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Exceedingly honest, personal account of one young man's experience fighting in the Vietnam War....

Title : Born on the 4th of July
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781936070213
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 0 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Born on the 4th of July Reviews

  • Lyn
    2018-12-08 14:11

    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.

  • Cyndie Todd
    2018-12-01 12:48

    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.

  • Evan
    2018-12-08 19:10

    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.

  • awesomatik.de
    2018-11-25 19:02

    Geboren am 4. Juli wird den meisten wohl dank der Oliver Stone Verfilmung mit Tom Cruise in der Hauptrolle ein Begriff sein. Die Vorlage dafür lieferte die Autobiographie von Ron Kovic.Als dieser 1968 querschnittsgelähmt aus dem Vietnamkrieg zurückkehrt, fühlt er sich von seinem Land verraten und schließt sich der Friedensbewegung an. 1974 schrieb sich Kovic in knapp zwei Monaten seine Geschichte in Santa Monica von der Seele.Diese Dringlichkeit spürt man auf jeder Seite. Geboren am 4. Juli ist ein Aufschrei. Es ist die Wutschrift eines jungen Mannes, dessen Leben gerade erst beginnen sollte. Ein begeisterter Athlet, der nach zwei Einsätzen in Vietnam noch kaum Erfahrungen mit Frauen machen konnte, ist plötzlich mit 22 Jahren an den Rollstuhl gefesselt und wird nie mehr Sex haben können.Sein Körper ist nicht mehr als eine Ruine und sein Geist wird geplagt von den Erinnerungen an den Krieg. Immer wieder muss er an den friendly-Fire-Vorfall denken, bei dem er versehentlich einen Kameraden tötete und an einen Einsatz seines Bataillons, bei dem Zivilisten niedergemetzelt wurden. Während er im Veteranen-Krankenhaus vor sich hinvegetiert, fühlt er sich verraten von dem Land, für das er mit Überzeugung gedient hat. Als Kind, das am Nationalfeiertag geboren wurde, konnte er es kaum erwarten sich den Marines anzuschließen und für USA in den Krieg zu ziehen. Die Propaganda vom US-Militär und das Märchen des heldenhaften Kriegers ließen auch sein Herz vor Stolz glühen. Doch nach dem Krieg muss er realisieren, dass er nicht mehr als Kanonenfutter für eine Regierung war, die Kinder in Krieg schickt, die weder Autofahren dürfen noch Alkohol trinken. Nach einer Phase der Orientierungslosigkeit beschließt er sich der immer größer werdenden Friedensbewegung anzuschließen. Der Aktivismus gibt seinem Leben einen neuen Sinn. Bei jeder Gelegenheit klagt er die Sinnlosigkeit des Krieges an und wird zu einer der führenden Figuren der Friedensaktivisten. Fazit – Wut und FriedenGeboren am 4. Juli ist die Antwort auf die Mär des heldenhaften Soldaten, der für sein Land einsteht und ruhmreich und gefeiert aus dem Krieg zurückkehrt.Eine brennend emotionale Schrift, die aufzeigt, dass Pazifisten die wahren Helden und Patrioten sind.Brutal-ehrlich und leidenschaftlich geschrieben.Die Seiten fliegen rasend schnell vorbei, doch die Botschaft hallt nach.Wichtig!Wertung 4/5Mehr Rezensionen und abenteuerlichen Content auf http://awesomatik.com

  • Daniel
    2018-12-01 16:06

    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.

  • Chris Stephan
    2018-12-15 17:52

    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.

  • Allan
    2018-12-15 17:03

    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.

  • Elise Skidmore
    2018-12-02 12:53

    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.

  • Graydon
    2018-11-28 17:59

    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.

  • Richard
    2018-11-23 16:02

    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.

  • Bbrake1stumail.jccc.edu
    2018-12-06 13:50

    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.

  • Keyana
    2018-12-17 11:50

    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.

  • CMars
    2018-12-17 16:48

    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....

  • Abel LaRoche
    2018-12-13 15:13

    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.

  • Cristy
    2018-12-04 12:05

    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.

  • Sophia Lang
    2018-11-27 18:11

    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

  • Caty
    2018-11-19 15:04

    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.

  • Owen Mckenna
    2018-11-20 18:44

    (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.

  • Lauren Watts
    2018-12-11 16:13

    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.

  • James
    2018-12-01 16:09

    This book is a literary fraud. See STOLEN VALOR pp 395-398 There are a few facts in this book that are true,but much is fiction.

  • Brent
    2018-11-26 17:13

    Disappointed. Love the movie, though.

  • Hannah
    2018-12-17 16:55

    Poor writing and preachy.

  • Mike
    2018-11-25 17:13

    Ron Kovic describes his Vietnam experience His wounding in Vietnam and his subsequent journey through the Vetrans hospitals of the day. His hopes and his dreams and his anger

  • Meghan Chiampa
    2018-11-18 14:10

    awesome, i never saw the movie. long story short, war is bad usa lies

  • CodyD
    2018-12-12 18:09

    ClassicVery good book, glad I finally got to read it. Better than the film as per usual. God bless you Ron.

  • Iain
    2018-12-08 13:47

    Ron Kovic is an American anti-war activist, writer, and former United States Marine Corps sergeant, who was wounded and paralyzed in the Vietnam War. In 1964, being inspired by President John F. Kennedy's inaugural address, upon finishing high school he joined the U.S. Marines. Kovic volunteered for Vietnam and was deployed to South Vietnam in December 1965. On January 20, 1968, while leading a reconnaissance force of battalion scouts they came into contact with NVA and Viet Cong whom were attacking a village Kovic was shot by North Vietnamese soldiers. Deserted by most of his unit, he was shot first in the right foot, which tore out the back of his heel, then again through the right shoulder, suffering a collapsed lung and a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down. As a result of his service and injuries in the conflict, Kovic was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" for heroism in battle and the Purple Heart Medal... this was the beginning of his ordeal. Upon being stabilized in Vietnam he was sent to the Bronx VA Hospital where he endured a nightmarish struggle to recovery, being made a parade toy by his hometown, having to deal with his corpse like 21 year old body and all the things in life he had been robbed of for what? Nothing! Later Kovic found conviction in his opposition to the Vietnam War and entered the anti-war movement after the Kent Stat University shooting of activists. In 1974 he would write his autobiography, 'Born on the Fourth of July' which would become a bestseller and later inspire Oliver Stone's Academy Award winning film in 1989. Kovic's story is one of many of young men who answered the call from their country for a lie and then later face the abandonment by their country. At times, heartbreaking and difficult to read, the story of Ron Kovic is an important part of Vietnam War literature. "I wrote all night long, seven days a week, single space, no paragraphs, front and back of the pages, pounding the keys so hard the tips of my fingers would hurt. I couldn't stop writing, and I remember feeling more alive than I had ever felt. Convinced that I was destined to die young, I struggled to leave something of meaning behind, to rise above the darkness and despair. I wanted people to understand. I wanted to share with them as nakedly and openly and intimately as possible what I had gone through, what I had endured. I wanted them to know what it really meant to be in a war — to be shot and wounded, to be fighting for my life on the intensive care ward — not the myth we had grown up believing. I wanted people to know about the hospitals and the enema room, about why I had become opposed to the war, why I had grown more and more committed to peace and nonviolence."— Ron Kovic, on writing his autobiography.

  • Melanie
    2018-11-26 17:13

    I really wanted to like this book more than I did, but some aspects of it killed many of the good things for me.What was really interesting and poignant about the book were definitely the war accounts and what made the war of the Vietnam (and the post-war experiences) so terrible and traumatic. When it comes to the account of what really happened in the battlefield and what it was like not know who really was the enemy, this book was a masterpiece. It got a lot better as an audiobook experience, because the narrator perfectly portrays the flow of the battle as something continuous and tense and coming at you from every side.When the author was talking either about his life pre-war or about the "problems" soldiers suffered (most notedly the inability to have sex), I can't say I cared too much about it. I can see how killing people you shouldn't be pointing your gun at is troublesome and dubious. Same goes for everything that came after it: having your own government and people seemingly fighting against you after you sacrificed so much for your own country, being forgotten by the very same politicians who made you fight a war that was not supposed to be yours, being feared by the ones you hold so dear... but not having sex? Is that really a problem? Is that really so terrible and traumatic and something that makes you want to kill yourself? Does this really make you less of a human?I don't know, perhaps for the author this really was a problem and I'm lacking empathy in here, but this aspect really killed the book for me. The three stars go to the part that actually matter: that war is a terrible thing with terrible consequences.

  • Ann Longfellow
    2018-11-18 11:49

    Great book and very powerful! The descriptions of what this Vietnam Vet went through were chilling! The introduction does a great job of explaining why this books is topical today. I wish he had gone into more detail about how poorly Vietnam Vets were treated by people in the 60s and 70s. Thank goodness we treat our Vets with so much more respect now! Can't wait to read it with my high school students!

  • Andre
    2018-11-28 18:09

    I did not enjoy this book. Many times I procrastinated working on it, and instead completed two other books in the interim of starting it.I have given it 5-stars, however, because it is that good, that important.It is a difficult and arduous read because Kovic explains a story so concisely and with so much imagery that it takes you to the hell he lived through.This book should be required reading for any publicly elected official. [Caveat: I completed this as an audiobook]

  • Sadie
    2018-12-07 13:06

    I read this book because in my acting class I am currently working on a scene from the movie. I think I would have found the book more hard-hitting if I had read it before reading the movie script. I was not a fan of the writing style. However, I think it is an important story that needs to be told. I was pleasantly surprised to read at the end that this book is often used as a history textbook for the 60s in the US.