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Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War Hardcover – September 25, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 646 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“A story of men at their best and at their worst . . . leaves you gaping in admiration at Medal of Honor winner Dakota Meyer’s courage.”National Review
“Meyer’s dazzling bravery wasn’t momentary or impulsive but deliberate and sustained.”The Wall Street Journal
“[A] cathartic, heartfelt account . . . Combat memoirs don’t get any more personal.”Kirkus Reviews
“A great contribution to the discussion of an agonizingly complex subject.”The Virginian-Pilot
Black Hawk Down meets Lone Survivor.Library Journal

Into the Fire is a deeply compelling tale of valor and duty.  Dakota Meyer will not identify as a hero, but he will, I think, accept the title warrior.  Dakota's storytelling is precise and, for a Medal of Honor recipient, touchingly humble.  With deft prose he drops us smack in the middle of one of the most heinous small unit firefights of the current wars.  His insights into military tactics and politics in a war zone are sharp and uncompromising and work as a primer on infantry war fighting for the uninitiated.  Dakota was a magnificent marine and he is now an equally magnificent chronicler of warfare and the small group of people who do today's fighting for America.”—Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead

“The story of what Dakota did . . . will be told for generations.”—President Barack Obama, from remarks given at Meyer’s Medal of Honor ceremony

“Sergeant Meyer embodies all that is good about our nation’s Corps of Marines. . . . [His] heroic actions . . . will forever be etched in our Corps’ rich legacy of courage and valor.”—General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps
“[Bing] West’s greatest strengths are his exceptional personal courage and his experienced perception of combat.”The Washington Post
“West [is] the grunts’ Homer.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review

About the Author

Dakota Meyer was born and raised in Columbia, Kentucky, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2006. A school-trained sniper and highly skilled infantryman, Corporal Meyer deployed to Iraq in 2007 and to Afghanistan in 2009. In 2011, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his unyielding courage in the battle of Ganjigal. He now competes at charity events in skeet and rifle competitions. He also speaks frequently at schools and veterans’ events to raise awareness of our military and remains dedicated to the causes of our veterans. For the families of fallen troops, he has raised over one million dollars.
Bing West, a Marine combat veteran, served as an assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration. He has been on hundreds of patrols in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. A nationally acclaimed war correspondent, he is the author of The Village; No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah; The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq; and The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, West has received the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation award, the Colby Award for military nonfiction, the Veterans of Foreign Wars News Media Award, and the Marine Corps University Foundation’s Russell Leadership Award. He lives with his wife, Betsy, in Newport, Rhode Island.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (September 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812993403
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812993400
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (646 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Chris Jaronsky TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A few things are apparent when reading this book. Sergeant Dakota Meyer was intensely dedicated to those he lived and fought with. The Ganjigal Valley is a bad, bad place. And those in command of providing support for these brave fighting men were hugely negligent in their duties to provide artillery and air support.

Sergeant Meyer is the first living Marine in three decades to be awarded the Medal of Honor. While most people think of that award as a huge achievement and acknowledgement of his actions, Dakota Meyer thinks of that day as the worst day of his life. He was not looking for an award, he was looking to rescue his teammates that were trapped in a ferocious battle. A battle he was repeatedly ordered not to engage in because the danger was so great. Orders he eventually disobeyed, and went to find his team.

The battle scenes are intense. There are dozens of times in Ginjigal where Dakota should have died. He made multiple trips in and out of the battlefield searching for his team and in the process saved many wounded Afghan soldiers by pulling them into his vehicle, or carrying them out of dangerous situations, with total disregard for his own safety.

Dakota Meyer was running from body to body trying to help. At one point he was recovering a dead Afghan soldier when an insurgent with an AK-47 approached and tried to kill him. Dakota's only action was to fire his 40MM grenade launcher directly into the insurgents chest at a distance so close the grenade was not able to arm itself. The grenade hit the insurgent's body armor and knocked him down giving Dakota enough time to close the distance and start wrestling with this man. He was finally able to finish him off with a rock.
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Format: Hardcover
It's not very often that you allow yourself to be gripped by something that makes you feel as if you're in the trenches of war yourself. Dakota and Bing have a way of pulling you in, of making you feel skin on skin in combat. I could feel the blood on my own shoulder, taste the sweat in my own mouth.
Dakota Meyer is truly a hero. Not only in his actions on the battlefield, not only because he disobeyed his team leaders orders and went in to save his team but also in his honest, heart felt depiction of the details in such touching words that the picture is clearly drawn for me.
We don't realize that in war, it's not what we see in the movies. There isn't always a master plan and no one really has a right answer. There is a chain of command. People die. And everyone's human. You will be haunted by your decisions for the rest of your life and if you're lucky, you survive to tell the story.
My hat's off to Dakota and all the other many heroes that fight for my freedom today, yesterday and every day to come.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bing West's latest book, co-written with Dakota Meyers, is an extraordinary account of one man's act of supreme heroism in the face of certain death -- told in a matter of fact way that doesn't resort to the sensationalism of some other recent military books. While the particular circumstances may make your blood boil and the risks Mr. Meyers willingly takes may make your skin crawl, this depiction of a regular Marine's life before, during and after this amazing episode should make us all realize that there are many, many heroes in uniform fighting for us and making the ultimate sacrifice every day. We owe them our undying gratitude and steadfast support upon their return.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I had the privilege of meeting Dakota while he was a student in Marine Sniper school in Hawaii. At the time none of us had any idea just what these young Marines were capable of. In his account of the Battle at Gangigal, you'll read just what being an American fighting man and US Marine are all about. The book takes you through his upbringing in KY, his family and friends and boot camp, training, sniper school and a tour in Iraq before volunteering to serve with a small advisory team. You need to read it yourself to hear the actual story in his words but it is quite amazing. His dedication, his honor and bravery and struggles he will have the rest of his life. Dakota is a true American hero and I am thankful he told his incredible story. Embedded in this story are the frustrations every American on the front line of the war in Afghanistan feel. The stupid rules of engagement that cost lives, the encroaching political correctness that is costing life after life on the front lines while the higher ups play war on TV screens. Thank you Dakota ... may the Lord bless you the rest of your life!
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Format: Hardcover
This is an incredible book. Intense read, very hard to put down and he brings you right into the battle with him and his men. He is a true Marine. Marines have a special bond with each other, but they also have a certain blood and that they will do anything and whatever it takes! He is certainly doing his team Proud each and everyday and as Dakota says himself, it's "For Those Who Gave All" for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice! This is a book that Everyone should read. Not just those who are in the military or have family or friends in the military, but anyone in the United States of America where our Freedom is protected by them and anyone in support of what these brave men and women do for us each day. This was one of the most horrific battles in 2009 and it's battles like this one where lives were lost and hearts were wrenched. We did not hear about this much or see it on the news - but in this book we learn about the story of these men, the bond they shared, their bravery and the ultimate sacrifice. Dakota, you went above and beyond for your men. It was an honor to read this book and because of you,These men will Not be Forgotten.
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