his artistic use of emotionally compelling music and videos. O'Brien received the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation's Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award in 2012. O’Brien is the author of seven books among which “The Things They Carried” is often required student reading on Vietnam.

This is a "stump" essay which will be revisited when time permits.

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