[Marxism] The runaway success of a sniper's gruesome memoir speaks volumes about the wars the US wishes it were in

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jan 19 07:29:15 MST 2015

Kyle’s whole story, in fact, reads like a melancholic 
country-and-western ballad with its dead-end jobs, bar fights, wandering 
eyes, and teary reconciliations with a too-forgiving woman. Such 
misadventures are laced together with a tobacco-dip-and-whiskey 
patriotism, the kind beloved by Republican cynics and sports-stadium 
operators everywhere. Along the way, Kyle bashes antiwar protesters, 
Congress, his bosses, and “pussies” in his various units. And like many 
of the musical protagonists in the half-heroic country canon, Kyle is by 
his own account a sorry-ass husband and father, a Peter Pan in 
camouflage and night goggles.

Maybe this gun-wielding saga of arrested development explains the 
runaway popularity of Kyle’s casually brutal memoir. His tale starts in 
north-central Texas, where his father was a deacon, his mother a 
Sunday-school teacher. Kyle writes that as a young ranch hand, cowboy, 
and competitive bronco buster on the rodeo circuit, he “learned the 
importance of family and traditional values, like patriotism, 
self-reliance, and watching out for your family and neighbors.”

full: http://www.bookforum.com/inprint/019_02/9467

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