If I Die in a Combat Zone

By Tim O'Brien


First published in 1973, this is a novel about one foot soldier's tour of duty in Vietnam. From basic training to the front line and back again, he takes the reader on a painful journey as he explores the ambiguities of manhood and morality in a war no-one believes in.

Year of Publication


'No one has written about the Vietnam War with the eloquence of Tim O'Brien. If I Die in a Combat Zone may be the single greatest piece of work to come out of Vietnam -- on a level with World War II's The Naked and the Dead and From Here to Eternity.'Washington Star 'A work of passion and protest...one of the few good things to come out of that desolating struggle.'Guardian 'A personal document of aching clarity...O'Brien brilliantly and quietly evokes the foot soldier's daily life in the paddies and foxholes. A beautiful, painful book.'New York Times Book Review 'I wish O'Brien did not write so beautifully, for he makes it impossible to forget his book. Years from now it will still have that terrible power to make me remember and to make me weep.'New York Times

Author Biography

Tim O'Brien was born in Minnesota and served as a foot soldier in Vietnam from 1969 to1970, and after graduate studies at Harvard worked as a reporter for the Washington Post. When If I Die in a Combat Zone was published in 1973, it established him as one of the leading American writers of his generation, a status that was confirmed when Going After Cacciato won the 1979 National Book Award for fiction.