Great writing, compelling story, and superb narration equal one great audio experience. i can understand why this book won the Pulitzer. Any young man thinking of going to war should read this to make an informed decision.
The author wrote the story from the perspective of an anti-war correspondent as opposed to the perspective of the men of the unit he claims the book is about. The book isn't about the men in that unit, it's about the horrors of war that met the men in that unit, through the eyes, mind, and words of an anti-war correspondent.
This book honors anti-war activism, not the Americans he walked amongst. His Nobel Prize did the same.
My son did 6 years Air Force and was deployed overseas to various locations. My daughter did 6 years Army and was deployed to Baghdad just after the surge. My daughter's husband is U.S. Army and has been deployed to Iraq (during the surge) and Afghanistan, where he was wounded by an enemy mortar round and is home healing awaiting the birth of his son. I have no military experience. My dad was Navy in WWII. A high percentage of my high school students have gone to various branches of the military.
War is absolutely brutal and the worst thing that our young men and women will ever have to experience. I am absolute anti-war.
I lived during Vietnam and saw what journalism did to the men and women who served and how they swayed public opinion not only against the war and American government but also against those who served. It was a national disgrace. Some of those soldiers were my friends.
Ask an American soldier who has been to Iraq or Afghanistan what they think of the American media they watched on TV's while in those countries. It was and still is demoralizing with zero interest in those who served and sacrificed. They use those men and women as pawns in their quest for furthering their own agendas.
Not all correspondents and reporters are the same, but this author sure as heck continued on in the tradition of going to war with soldiers so he could justify the book he'd already written in his mind.
Personally, I think Congress and the White house needs to be relocated to the middle of Arlington National Cemetery so everyone of those politicians has to walk by all those headstones everyday and see them everytime they look out a window. And go find the ones whose families they are now representing and learn what the man buried there did in his life. That honors him and his family.
You want to write a story, pick one of those headstones and write the history of the man that lies beneath it instead of how horribly he was killed during a war. War is what war is, telling the horror of war doesn't honor those who survived or died. Nor will that horror story stop the next war or it's horrors.
I downloaded this book based on the descriptions. I'd like to see the descriptions corrected to reflect what the book is really about. I would have ignored it as just another journalist working his own personal agenda.
Powerful story of the soldiers with very limited politics. No completely blatant Bush bashing but there is a twinge of a liberal swing. But forget that because it is barely noticeable and the stories of the soldiers involved is very powerful.
This is a well written and interesting book. I enjoyed it and would recommend it. I might read it again .
Just a great book on Iraq and the frustration and craziness of the American commitment there. An excellent description of the Loss and Toll taken on our soldiers. Listen To IT!
Now I know what a five star rating really is. Before this I gave some 5 ratings. Doubt I will ever give another. This book will let you feel the fear of war. If hou have anything but ice water in your veins it will, you will fall in love with our servicemen and their families and not only those with wounds showing. And most of all it will define your cowardice. You will probably want to go to BAMC or Walter Reed to put your arms around our men and women to show your love, but fnd you, like me, don't have the courage.
At the end you will forget about the idiots that garner all the press, our politicians, and have new members in you mental family of those caught in between who had no ability to make decisions but to follow orders. As a past soldier who sever during Vietnam, but not in that theater, only now do I understand war. I am not sure I like what I found via this book. The reality for there men and women sucked. The reality of my cowardice while living less than 100 miles from BAMC is something I must overcome. We must go put our arms around our warriors and the families or those who came back whole, came back wounded or didn't. Come back.
An excellent book on America's twenty first century Vietnam. The reader is excellent as well. Every American needs to read/listen to this book so we can all understand just what we are asking of our young men when we put them in harm's way.
If you want an accurate picture of what the troops are facing day in and day out in Iraq, this is the book for you. The narration is good, the tempo, apart from the last few chapters, is quick, and the prose is fluid and crisp. This gives you a gritty no-nonsense look at the "real" war, from the perspective of a battalion commander and his troops. Not for the faint of heart.
A searing account of the trials, wounds, and frustrations of a battalion of combat infantry soldiers posted to a dangerous region of Baghdad during the 2007 "surge." The writing is riveting: direct, factual and first-hand. The author was "embedded" with the soldiers for eight months of their 15 month tour of duty. He describes in vivid detail the injuries (14 were killed) suffered by the soldiers from hidden roadside explosives, a menace these troops faced every day. You will take from this book an unforgettable appreciation of the combat horrors our troops face in Iraq and Afghanistan. We all owe them a monumental debt of gratitude for the dangers they face and the wounds so many of them and their families have endured.
My only criticism of the book is that its focus on the frustrations, injuries and deaths suffered by these soldiers appears calculated to lead to a foreordained conclusion that the whole deployment was pointless and that the Iraqis they were trying to help were hopeless, incompetent, or hostile. There is an "Oh, by the way" tone to the relatively few mentions of the successes that were achieved during the surge: much reduced death rates among coalition troops, improved security in much of Baghdad; even functioning gas stations in the battalion's own area.
The book clearly illustrates the hard choices we face in dealing with the violent extremists in the Middle East. They are brutal and without conscience or good sense in inflicting terror, torture and destruction on any (including their neighbors) whom they see in their way. Our military response is at best a stopgap: it is necessary for self defense, but it does not build the personal ties or trust and goodwill we need in order to build lasting peace and security.
A harrowing story, noteworthy for its gritty realness. The Finkle accomplishes the difficult task of telling the story of the 2-16 apart from any narrative on his own time in Iraq. He writes simply of what happened to the men fighting the war.