Photograph and caption from the United States National Archives and Records Administration.
As Library Director and member of the Common Book Committee, it is my privilege to welcome you to the 2009-2010 school year and to the experience of reading our Common Book, Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried. Like many books about the Vietnam War, The Things They Carried raises difficult questions. You may also find it difficult to arrive at definitive answers to those questions, since what happened in Vietnam and in this country during the war is an argument which has never really ended.
Please use this resource guide as a quick reference to the book and the activities planned around it. It answers some questions and poses others to stimulate your thinking. But I hope you will also bring your own questions to your classes and discussions and that you will learn to use the library—its books, ebooks, magazines, newspapers, databases, and websites—as a larger resource to help you arrive at your own conclusions.
What you learn this semester from the The Things They Carried, from the Common Book activities, and from research in the library will become something that you will carry with you, a valuable part of your
Quote from the Author
Forty-three years old, and the war occurred half a lifetime ago, and yet the remembering makes it now. And sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it forever. That's what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can't remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story. — Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried