From 1969 to 1974 Ehrhart was just passing time. His reentry into the "world" began with his enrollment as a 21-year-old freshman (and token Vietnam vet) at Swarthmore College. At first simply trying to bury his past, Ehrhart slowly came to understand what happened to him, and why, in Vietnam. Interspersed are flashbacks to the war itself.
It is the story of political--and personal--awakening. As the war dragged on, the United States' deceitful involvement and its perpetuation of fallacies and lies about the war's conduct forced Ehrhart to confront his own feelings about his government, country and self. Throughout, the reader shares with Ehrhart his odyssey through naivete, growing awareness, angry withdrawal and, finally, a measure of peace.