"Harrowing history"

Marilyn Young for Times Higher Education:

Neer’s biography covers the post-Vietnam years of napalm, its appearance in song and story (the scabrous military call-and-response Napalm Sticks to Kids, the film Apocalypse Now), US resistance to international efforts to ban its use (overcome finally in 2008, although with reservations) and, albeit with a name change, its ongoing use in the war in Iraq. Although it has been used by other countries, napalm has “burned more people in the name of the United States, more widely, and over a longer period of time, than any other country”, Neer says. He ends his disturbing book where he began, with the words of a grown-up Kim Phuc, able to describe the ongoing pain of her days while at the same time forgiving those responsible for it. I doubt most readers will feel quite so generous.

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