1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Today's Endless Warfare should have stopped here ....
, August 27, 2007
It is a shame that so much time has to pass before those who lived our most grisly combat can come to grips with their trauma and write honestly about it. Dudley C. Gould's book, Follow Me Up Fool's Mountain - Korea 1951, should have been required reading for every boy (or girl) who contemplates a career in warfare. When our politicians and generals in cushy briefing rooms throw around phrases like `boots on the ground', this is what they so cavalierly reference.
Gould's book has it all - the mud and blood, wounds and delirium, critical shortages, cowardly senior officers, inept planning, intelligence and support, and yes, the mind numbing devotion to `being there' he shares with others who were with him.
Perhaps most illuminating is his motivation. Already a veteran of the European air war, he had transferred to infantry right after D-Day and received a `battlefield' commission. But he had never seen combat and earned the somehow magical Combat Infantry Badge. So, even though he was five years into civilian life, with a loving wife and family, he volunteered to return to active duty for a combat tour in Korea. Old enough to know better, (our brains, researchers tell us, are not fully formed until our mid-twenties) he lets a childish wish for a glittery token (the badge) draw him half-way around the world. Earning the CIB, Lieutenant Gould imagined, would open doors to him anywhere in America.
Mercifully for the reader, Gould (the historian he later became) steps back from the fierce, non-stop action to let us catch our breath with pertinent, well documented insights and occasional reminders of the cruel pain `Dud's' decision to volunteer caused his bewildered, anxious loved ones.
Follow Me Up Fool's Mountain - Korea 1951 is well crafted, and a tough read because of its realism. Nevertheless, every career counselor should read this book, especially if they are inclined to recommend our Army, any army, as a means to an end. So should anyone aspiring to national political office, since so few seem to ever have served in combat. And don't let anyone tell you that warfare has changed. Five stars ....