Passing Time

Memoir of a Vietnam Veteran Against the War, rev. ed.

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About the Book

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.

About the Author(s)

Memoirist, poet, editor, and Marine veteran, W.D. Ehrhart taught English and history at the Haverford School in Haverford, Pennsylvania. The author of twenty books, his prose and poetry have appeared in hundreds of publications including the Los Angeles Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Utne Reader, Reader’s Digest, American Poetry Review and the Virginia Quarterly Review. He was a major presence in the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary The Vietnam War.

Bibliographic Details

W.D. Ehrhart
Foreword by Christian G. Appy
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 311
Bibliographic Info: 20 photos
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9049-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4793-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Christian G. Appy 1
Preface 5
Passing Time 9
Military History of W.D. Ehrhart 301
Biographical Sketch 303

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “As a poet and editor, Bill Ehrhart is clearly one of the major figures in Vietnam War literature”—John Newman, curator of the Vietnam War Literature Collection at Colorado State University
  • “One of the great poets and writers of nonfiction produced by the Vietnam War”—The Nation
  • “Thoughtful and probing…a must”—Choice
  • “Possibly the greatest and most valuable of all the [Vietnam War] autobiographies…should be required reading”—H. Bruce Franklin, Rutgers
  • “Full of honest and personal accounts”—Fellowship
  • “His memoirs and poems need to be read as long as there is a memory of America’s participation in war in Vietnam.”—VVA Books
  • “A powerful book”—Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee