"Generation Kill" is about the young men sent to fight their nation's first open-ended war since Vietnam. Despite the flurry of media images to come of the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, you have never really met any of these people, who serve as front-line troops. For whatever reason, the media simply doesn't get them. As we all know, news ...
"Generation Kill" is about the young men sent to fight their nation's first open-ended war since Vietnam. Despite the flurry of media images to come of the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, you have never really met any of these people, who serve as front-line troops. For whatever reason, the media simply doesn't get them. As we all know, news accounts of the last two wars focused almost exclusively on battlefield imagery of high-tech weapons wreaking astounding destruction, comply with analysis from retired army grandees and other experts, punctuated by the odd heart-warming patriotic sound-bite. The troops themselves play a role in the media's presentation of recent wars rather like extras in "The Triumph of the Will". They are everywhere yet somehow invisible. When they speak you get the sense that what they are saying has been carefully scripted.Now "Generation Kill" tells the soldiers' story in their own words. The narrative focuses on a platoon of 23 marines, many of them veterans of Afghanistan, whose elite reconnaissance unit spearheaded the blitzkrieg on Iraq. This is the story of young men that have been trained to become ruthless killers. It's about surviving death. It's about taking part in a war many questioned before it even began. Evan Wright was the only reporter with First Recon, which operated well ahead of most other forces, usually behind enemy lines. They were among the first marines sent into the fight and one of the last units still engaged on the outskirts of Iraq, even after the city centre fell. "Generation Kill" is not just a combat chronicle but an inside look at how people fighting in war actually experience it. It is both an action narrative like "Black Hawk Down" and a detailed portrait of a generation at war along the lines of "Band of Brothers". It is not a book you are going to forget in a hurry.
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Publishers Weekly, 2004-05-24 Wright rode into Iraq on March 20, 2003, with a platoon of First Reconnaissance Battalion Marines-the Marine Corps' special operations unit whose motto is "Swift, Silent, Deadly." These highly trained and highly motivated First Recon Marines were the leading unit of the American-led invasion force. Wright wrote about that experience in a three-part series in Rolling Stone that was hailed for its evocative, accurate war reporting. This book, a greatly expanded version of that series, matches its accomplishment. Wright is a perceptive reporter and a facile writer. His account is a personality-driven, readable and insightful look at the Iraq War's first month from the Marine grunt's point of view. It jibes with other firsthand reports of the first phase of the Iraqi invasion (including David Zucchino's Thunder Run), showing the unsettling combination of feeble and vicious resistance put up by the Iraqi army, the Fedayeen militiamen and their Syrian allies against American forces bulldozing through towns and cities and into Baghdad. Wright paints compelling portraits of a handful of Marines, most of whom are young, street-smart and dedicated to the business of killing the enemy. As he shows them, the Marines' main problem was trying to sort out civilians from enemy fighters. Wright does not shy away from detailing what happened when the fog of war resulted in the deaths and maimings of innocent Iraqi men, women and children. Nor does he hesitate to describe intimately the few instances in which Marines were killed and wounded. Fortunately, Wright is not exposing the strengths and weaknesses of a new generation of American fighting men, as the misleadingly hyped-up title and subtitle indicate. Instead, he presents a vivid, well-drawn picture of those fighters in action on the front lines in the blitzkrieg-like opening round of the Iraq War. 59,000 first printing. Agent, Richard Abate of ICM. (June 21) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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