I've liked all of the books I've read by Edward C. Patterson. "Surviving an American Gulag" is the first one that actually made me cry.Patterson's protagonist, Private Winslow Gibbs, is an overweight draftee soldier during the Vietnam era. He is assigned to a special training unit at Fort Gordon in hopes of returning to regular basic after he has lost some weight. Gibbs' interactions with the other soldiers on the STU range from the antagonistic to the friendly as he becomes more physically fit and gets to know himself better in the process.The additional short story at the end of the book, "Dime a Dip," is particularly poignant as it deals with migrant workers. In today's political environment, this compassionate look at those in need should not be overlooked.