The Brutality of War by Gene R. Dark

Gene R. Dark’s The Brutality of War: A Memoir of Vietnam (Pelican, 192 pp., $24.95) is a short but powerful memoir by the son of baseball great Alvin Dark. It’s a Fifth Marines memoir and Dark tells of his tour of duty as a platoon leader sergeant from July 1969 to July 1970 near An Hoa.

Better editing would have improved the narrative, but the honesty of the book saves it, especially Dark’s heart-rending comments about his distant relationship with his World War II veteran father. This is a worthy Marine Corps memoir, which I found compelling enough to read that I got through it in one sitting.

—David Willson