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War Audio CD – May 2010
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Riveting . . . Junger experiences everything [the soldiers] 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. "Publishers Weekly
The latest flexing of journalistic muscle from Vanity Fair contributor Junger . . . The author dives into the most perilous form of immersion journalism, attempting to create an unflinching account of frontline combat. The prototype of this approach is Michael Herr's peerless Dispatches (1977), a thoroughly unsentimental, grunt-level view of the Vietnam War's bloodiest years. Yet if Junger's dispatches from the fighting in Afghanistan solidify anything, it's that war American-style hasn't evolved much in the decades since Herr's book . . . As in The Perfect Storm (1997), Junger blends popular science, psychology and history with a breathlessly paced narrative . . . Harrowing. "Kirkus"" --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Sebastian Junger is the "New York Times" bestselling author of The Perfect Storm and "A Death in Belmont." 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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Follows soldiers for over a year as they fight, shares things they do and the places they go. Quick easy read. Can feel the bullets fly by, life can be lost so easily. Swearing. Read morePublished 7 months ago by ellison
Brilliant. Junger sets out to put the reader in the middle of war, to try to understand what life is really like for soldiers and what motivates them. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Sean McCullough
The author manages to convey something of what it was like to fight in Afghanistan and gives an excellent analysis of why young men perform so well in an increasingly unpopular... Read morePublished on Nov. 27 2013 by kendai
The 13th Valley set in Afghanistan. Recommend to all comfortable Americans. Junger does it again. The politicians that send them should definitely read this.Published on May 4 2013 by snort
When I finished reading this book I lingered on the final words the author had to say to one of the soldiers he was embedded with in Aghanistan: "You got me there, O'Byrne; you got... Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2011 by Cynthia Danute Cekauskas, LCSW
It has been incredibly difficult to find meaning in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan at the political, strategic, and tactical levels. Read morePublished on July 28 2011 by Jeffrey Swystun