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War Hardcover – May 13 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd; Canadian First edition (May 13 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554685540
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554685547
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #146,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"If you thought you knew what the Afghanistan war was like, Sebastian Junger brings a jolt of reality that leaves you questioning whether the war can, or even should, be won. This is frontline, raw, combat reporting the quality of which you don't often read, because quite frankly, most war reporters never see it. Junger has and he doesn't hold back in the telling."
-Peter Mansbridge ()

About the Author

Sebastian Junger is the New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Storm, A Death in Belmont and Fire. He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, and has been awarded a National Magazine Award and an SAIS Novartis Prize for journalism. He lives in New York City.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Junger has done a masterful job of telling the 'boots-on-the-ground' story in Afghanistan. He gives us the true brother-in-arms picture, not easy to relate until you've been a member of the brotherhood. The first three-quarters of the book builds a full and complete vision of the daily encounters with the enemy, the personal deprivations arising in an unforgiving land, the occasional boredom between firefights, and the tactical abilities of the Taliban. It's not until the latter part of the story that we begin to hear some of Junger's mental, emotional and olitical impressions. Those thoughts are both revealing and frank and I found them easy to believe, as well as agree with what were personal opinions.

Since the book included some materials previously published in Vanity Fair, some sections were repeated in more than one place within the book, something I found a bit annoying. other than that, it's going to be an important record of that time.

This is a great read, both intimate and frightening. It serves as an important source of facts about our front- line warriors and the horrors they face for us.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sebastian Junger has given us a rare look at the realities of combat in the first decade of the 21st century. This picture is not one of full-scale war between major powers but that of the grinding counter-insurgency fighting that marks this era. This form of warfare demands a constant courage from the soldiers involved and Jungers shows us how these young soldiers respond, day by day, week by week. Junger is a rare journalist who volunteered to share the discomfort and danger with these men in a remote Afghan valley, revealing the power of comradeship in sustaining courage and fighting spirit. This book should become a classic in the study of combat psychology and among those books which have attempted to discover the sources of courage while under fire.Courage Rewarded: The Valour of Canadian Soldiers Under Fire 1900 to 2007, Firing Line,The Anatomy of Courage: The Classic WWI Study of the Psychological Effects of War
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Format: Hardcover
"And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life." -- 1 Kings 15:6 (NKJV)

Sebastian Junger's War is the most chilling nonfiction book I've read about 21st Century war. Whether you favor or oppose American military involvement in Afghanistan, you need to read this book to understand the nature of what violence is being waged there.

The combat units that Mr. Junger describes are in essence sitting ducks, located deep in "enemy" territory where a single sniper located higher up in the hills can wreak havoc on the military outposts. Once an engagement starts, the Americans can bring in overwhelming fire power, but there's a delay before it arrives. In the meantime, the pinned down troops can blast away . . . probably not doing much damage but at least forcing others to keep their heads down. The effect is similar whether it's a local boy hired to fire a couple of shots for $5 and then take off or whether it's the beginning of a serious assault. Fear goes through the roof. Men die. Deep bonding occurs among the survivors. Combat teamwork improves. Gradually, it becomes a preferred way of life. That's probably the most surprising message of this book. Terrifying combat becomes something to be sought out for its highs.

Mr. Junger balances a riveting tale with many valuable perspectives on how frightening it is, crossing the accustomed barrier into being someone who kills, and the deep love that develops among comrades.

It's a lot to ask of anyone to serve in such perilous conditions. It's more than doing your duty and risking your life. It's taking on a life that you may not be able to put down, even if you survive.

Thank God for the brave warriors who have taken up these seemingly overwhelming duties so we can be safer. The next time you see someone in an armed forces uniform, be sure to thank them for their service and ask about what they have been doing in a caring way.
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By Len TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 23 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sebastian Junger's book "War" is a memoir of his experiences with the Second Platoon of Battle Company during their tour of duty in the very violent Korengal Valley in Afghanistan between June of 2007 and June of 2008. It's an interesting journalistic choice where he makes no attempt at objectivity. Mr. Junger develops a personal relationship with the men of the Second Platoon that he is not adverse to describe his affection. His war is one where young men discover profound meaning in their every action which is a stark contrast to their lives back home. War is filled with boredom and adrenalin rushes that have no comparison in civilian life. When one of the men on leave in Italy is asked if he would return to one of the most dangerous outposts in the war, he reponds, "I'd take a helicopter there tomorrow. Most of us would." The soldiers' commitment in battle is not to their country or a cause. It is to each other for whom they will sacrifice their own life to save. "War's" strengths are also its weaknesses. By speaking in the first person, we feel Mr. Junger's love and affection for these young men through their fears and exploits and most specifically, their comradery. Yet, I would have liked to learn more about the men. What made them tick? Why did they sign up? What's their back-story? Nevertheless, his approach is interesting and definitely worth the relatively short read. His story brings up the larger question of what society is going to do with a growing population of unemployed young men searching for meaning in their lives. Surely, there's a better alternative than war.
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