In the Shadow of the DMZ by James C. McCullagh

In the Shadow of the DMZ

Paperback: 142 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 19, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1466327960

ISBN-13: 978-1466327962


Review by: g emil reutter

I normally don’t read back cover blurbs when preparing a review, that being said, the blurb on In the Shadow of the DMZ by James McCullagh is a bit lofty with comparisons to Whitman and Ginsberg and a new American narrative. The book is a 134 page poem divided in three sections carefully crafted in three line stanzas.

The poem is horrific, brutal and honest. Collateral damage and the decay of the human spirit during and after wars flow through the pages.  The premise that under a largely Christian God, we really have a bone-deep, terrible love of war is amplified throughout the poem. There is a rhythm in the poem that once you begin reading makes it almost impossible to stop reading until you reach the end.

McCullagh has succeeded in writing a poem that hits the reader with a barrage of images, stark and real, from the Battle of Britain through Vietnam to the 9-11 attacks on the United States.  A new American narrative? I am not so sure. Whitman and Ginsberg? I tip my hat to McCullagh for the comparison to  Whitman and Ginsberg who were not modest or shy about promoting themselves either.

If you are not faint of heart you will enjoy the read.

You can buy the book at this link:


g emil reutter– g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa.


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