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The Things They Carried helps readers understand both what the war was like and the ambivalence Americans felt. It combines humor and horror, fact and fiction, and irony in order to portray American soldiers with compassion. This primary source set provides resources to help explore the basis of this text further.
In war, there are no winners. That's what readers have taken away from Tim O'Brien's book about the Vietnam War, The Things They Carried, in the 20 years since its publication. O'Brien discusses what he still carries from his time in Vietnam. Also, hear from callers who have personal stories and experiences to share in connection with the novel.