Kill Anything That Moves by Nick Turse
The Real American War in Vietnam

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...the stark, cool bureaucratic language in the accounts adds to the impact of the brutality.
-Financial Times


Based on classified documents and first-person interviews, a startling history of the American war on Vietnamese civilians

Americans have long been taught that events such as the notorious My Lai massacre were isolated incidents in the Vietnam War, carried out by "a few bad apples." But as award-winning journalist and historian Nick Turse demonstrates in this groundbreaking investigation, violence against Vietnamese noncombatants was not at all exceptional during the conflict. Rather, it was pervasive and systematic, the predictable consequence of orders to "kill anything that moves."

Drawing on more than a decade of research in secret Pentagon files and extensive interviews with American veterans and Vietnamese survivors, Turse reveals for the first time how official policies resulted in millions of innocent civilians killed and wounded. In shocking detail, he lays out the workings of a military machine that made crimes in almost every major American combat unit all but inevitable. Kill Anything That Moves takes us from archives filled with Washington's long-suppressed war crime investigations to the rural Vietnamese hamlets that bore the brunt of the war; from boot camps where young American soldiers learned to hate all Vietnamese to bloodthirsty campaigns like Operation Speedy Express, in which a general obsessed with body counts led soldiers to commit what one participant called "a My Lai a month."
Thousands of Vietnam books later, Kill Anything That Moves, devastating and definitive, finally brings us face-to-face with the truth of a war that haunts Americans to this day.


About Nick Turse

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Nick Turse is the author of The Complex, the managing editor for, and a fellow at the Nation Institute. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Nation, among other publications. Turse's investigations of American war crimes in Vietnam have gained him a Ridenhour Prize for Reportorial Distinction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. He lives near New York City.
Published January 15, 2013 by Metropolitan Books. 401 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Kill Anything That Moves
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Financial Times

Reviewed by Borzou Daragahi on Jun 16 2013

...the stark, cool bureaucratic language in the accounts adds to the impact of the brutality.

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Huffington Post

Reviewed by Peter Van Buren on Mar 18 2013

In this rare moment of American reflection Turse's book offers, ask the bigger question, demand the bigger answer.

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Reviewed by Chris Hedges on Mar 12 2013

Nick Turse’s “Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam” is not only one of the most important books ever written about the Vietnam conflict but provides readers with an unflinching account of the nature of modern industrial warfare.

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