At Hell’s Gate by Claude Anshin Thomas is one of the most powerful, moving books I’ve ever read in terms of understanding war and the effects of war on people. I think only All Quiet on the Western Front had a greater emotional impact on me. Not that At Hell’s Gate is “great literature.“ On the contrary, writer’s voice is that of a common soldier who describes with unflinching honesty his epic journey through the hell of the Vietnam War and its after effects to a daily practice of mindfulness and compassion that saves his life each and every day.
For me, one of the most remarkable things about At Hell’s Gate is that it, so to speak “kicks my butt“ every time I read it. What the book has to teach is so honest, so real, so genuinely enlightened, that when I read it, I’m often embarrassed by the self-deceptions and compromises the book brings to light in my own life and spiritual practice. Thomas’s words and practice have the ring of truth. The man has been to hell and back, and he has something of inestimable value to tell us about how to break free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
As John Laurence, former CBS News correspondent and author of The Cat fron Hué: Vietnam War Story writes, “This is a book of great power. Thomas’s pilgrimage to find living peace in a world full of terror and war gives us a wonderfully practical lesson in how to lift ourselves out of the insanity of fear, hatred, violence, and trauma. His singularly courageous story has the power to heal, to inspire, to teach.”
Give Claude Anshin Thomas a chance to talk to you and teach you through his book. Because he’s suffered so much and actually learned from it, he compassionately understands our suffering and its causes. This man wants to help you! And he can, if you’ll let him. He sure has helped me! I guarantee you’ll never find a better friend, in a foxhole, or in your daily walk of life, than the teachings and insights of this remarkable book.
You can purchase the book at Amazon: At Hell’s Gate: A Soldiers Journey from War to Peace