When we choose our selections for the Book Club, we try to make them as timely as we can. It's a sad fact that our next choice has proven to be more timely than we ever would have wished.
What It Is Like To Go To War by Karl Marlantes is a book about the spiritual and psychological cost of warfare on everyone -- the soldiers, their families, the victims. Society itself.
Written by a former Marine, the book does not take sides about the morality of war itself. Instead, it says that, right or wrong, we are a society that asks young men and women to kill in our name. That being the case, can we better prepare our troops, and ourselves, both psychologically and spiritually for that task?
The purported actions of Staff Sergeant Robert Bales are a terrible reminder of how far we have to come in understanding what war is, and what it does to the mental states of everyone involved.
As part of the discussions surrounding this book, we are reaching out to veterans and to serving military, to military chaplains, to the families of current and former military, and to experts in psychology and neuroscience. We also want to feature the voices of people who have no contact at all with the military, to initiate connections and conversations between all of these groups.
If identify with one of these, or if you do not, but would like to blog about your thoughts and feelings in reaction to this book and the issue it raises, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a very different pick from our previous two. We hope that you will trust our judgement and read along -- especially if this is exactly the kind of book you would never normally read.
As before, we will be liveblogging regularly about the book, as well as posting related and relevant content on the HuffPost Book Club page, and hosting discussions on Twitter via the hashtag #HPBookClub.
We will also be holding an author event, this time in Seattle, WA, on April 18th, featuring expert discussions on this most important of themes. We'll be working closely with our colleagues on the Impact and Religion sections of HuffPost to broaden our conversation and make the most of their expertise in these areas. More news on all of that to follow.
This promises to be a profound and meaningful discussion, one that can only increase our empathy and understanding of an important part of our society. We hope you'll join us.
Our liveblogs and discussions have already begun. To follow the discussion, or to sign up for the HuffPost Book Club newsletter, go to the website and enter your details in the box on the right-hand side of the page.
WATCH: Karl Marlantes on giving up his Rhodes scholarship to volunteer to fight in Vietnam: