A review of The Art of Peace by Robert Moriarty

The Art of Peace by Robert Moriarty

Robert Moriarty is known for his gold related ventures and advice, but do you know his history?

Robert tells us the story of his youth in Vietnam in his frank memoir titled The Art of Peace.

He started his service in Vietnam at the tender age of 18 at the very beginning of the American phase of the war. Robert Moriarty was the youngest Naval aviator in Vietnam war, flew 832 missions as a combat pilot. And it is there that he, by his own admission, became a warrior – loving combat, but hating war.

But the book is not a war memoir only. The author intersperses personal recollections with reflections on war and peace, and the role of the United States in today’s world as one of the major sources of senseless military aggression.

Robert Moriarty is a staunch libertarian and his view on war follows his principles – war is a fraud and we should do our best to avoid it.

It is interesting that he, being a combat veteran, sounds a lot like a 60s peacenik and at the same time approvingly quotes president Putin’s words on American aggression. A very unorthodox position, it seems to me. 

But do not imagine that this is a boring book. It has all the features that make a good, smoothly flowing military history – general war information, Marine boot camp routines, a wealth of detail on weaponry and combat situations. Besides there are lots of amusing real-life anecdotes, such as drinking bootleg whiskey brewed by a rogue Mississippi sheriff while on furlough.

There is a great hook at the very beginning of his story. While flying a combat mission in his Bird Dog in the Da Krong valley the young pilot got a request to rescue a Marine recon team completely surrounded by the Vietnamese. The team leader begged Robert to direct other aircraft to hit his position with 2.75-inch rockets. That was their only chance of survival, but the strike would have incinerated everything within the space of a half of a football field and the besieged Marines would be right in the middle of it. Robert has mere seconds to make a very hard decision…. I will not give away the ending – read the book.

The book is properly proofread and edited, it shows the level of respect this author for his readers. Sloppy editing is one thing that greatly irritates me in self-published books, but The Art of Peace get the highest mark in this regard.

Mr. Moriarty has a reputation for being blunt, sometimes too blunt for some people’s taste, but in our era of extreme sensitivity the act of calling a spade a spade is music to my uncouth Russian ears. And he is very direct in his narrative. For example, he states that women have no place in combat situations – a refreshingly unPC attitude.

The only thing about the book that I did not like was too many swear words, but it is a part of life in the military, I suppose.

Another recently published book on war that I would recommend as a sort of companion volume is America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History by Andrew J. Bacevich.

So if you are a Vietnam war or military history buff – The Art of Peace is a book for you.

Buy it on Amazon here.

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