War: The Eighty Greatest Esquire Stories of All Time (Byliner, $3.99) is a digital book that, as the title says, contains a huge collection of essays about war that appeared in the pages of Esquire magazine.
Those essays include three seminal pieces of writing about the Vietnam War:
John Sack’s 33,000-word “M” (the longest article ever in the magazine), from the October 1966 issue, in which the author wrote about an Army company that he followed from basic training at Fort Dix to combat in Vietnam.
Michael Herr’s “Hell Sucks,” a new journalism piece of reporting about the situation in Vietnam after the 1968 Tet Offensive, which formed the foundation for Herr’s famed novelistic book of war reporting, Dispatches.
Marine Vietnam veteran William Broyles Jr.’s 1984 essay, “Why Men Love War,” in which he writes:
“Ask me, ask any man who has been to war about his experience, and chances are we’ll say we don’t want to talk about it—implying that we hated it so much, it was so terrible, that we would rather leave it buried. And it is no mystery why men hate war. War is ugly, horrible, evil, and it is reasonable for men to hate all that.
“But I believe that most men who have been to war would have to admit, if they are honest, that somewhere inside themselves they loved it too, loved it as much as anything that has happened to them before or since. And how do you explain that to your wife, your children, your parents, or your friends?”