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Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize-winning conflict journalist C.J. Chivers follows the arcs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through the experiences of those who fought them, as Stephen Ambrose did for the grunts of WWII, and Michael Herr’s classic Dispatches did for Vietnam.

Almost 2.5 million Americans have served in Afghanistan or Iraq since September 11, 2001. C.J. Chivers has reported from both fronts from the beginning, walking side by side with combatants for more than a dozen years. He describes the experience of war today as it is endured by those most at risk - the camaraderie and profound sense of purpose, alongside courage, frustration, and moral confusion mixed with technical precision. In these remote places where the reason for their presence is sometimes not clear, these young men kill or are killed, facing palpable and often constant threat of ambush or hidden bombs. They repeatedly return, rushing toward danger, often to rescue the wounded in wars that escalate around them as the Pentagon changes doctrines and plans.

Weaving a history of the war through troops’ experiences, the characters in The Fighters climb into an F-14 cockpit for the opening strikes after the attacks of 9/11, hunt for Osama bin Laden along the Pakistani border, chase insurgent rocket teams with helicopters alongside American bases, face snipers in a hostile city in Anbar Province in Iraq, and engage in deadly counterguerilla warfare in the soaring mountains of the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan. Some suffer terribly. All are changed. They return home, uncertain of their place in the world and what their wars have achieved.

Chivers accompanied combatants over many years and multiple tours, including many of the characters in this book, developing deep understanding of the experience of combat in our times. The Fighters, his tour de force, tells a history of America’s longest wars as well as the lives of the volunteers who have waged them.

©2018 C. J. Chivers (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

What members say

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a very human perspective...

I am so proud to have taken part in this project. I couldn't imagine a better person to have penned my part in all of this. For the sake of posterity and all I have lost, you have given me something to hold on to. great job!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 09-21-18

Gripping

The book won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize. This book is a bit different in that it discusses the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq from the viewpoint of the privates to captains who fought the battles. Chivers said “he set out to chronicle the long arc and human experience of combat for American troops since 2001, and in a way that bridged the very large gap between official statements and what the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq really have been.”

I found the book most interesting in that it was about people not policy. The book is well written and researched. The book points out the failings of the wars. The stories of the men were often inspiring and heart rendering; be prepared for a few tears. This book should be a must-read for everyone. Chivers is a former Marine Corp infantry officer and is now a journalist.

The book is almost fourteen hours. Scott Brick does an excellent job narrating the book. Brick is a well-known narrator. In 2017 he was elected into the Narrators Hall of Fame. He has won many narrating awards.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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OEF 08 09 ATrP 6/4 Cav Cop Lowell

Chris has taken this book bring my experience in Afghanistan back to life. This book nails every aspect of the War. The explanation of surroundings, emotions, C.J. Chivers gets it 1000% correct.
As tough as it was to listen to, it brought me back into time. Drawing a picture only one that has experienced war can see. Thank you Chris, once again you have totally nailed it. Must Read!!!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Gripping and powerful, this is an essential read.

Chivers does a great service to military service members with this incredible, beautifully-written book. The stories of the OIF and OEF fighters give us deep insight into their lives and experiences, leaving us to weep at the inhumanity of war. This is destined to be a classic.

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Thank you for this Chris!

Your work is more important than you know. Thank you for telling the fighter’s story in a way that very few can.

Josh

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Not much new

People went to war. They flew planes, they shot people, they were shot at....That about sums it up.

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A Must Read on Combat in Iraq & Afghanistan

Great book that follows several men in the Army, Navy Medics, Marines, and Air Force in both Itaq and Afghanistan. Some lost their lives, some lost parts of their bodies, all gave their all.

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Parents of Fighters

As the mother of a soldier in the early days of the war in Iraq, I deeply appreciate the inclusion of Gail Kirby's perspective.

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Vividly Authentic

The Fighters tells the stories of pilots, marines, soldiers and Navy corpsmen in the USA's ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The personal stories detail the training, deployment, fighting, wounds, and sometimes death of ordinary American servicemen, career and non-career. In often harrowing terms, their service and recovery from service is dealt with honestly and directly.

This is one of the best books I have ever read about war and its aftermath. If you want to read one book about what it means to be a soldier in the US' forever wars, read this. I couldn't recommend it more.

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Great collector of personal experiences

I enjoyed the collection of personal experiences and could taste the Iraqi desert all over again. His description(s) of the disconnect between trips and the civilian worlds is spot on.

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  • Notsosporty
  • 09-24-18

Gripping read bought alive in audio

I found this very gripping and thought provoking book was improved immensely in the audio version. So easily listened to where reading the book would have been impossible. Highly recommended.

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  • Dan Taub
  • 08-20-18

The most compelling book about American involvement in iraq and afg

This will be remembered as the seminal book on America’s post-9/11 wars. I dislike hyperbole and am not prone to it. This will leave you sitting for minutes in utter silence after listening to it. Unflinching, honest, brutal. Tragic, heroic.