From the author of The Perfect Storm, a gripping book about Sebastian Junger's almost-fatal year with the 2nd battalion of the American Army. They were known as "The Rock." For one year, in 2007-2008, Sebastian Junger accompanied a single platoon of thirty men from the storied 2nd battalion of the U.S. Army, as they fought their way through a ...
From the author of The Perfect Storm, a gripping book about Sebastian Junger's almost-fatal year with the 2nd battalion of the American Army. They were known as "The Rock." For one year, in 2007-2008, Sebastian Junger accompanied a single platoon of thirty men from the storied 2nd battalion of the U.S. Army, as they fought their way through a remote valley in Eastern Afghanistan. Over the course of five trips, Junger was in more firefights than he can count, men he knew were killed or wounded, and he himself was almost killed. His relationship with these soldiers grew so close that they considered him part of the platoon, and he enjoyed an access and a candidness that few, if any, journalists ever attain. War is a narrative about combat: the fear of dying, the trauma of killing and the love between platoon-mates who would rather die than let each other down. Gripping, honest, intense, War explores the neurological, psychological and social elements of combat, and the incredible bonds that form between these small groups of men. This is not a book about Afghanistan or the 'War on Terror'; it is a book about the universal truth of all men, in all wars. Junger set out to answer what he thought of as the 'hand grenade question': why would a man throw himself on a hand grenade to save other men he has probably known for only a few months? The answer elusive but profound, and goes to the heart of what it means not just to be a soldier, but to be human.
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Publishers Weekly, 2010-03-15 "War is insanely exciting.... Don't underestimate the power of that revelation," warns bestselling author and Vanity Fair contributing editor Junger (The Perfect Storm ). The war in Afghanistan contains brutal trauma but also transcendent purpose in this riveting combat narrative. Junger spent 14 months in 2007-2008 intermittently embedded with a platoon of the 173rd Airborne brigade in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley, one of the bloodiest corners of the conflict. The soldiers are a scruffy, warped lot, with unkempt uniforms-they sometimes do battle in shorts and flip-flops-and a ritual of administering friendly beatings to new arrivals, but Junger finds them to be superlative soldiers. Junger experiences everything they do-nerve-racking patrols, terrifying roadside bombings and ambushes, stultifying weeks in camp when they long for a firefight to relieve the tedium. Despite the stress and the grief when buddies die, the author finds war to be something of an exalted state: soldiers experience an almost sexual thrill in the excitement of a firefight-a response Junger struggles to understand-and a profound sense of commitment to subordinating their self-interests to the good of the unit. Junger mixes visceral combat scenes-raptly aware of his own fear and exhaustion-with quieter reportage and insightful discussions of the physiology, social psychology, and even genetics of soldiering. The result is an unforgettable portrait of men under fire. (May 11) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2010-08-30 Junger delivers a closeup examination of the American war in Afghanistan during his travels with the military, often on the frontlines. The choice for Junger to read stems from his firsthand knowledge (and the implicit belief he can convey that orally). However, his slightly nasal tone and drab delivery make the audiobook unimpressive. He lacks the emphasis and energy to do his prose justice, thus, despite an awe-inspiring text, his narration might leave listeners bored or uninterested. A Twelve hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 15). (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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