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The Forever War Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Sep 16 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (Sept. 16 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307266397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307266392
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.8 x 3.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 703 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #256,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Filkins, a New York Times prize–winning reporter, is widely regarded as among the finest war correspondents of this generation. His richly textured book is based on his work in Afghanistan and Iraq since 1998. It begins with a Taliban-staged execution in Kabul. It ends with Filkins musing on the names in a WWI British cemetery in Baghdad. In between, the work is a vivid kaleidoscope of vig-nettes. Individually, the strength of each story is its immediacy; together they portray a theater of the absurd, in which Filkins, an extraordinarily brave man, moves as both participant and observer. Filkins does not editorialize—a welcome change from the punditry that shapes most writing from these war zones. This book also differs essentially from traditional war correspondence because of its universal empathy, feelings enhanced by Filkins's spare prose. Saudi women in Kabul airport, clad in burqas and stylish shoes, bemoan their husbands' devotion to jihad. An Iraqi casually says to his friend, Let's go kill some Americans. A marine is shot dead escorting Filkins on a photo opportunity. Iraqi soldiers are disconcerted when he appears in running shorts (They looked at [my legs] in horror, as if I were naked). Carl von Clausewitz said war is a chameleon. In vividly illustrating the varied ways people in Afghanistan and iraq have been affected by ongoing war, Filkins demonstrates that truth in prose. 5 photos. (Sept. 17)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Harrowingly detailed . . . Filkins makes us see, with almost hallucinogenic immediacy, the true human meaning and consequences of the ‘war on terror.’”
-The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2008

“The gaping wounds of Iraq and Afghanistan have produced a torrent of words, but no single volume so far has the precision and power of The Forever War . . . Filkins’ set pieces have the absolute clarity of lightning flashes that burn away the fog of war.”
-Time Best Nonfiction Books of 2008

“Not since Michael Herr in Dispatches . . . has a reporter written as vividly about combat as Filkins does from Afghanistan and Iraq.”
-USA Today 10 Best Books of 2008

“Filkins’s meticulously constructed vignettes . . . illuminate and humanize the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.”
-Los Angeles Times Favorite Books 2008

The Forever War . . . achieves a gripping, raw immediacy.”
-The Boston Globe’s Year’s Best Books

“Splendid.”
-Washington Post Book World Best Nonfiction of 2008

“Dexter Filkins's The Forever War is the best piece of war journalism I've ever read. He paints a portrait of war that is so nuanced, so filled with absurdities and heartbreak and unexpected heroes and villains, that it makes most of what we see and hear about Iraq and Afghanistan seem shrill and two-dimensional by comparison. And yet, as tragic as the events he describes are, the book manages to be a thing of towering beauty.”
-Dave Eggers, Guardian Best Books of the Year

"The Forever War is already a classic–it has the timeless feel of all great war literature. Dexter Filkins’s combination of courage and sensitivity is so rare that books like his come along only once every major war. This one is ours."
-George Packer, author of The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq

“Dexter Filkins is the preeminent war correspondent of my generation, fearless, compassionate, and brutally honest. The Forever War is his astonishing story. It is one of the best books about war that I have ever read. It will stay with me forever.”
-Jeffrey Goldberg, author of Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide

“Dexter Filkins has seen the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan; he has stood in the ruins of the World Trade Center; he has been in the heat of battle in Iraq; indeed, no one else has been closer to the action than this courageous and thoughtful observer. This is a sensational book in the best sense.”
-Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

"Stunning...it is not facetious to speak of work like that of Dexter Filkins as defining the 'culture' of a war...This unforgettable narrative [represents]...a haunting spiritual witness that will make this volume a part of this awful war's history."
-Robert Stone, on the front page of The New York Times Book Review

“Dexter Filkins’s The Forever War, brutally intimate, compassionate, often poetic accounts of the battle against Islamic fundamentalism, is destined to become a classic.”
-Vanity Fair

“Extraordinary . . . if what Michael Herr brought back from Vietnam in Dispatches was a sort of Jackson Pollock–streaks of blood, trickles of dread, splattershot of hard rock and harder drugs–The Forever War is like a pointillist Seurat, a neo-Impressionist juxtaposition of spots of pure color with black holes and open wounds.”
-John Leonard, Harper’s

“The definitive–and heartbreakingly humanizing–report from the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan . . . The Forever War [is] about all wars, everywhere–and a book that will be read fifty years from now.”
-Andrew Corsello, GQ

“Dexter Filkins is one of war writings’ modern marvels, a writer of tremendous gifts and appropriate grit to go where others will not.”
-Henry C. Jackson, Associated Press

“The best war reportage you are apt to read in a lifetime.”
-Joseph C. Goulden, The Washington Times

“Unflinching . . . Filkins confronts the absurdity of war head-on . . . This is a page-turner, and one of the most astounding books yet written about the war in Iraq . . . Filkins doesn’t lecture, he just reports, in great and perfect detail.”
-Gilbert Cruz, Time

“[Filkins is] an almost absurdly brave war correspondent . . . his brilliant, sad, unique book . . . may be the most readable book about Iraq. It’s certainly one of the most artful. . . We’re the better for it.”
-Hilary Frey, The New York Observer

“Brilliant . . . The Forever War . . . deserves to be ranked as a classic . . . and is likely to be regarded as the definitive account of how the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were experienced by those who actually waged them . . . Thanks to one reporter’s heroic act of witness and brilliant recitation of what he saw, we can see the war–as it is, and for ourselves.”
-Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times

“A kaleidoscope of images and intensity . . . It is written in finely honed bursts of vibrant color that capture the peculiar culture of the war . . . It is a raw and riveting account . . . his honesty in portraying the war implicitly exposes the hollowness of the platitudes used in Washington to defend it.”
-Chris Hedges, Philadelphia Inquirer

“Splendid . . . it shines as a work of literature, illuminating the human cost of war.”
-Bing West, The Washington Post

“Rich with details both grotesque and sublime . . . The Forever War is a masterpiece of nuance.”
-Matthew B. Stannard, The San Francisco Chronicle

“Gut-wrenching and touching . . .Mr. Filkins’s stories are those of a writer willing to endure hardship, danger and anguish to paint an accurate picture of war for the American public . . . His prose is as blunt as it is powerful.”
-Lee H. Hamilton, The New York Times

“Filkins . . . is a courageous reporter and an original writer . . . The narrative holds together through the power of his writing . . . The Forever War is an astonishingly good book.”
-Evan Wright, LA Weekly

“Addictive . . . [Filkins is] a master of the moment, of the concrete, of texture; where others try to explain, he wants you to know what being there feels like . . . I couldn’t put this book down.”
-Craig Seligman, Bloomberg

“Dexter Filkins . . . is well on his way to becoming the preeminent war reporter of this tumultuous era . . . His understated prose offers a stiletto-sharp account of places he’s gone and people he’s met.”
-John Marshall, Seattle Post Intelligencer

“Wonderfully written and carefully researched . . . Filkins’s meticulous attention to detail and his bravery . . . [are] evident on every page . . . The Forever War . . . serves as a powerful lesson in what it takes to cover the complexities of war . . . [Dexter Filkins] has put himself in the middle of this madness to deliver a stunning and illuminating story.”
-Chuck Leddy, Christian Science Monitor

“[Filkins is] the real deal, a reporter’s reporter . . . his brave and stunning new book . . . pulses with prose so lean–whipsawing between brutality and beauty–that it takes your breath away.”
-Paul Grondahl, Times Union

“A chilling and ethereal narrative of loss and the promise of loss.”
-Jim Chiavelli, The Boston Globe

“Phenomenal . . . The Forever War makes the war in Iraq so real, so haunting, that you’ll want to sleep with the book next to your bed and read it in every spare moment until the last page. It does what a great book about war, loss, politics, and sacrifice should–it moves, shocks, entertains, educates, and inspires. The Forever War is peerless–a classic.”
-Genvieve Long, The Epoch Times

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Yakiwchuk TOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 4 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read this book about 1 year ago, and having had time to reflect on what I read, I would have no trouble recommending The Forever War to anyone interested in gaining an understanding of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. First, a bit about me: I largely stay away from books I find to be politically motivated or biased. I'm not interested in hearing the "right wing" or "left wing" perspectives on conflicts. Rather, I look to gain an understanding of the conflict as a whole based on factual reporting from people who were there. In seeking out a wide variety of credible sources, suspending his own judgments, and through first-rate investigative reporting, Dexter Filkins achieves what few other journalists have and tells the story of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as they are. (As opposed to as interest groups, the media, or others would like to portray the conflicts).

Filkins' is uniquely qualified to report on Iraq and Afghanistan, having been a field reporter on the ground, living in both countries. He is a man who has spent time traveling with American troops, speaking to the Iraqi people, and with the Afghan people as well. The Forever War is a collection of his experiences, told as stories, and committed to print. Regardless of your political views or your views on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, I would encourage you to read this book if you are looking for a fascinating, first-hand perspective on the wars, as told by an author who seeks first to understand, and then to be understood. 5/5
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Coach C TOP 500 REVIEWER on Nov. 28 2008
Format: Hardcover
If you read one book this year, Dexter Filkin's "Forever War" should be the one. Filkins has spent the past decade at the center of the two major conflict zones of this generation in Afghanistan and Iraq. To date, nobody has been able to capture the day to day events on the ground for the entire length of time as realistically as Filkins has done in "Forever War." It is truly a gem of a book.

As a journalist for the New York Times, Filkins is uniquely positioned to witness the barbarity of war first hand and put that experience onto paper like no one else can. When compared to Evan Wright's "Generation Kill," I think Filkins is more polished, more accomplished and therefore there is a profound sense of professionalism throughout that is sometimes laking in "Generation Kill."

I wouldn't be surprised if "Forever War" or portions of were made into a movie, or if it won the Pulitzer Prize, it really is that good. Filkins deserves every praise, every award for this incredible memoir.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By elizzy on April 6 2010
Format: Paperback
Loved this book, could not put it down. Have bought several copies as gifts for friends. This book is compilation of the author's various experiences as a reporter. Each chapter reads like a short story and yet the "whole" offers many insights into the different aspects of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how the West has often missed the boat in its understanding of Middle Eastern culture.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By paul hennig on June 22 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have been looking for a book on these wars written by someone with the dust of it on their boots,some one who has been in the streets, someone who has the eye and who can write and I found it with The Forever War and Filkins. It is terrific.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Brodie on Dec 10 2008
Format: Hardcover
Excellent book on the conflicts in Afganistan and Iraq. Filkins gives us a boots on the ground view of both the military side and civilian side of the war. It is definitely the best book I have read this year.
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