Johnny Got His Gun (Bantam, 1970)

Thursday, August 7, 2008



This book should be mandatory reading for anyone thinking about enlisting in any army, ever - and also for any politician.

The 1970 Bantam paperback contains an introduction by Dalton Trumbo, originally written in 1959, then updated in 1970 with his thoughts on the Vietnam war.

Posted by St. Drogo at 10:28 AM  

5 comments:

P. 109 - "He thought here you are Joe Bonham lying like a side of beef all the rest of your life and for what? Somebody tapped you on the shoulder and said come along son we're going to war. So you went. But why? In any other deal even like buying a car or running an errand you had the right to say what's in it for me? Otherwise you'd be buying bad cars for too much money or running errands for fools and starving to death. It was a kind of duty you owed yourself when somebody said come on son do this or do that you should stand up and say look mister why should I do this for who am I doing it and what am I going to get out of it in the end? But when a guy comes along and says here come with me and risk your life or maybe die or be crippled why you've got no rights ... There are plenty of laws to protect guys' money even in war time but there's nothing on the books says a man's life's his own."

St. Drogo said...
August 22, 2008 at 3:39 PM  

P. 110 - "What the hell does liberty mean anyhow? It's just a word like house or table or any other word. Only it's a special kind of word. A guy says house and he can point to a house to prove it. But a guy says come on let's fight for liberty and he can't show you liberty. He can't prove the thing he's talking about so how in the hell can he be telling you to fight for it?"

St. Drogo said...
August 22, 2008 at 3:39 PM  

P. 111 - " ... I think you're a goddamn fourflusher talking through your hat and I've already decided that I like the liberty I've got right here the liberty to walk and see and hear and talk and eat and sleep with my girl. I think I like that liberty better than fighting for a lot of things we won't get and ending up without any liberty at all. Ending up dead and rotting before my life is even begun good or ending up like a side of beef. Thank you mister. You fight for liberty. Me I don't care for some."

St. Drogo said...
August 22, 2008 at 3:39 PM  

P. 112 - "Then there was this freedom the little guys were always getting killed for. Was it freedom from another country? Freedom from work or disease or death? Freedom from your mother-in-law? Please mister give us a bill of sale on this freedom before we go out and get killed. Give us a bill of sale drawn up plainly so we know in advance what we're getting killed for and give us a first mortgage on something as security so we can be sure after we've won your war that we've got the same kind of freedom we bargained for."

St. Drogo said...
August 22, 2008 at 3:39 PM  

P. 231 - "But before they vote on them before they give the order for all the little guys to start killing each other let the main guy rap his gavel on my case and point down at me and say here gentleman is the only issue before the house and that is are you for this thing here or are you against it. And if they are against it why goddamn them let them stand up like men and vote. And if they are for it let them be hanged and drawn and quartered and paraded through the streets in small chopped up little bits and thrown out into the fields where no clean animal will touch them and let their chunks rot there and may no green thing ever grow where they rot."

St. Drogo said...
August 22, 2008 at 3:40 PM  

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