3 out of 4 stars
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I didn’t know what to make of the recent government directive where people were forced to take the COVID-19 jab. With the administration or the big pharma controlling the flow of information, for some people, it proved the notion that the government could go out of its way to pull off a hoax targeting its citizens. As an example, in the recent past, the U.S. government had been criticized for detaining people at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp in Cuba without trial, all in the name of national security. In his book It May Be True: A Teenager’s Lesson when Volunteering for the Government, Robert L. Snider narrates a chilling story of what happens when the government impedes the public’s right to information.
Upon receipt of a draft notice, Jim, a high school graduate, reported for an induction exercise at his nearest county military facility. After a prolonged duration of not receiving any feedback, Jim went back to the county office to inquire. Eventually, he learned that his paperwork was lost in transit. Being a reasonable young man, Jim decided to forge ahead with his plans, only to be surprised when a certain secretive government body invited him for an interview.
Jim’s story is yet another example of how the government has abused the trust bestowed on it by the public. Despite the democratic ideals that elect our leaders, I was dismayed that a jobless youth could be hoodwinked into joining a secretive government program without his parents’ knowledge. Even so, I liked this novel because it beautifully dramatized the balance between Jim’s right to know what he was signing in for and the government’s need for secrecy.
Furthermore, this story was interesting because it illustrated how one man helped shape the course of the Vietnam War. Regardless, even though Snider featured only a few characters in his novel, I found their identity confusing and uninspiring. This was mainly because of several characters who were sharing the name “Bob” in the story. To elaborate, the author featured a Bob’s Drive Inn; Jim’s instructor was called Bob; and the president’s legal representatives were called Tom and Bob. This was the only aspect I disliked about the novel. Otherwise, the book’s editing was nearly perfect, save for a few errors I identified. Because of the observed weakness, I rated the novel 3 out of 4 stars.
This would be an excellent novel for someone looking for something uplifting from the Vietnam War era. It’s told from the perspective of a non-combatant, hence, it’s a good option for young readers interested in history. At the same time, there is an instance of a cold-blood murder in the novel, so it may not be for the faint-hearted.
It May Be True
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