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Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War | [Dakota Meyer, Bing West]

Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War

In the fall of 2009, Taliban insurgents ambushed a patrol of Afghan soldiers and Marine advisors in a mountain village called Ganjigal. Firing from entrenched positions, the enemy was positioned to wipe out 100 men who were pinned down and were repeatedly refused artillery support. Ordered to remain behind with the vehicles, 21 year-old Marine corporal Dakota Meyer disobeyed orders and attacked to rescue his comrades.
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Publisher's Summary

"The story of what Dakota did . . . will be told for generations." (President Barack Obama, from remarks given at Meyer's Medal of Honor ceremony)

In the fall of 2009, Taliban insurgents ambushed a patrol of Afghan soldiers and Marine advisors in a mountain village called Ganjigal. Firing from entrenched positions, the enemy was positioned to wipe out 100 men who were pinned down and were repeatedly refused artillery support. Ordered to remain behind with the vehicles, 21 year-old Marine corporal Dakota Meyer disobeyed orders and attacked to rescue his comrades.

With a brave driver at the wheel, Meyer stood in the gun turret exposed to withering fire, rallying Afghan troops to follow. Over the course of the five hours, he charged into the valley time and again. Employing a variety of machine guns, rifles, grenade launchers, and even a rock, Meyer repeatedly repulsed enemy attackers, carried wounded Afghan soldiers to safety, and provided cover for dozens of others to escape - supreme acts of valor and determination. In the end, Meyer and four stalwart comrades - an Army captain, an Afghan sergeant major, and two Marines - cleared the battlefield and came to grips with a tragedy they knew could have been avoided. For his actions on that day, Meyer became the first living Marine in three decades to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Into the Fire tells the full story of the chaotic battle of Ganjigal for the first time, in a compelling, human way that reveals it as a microcosm of our recent wars. Meyer takes us from his upbringing on a farm in Kentucky, through his Marine and sniper training, onto the battlefield, and into the vexed aftermath of his harrowing exploits in a battle that has become the stuff of legend.

Investigations ensued, even as he was pitched back into battle alongside U.S. Army soldiers who embraced him as a fellow grunt. When it was over, he returned to the States to confront living with the loss of his closest friends. This is a tale of American values and upbringing, of stunning heroism, and of adjusting to loss and to civilian life.

We see it all through Meyer's eyes, bullet by bullet, with raw honesty in telling of both the errors that resulted in tragedy and the resolve of American soldiers, U.S.Marines, and Afghan soldiers who'd been abandoned and faced certain death.

Meticulously researched and thrillingly told, with nonstop pace and vivid detail, Into the Fire is the true story of a modern American hero.

"Sergeant Meyer embodies all that is good about our nation's Corps of Marines. . . . [His] heroic actions . . . will forever be etched in our Corps' rich legacy of courage and valor." (General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps)

©2012 Bing West and Dakota Meyer (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Into the Fire is a deeply compelling tale of valor and duty. Dakota Meyer will not identify as a hero, but he will, I think, accept the title warrior. Dakota's storytelling is precise and, for a Medal of Honor recipient, touchingly humble. With deft prose he drops us smack in the middle of one of the most heinous small unit firefights of the current wars. His insights into military tactics and politics in a war zone are sharp and uncompromising and work as a primer on infantry war fighting for the uninitiated. Dakota was a magnificent marine and he is now an equally magnificent chronicler of warfare and the small group of people who do today's fighting for America." (Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead)

"[Bing] West's greatest strengths are his exceptional personal courage and his experienced perception of combat." (The Washington Post)

"West [is] the grunts' Homer." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (175 )
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4.2 (159 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joseph BEAVERTON, OR, United States 11-20-12
    Joseph BEAVERTON, OR, United States 11-20-12 Member Since 2012
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    "War! What is it good for?"
    Would you listen to Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War again? Why?

    I would listen again. I struggled with parts because I was a soldier for ten years and it hurt to see the crap the author went through.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Listen and learn what it is to be a soldier


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell Hardwick, VT, United States 11-05-12
    Russell Hardwick, VT, United States 11-05-12
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    "Very Good Read"
    What did you love best about Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War?

    it was a very exciting read. you find yourself feeling as if you were right there with them


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the fact the author didn't try to glamorize himself or any of the others. They are just great American Hero's that have things go wrong, just like the real world. You never have the feeling that the truth may be being exaggerated to feed any egos


    Which character – as performed by Zach McLarty – was your favorite?

    Dakota. He seams like a good honest guy. But all the hero's in this book are worth noting. After all they all put their lives on the line for our freedom


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I did spend time sitting in my driveway listening until the chapter ended because i didnt want to miss anything


    Any additional comments?

    A very well written book. we really have some great Americans protecting us overseas

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GORDON GHENT, NY, United States 11-05-12
    GORDON GHENT, NY, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Good, solid story of one young Marine."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War to be better than the print version?

    This book is more than one military battle in the Afghan War. This is the story of a young man's life and his coming of age in a confused and very complicated world with little to guide him or humanity on a clear path.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This is Dakota Meyer's story and other characters are secondary to him.


    What about Zach McLarty’s performance did you like?

    Good performance at times outstanding.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This book is a work that has great depth and should be savored and discussed with others.


    Any additional comments?

    This work continues to piece together questions as to what is involved in the Afghan War.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Limerick, PA, United States 10-29-12
    Robert Limerick, PA, United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Tragic, Inspiring, Thought Provoking"
    What did you love best about Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War?

    Enjoyed hearing about the people who make up our fighting military....personalities, character, background and interpemersonal relationships among them. Also, as a civilian, this book helps me to understanding what makes our military so successful, and unfortunately, at times ineffective. Thanks to all vets who willingly due such an incredibly difficult job at incredibly high personal costs to family and self.


    What other book might you compare Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War to and why?

    House to House and Outlaw Platoon.


    What does Zach McLarty bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He gives the guys in the book a realism and connection....well done.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linzay Houston, TX, United States 02-19-13
    Linzay Houston, TX, United States 02-19-13 Member Since 2004
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    "Great Story!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This was a really great story. The only drawback was McLarty repeatedly saying "Corzeman". As a former corpsman (pronounced core man) I found this distracting. I understand that the former pronunciation is used but not by anyone in the military.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terrill tulsa, OK, United States 12-08-12
    Terrill tulsa, OK, United States 12-08-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Why do we do war?"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War to be better than the print version?

    Have not read the book, but audio is excellent


    What other book might you compare Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War to and why?

    Matterhorn, brave, brave young men at war. The joy, the loss, the waste


    What about Zach McLarty’s performance did you like?

    He was able to take me to the battelfield. Not as strong toward the end.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, when Dakota felt he had failed. I know an officer who sent men into battle and personal he took the losses. We are so blessed to have these men represent us


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Jaeger Torrington, CT 10-29-12
    R. Jaeger Torrington, CT 10-29-12 Member Since 2009

    rdjhoya

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    "Story of Extraordinary Man"
    What did you love best about Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War?

    The ability of Dakota Meyer and the other Marines to overcome their fear and accomplish their mission is incredible.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War?

    It is impossible to pull away from listening to the battle from start to finish.


    Which character – as performed by Zach McLarty – was your favorite?

    He isn't a character but Dakota Meyer is very interesting.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The bureaucracy surrounding the command and control structure there was infuriating. It was like the IRS and DMV were leading the war.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David HERMITAGE, PA, United States 10-29-12
    David HERMITAGE, PA, United States 10-29-12
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    "Life of a soldier"
    What did you love best about Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War?

    Learning a soldiers daily life on the front lines.


    What other book might you compare Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War to and why?

    No comparisons.


    What about Zach McLarty’s performance did you like?

    His audio kept it gripping.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    A break was needed as the tension mounted.


    Any additional comments?

    Our Military is a miracle and so proud to stand behind them as I am not in front of them.
    Thank you for the education most never learn.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John PICKERINGTON, OH, United States 09-28-12
    John PICKERINGTON, OH, United States 09-28-12 Member Since 2004

    ND John

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    "Not for Head Shed's Nor POAG's"
    What did you love best about Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War?

    The trueth in this book is a common thread that runs through all the War's in History!


    What other book might you compare Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War to and why?

    I don't rank 5 stars for books, except this one. As an ex Marine it rang so very true, and sad.


    Which character – as performed by Zach McLarty – was your favorite?

    The Captain who never received his just due!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I could not turn this Book off. I listened from start to finish, listening to Bing West's last chapter 3 times.


    Any additional comments?

    Any combat soldier or Marine will like this book, especially the wrap up. John

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DS NH 06-10-13
    DS NH 06-10-13 Member Since 2012

    Say something about yourself!

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    "why we lost Afghanistan"

    Afghanistan was lost early on due to a lack of clear objectives and cloudy rules of engagement. Lack of coordination between the Army and the Marine Corps (really? is that STILL happening?) didn't help either. It also doesn't help that we keep trying to postage stamp democracy onto countries and cultures that are not ready... Whatever. Let's hope history will acknowledge at our motives were pure (about the nation building) and that we've learned some lessons about inter service support (as opposed to ass covering).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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