The Foot Soldier
By Mark Rubinstein
The Foot Soldier was a finalist in the 2014 Benjamin Franklin Awards competition, in the Popular Fiction category.
Right after college graduation, Costa, a lower-middle-class kid from Buffalo, New York, is drafted into the US army and plunged into the Vietnam War. The Foot Solder catapults the reader back to the conflict that changed America.
This is a compelling novella of morality—right or wrong in a split second in the hell of the jungle—when it really matters, regardless of rank, military orders, or rule books. It asks how a soldier survives, how he deals with dislocation, and how he reacts when given an order that defies everything he’s ever believed about the human soul.
Discussion Questions – The Foot Soldier
- Is this simply a war story or are there deeper implications?
- What choices did Costa have toward the end of the novella when confronted by Lieutenant Johnson?
- Why do you think Sergeant Davis did what he did?
- Is there such a thing as a moral or justified war? Can you give an example of this?
- Do you think The Foot Soldier conveyed the reality of the Vietnam War? Did it present the reality of all wars?