Ever a ready
critic of what some call the 'USmilitary industrial
Claudia Cragg was at first extremely hesitant to interviewRye Barcotton his
memoir'It Happened on the
Way to War'
(Bloomsbury). Before she read the
book, it appeared as though it might possibly be just another
warped US military propaganda message to justify the
ever-burgeoning expansion of the US Armed Forces around the world
in the guise of 'doing good'.
However, having read it, Cragg
met with Barcott and found a highly intelligent man, the son of a
Vietnam veteran and a
Margaret Mead-inspired anthropologist mother. Always the proud
marine, though, Barcott is not willing at any point to concede that
his time might have been spent better in some pursuit other than
that of marine, of course.
The Peace Corps for example. The result is a complex view into
the genesis of a young and very bright idealist as a catalyst for
Kibera, the largest slums in Africa and the second largest in
the world. God forbid, though, that anyone should think Barcott 'a
liberal' (always a pejorative term apparently in the