Comments (15)Add a Comment
Excellent book on what the combat foot soldier in Afghanistan goes through. After reading the book I can understand why so many of the soldiers have a hard time fitting back into any kind of what we may consider a normal type of life. Recommended reading for any one thinking about joining the military.
There are three classic books about war. " WW2 " by James Jones. " Dispatches " by Michael Herr. And this one. Drop everything and get this book now!
Gripping, thoughtful, detailed, provocative, and interesting are just some of the words that describe this book. The men in our military are amazing
I'm as far removed from the experience of a combat infantry soldier as you can get, and I found this extremely moving and riveting. Sebastian Junger doesn't romanticize the battles and firefights in the Korengal, or the men of Battle Company leading that fight, the special group dubbed the tip of the spear for the front in Afghanistan, and yet I couldn't help but see nobility in all of it. Most of this is because of the strong sense of purpose and loyalty among the soldiers he documents. It made my civilian life, by comparison, feel petty and shallow. Out there, in a frontline firefight, there is no patriotism or politics or religion. None of that matters. What makes you keep going everyday, even as you sit on the razor edge of existence, is a love so strong for your fellow soldier you are willing to do anything to protect him and overcome any terror of death. Dying is the least of your concerns. Letting a member of your team die is the end of the world.
I don't want to do what these guys do; I can't do what these guys do. And I would prefer to live in a world where we didn't have to deploy these young men to these treacherous places and experience such violence. And yet I have so much respect for what these guys do and what they let us do to them as a society by deploying them to these places. Respect.
Junger's writing in War is steely-eyed and rich with accurate detail. Objective where it counts but never sterile. An eye-opening read for all us civvies.
Top-rate journalism from an observer who spends a considerable amount of time with men in the most dangerous part of Afghanistan. Junger hasn't tried to write about the politics of the situation. He simply describes, to great effect, what these soldiers are enduring, what motivates them, and what they feel. It's rather shock to learn that the larger objectives of winning/losing, whatever that means in this context, has little interest for these guys.
Great book, easy read because it's written so well. This is as close as a civilian can get to modern day combat. Read this before watching Restrepo and that film will mean a whole lot more. I agree completely with emkeller's comment. Really made me think about returning soldiers in our community and the antiquated system trying to "support" them. Also agree that this should be required reading.
When you consider how few of us are asked to bear the burden of war today, this should probably be required reading. We have such a civil-military split that eventually exacerbates the difficulty of soldiers returning to civilian life. If we better understood these experiences, the adrenaline, the crushing boredom, the comraderie, the sacrifice, we might set aside some of our more reactive political platitudes and instead, listen to our soldiers.
When I think of war I think of the history books of the World Wars and D-day and tiny men with tiny moustaches and endless dates and numbers and statistics and two bombs, one little, one fat.
I think of Vietnam and the protests and the vets of that era I have known and do know, and the ones I see from my car window on street corners of PTSD and addiction and limited resources.
I think of the Gulf War as some sort of passing mini-series or dysfunctional infomercial on TV during middle school and the horrible way the word ‘Scud’ made me feel.
For a long time I tried to not think about war.
Then one day, out of the blue, I realized how many friends and coworkers I had that had been a part of the war we’ve been in for over a decade now.
While I was protesting they were voluntarily enlisting. It was this thought that spurred a fascination with what it meant to be a soldier and how it felt to be a soldier in combat.
Junger's book is an excellent resource for getting a glimpse into this reality that many of us will never have to endure. It focuses not on battles or dates, but on the soldiers and their experiences, their brotherhood, and their lifestyle while away. The book is broken into three equal sections of Fear, Killing, and Love; a strange yet oddly fitting trio.
Junger offers an intense account of his time embedded with the men of the Second Platoon of Battle Company in Afghanistan. For those who haven't experienced combat and never will, there's little to do but marvel at the courage of the men he describes and the unflinching glimpse he offers us into their lives.
Sebastian Junger's "War" is based on his experiences following a single American Infantry platoon in Eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border for Vanity Fair magazine, done in 5 trips to Afghanistan over a period of 15 months. Junger's book is an observation and a contemplation, in which he describes a group of young men who find themselves at the outward edges of a war, becoming more cohesive with every firefight, but inevitably slipping away from any semblance of what society considers "normal". It is also an often fascinating social and psychological study of group dynamics, in which all purpose for being in the end boils down to the protection and preservation of the collective. Evoking both Michael Herr's writings on the Vietnam war and maybe just a bit of Sgt.Rock, "War" is a fascinating and thoughtful work that had me stopping to ponder and nodding in agreement.
I like the way Sebastian Junger writes. It is a mixture of scientific observation with deep emotional understanding.
The book provides unedited insight into the realities of American ground soldiers in one isolated valley deep in Afghanistan.
Excellent read for anyone interested in the psychology of how and why soldiers go about their business.
Title should really be Combat, since war has so many layers of political, social, cultural implications.
Junger writes as a journalist, deeply embedded in the lives of American soldiers in the front lines of the Afghanistan war, in a remote valley on the Pakistan border.
The prose is clean, clear, compelling and thoroughly convincing.
This book will become a classic.
I suspect the associated movie 'Restrepo' would have greater impact, but the book does provide insight into that horrible war over in Afghanistan
This book should be considered one of the classic studies of men at war. Most importantly, it gives a revealing picture of the experience of combat at the grunt's level in the 21st century.
This is an absolutely fantastic book - very real, gritty and person view of war. Junger cuts out the politics and focuses on the soldiers who are out fighting for us.