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Gaz Crittenden

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Gaz Crittenden served with 1st Cavalry Division Airmobile in the Viet Nam central highlands from 1966-67.  After the war, he earned a law degree.  Gaz Crittenden is the author of Jungle Rules.


According to the book description of Jungle Rules, “What happens to a reasonably intelligent, moral and patriotic young man when he is taken from his comfortable American life and transported to a place where his only purpose is killing and the people around him are all killers? He lives in the most primitive conditions imaginable. For food, clothing and shelter he must rely only on what he can carry on his back. He is exposed to a variety of poisonous snakes, scorpions and centipedes and to swarms of malaria-carrying mosquitoes. When it is hot, there will be no escaping the heat. He will toil and sweat until it seems there is not a drop of moisture left in his body. If it rains for a month, he will be wet for the entire month, his feet wrinkling and cracking, his boots disintegrating and his clothes turning to rags. And if all that isn't bad enough, everywhere he goes little brown men are lurking in the bushes and trying to kill him.

Jungle Rules
Gaz Crittenden  More Info

It does not take the reasonably intelligent young man long to figure out that he is in a world of hurt. How does this knowledge affect him? That is the subject of this dark, intense novel. Jungle Rules follows the transformation of Andy Cullen, a clean-cut American boy, into a hardcore "boonierat" in the jungles and rice paddies of Viet Nam. The novel describes the process of dehumanization that affects every soldier in a combat environment. In its milder form, this process is reflected in the happenings at an Abu Ghraib Prison; at its worst in the horror and tragedy of a My Lai Massacre. Americans idealize their military and expect them to live up to the highest moral standards. In our World of automobiles and houses with hot and cold running water and refrigerators and televisions and computers, where we all live in accordance with a rational set of rules, such standards are easy to impose. In the jungle, the rules are different.”

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