Passing Time

Memoir of a Vietnam Veteran Against the War

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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 if inexorably came to understand what happened to him, and why, in Vietnam. Interspersed are flash-backs 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 and editor and former Marine W.D. Ehrhart teaches English and history at the Haverford School in Haverford, Pennsylvania. The author of 20 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.

Bibliographic Details

W.D. Ehrhart
Format: sewn softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 291
Bibliographic Info:
Copyright Date: 1989
pISBN: 978-0-89950-416-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8758-5
Imprint: McFarland

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.