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No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah Paperback – September 26, 2006


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No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah + House to House: An Epic Memoir of War + Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (September 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553383191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553383195
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (198 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The most hard-fought campaign since the invasion of Iraq by coalition forces in April 2003, the battle for Fallujah seems here to embody most every facet of the American military experience in that country--inordinate courage by the fighting men and their immediate superiors, indecision and contradiction by U.S. leaders from the top down, a disconnect between military will to succeed in Iraq and a lack of dollars and troops to support it, and a treacherous relationship between Fallujans and those Americans who would do everything to "help" them. West, who coauthored The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the United States Marines (2003), does touch on the larger policy decisions made by U.S. leaders concerning Iraq but really only as they affect the soldiers trying to execute those decisions in Fallujah. Instead, West's focus is on the "frontline," putting the reader at the negotiating table with U.S. military commanders and Fallujan sheiks, imams, and rebel leaders; in the barracks; and on the street, fighting hand to hand, house to house, in some of the fiercest battles of the Fallujah campaign and the Iraq war. Appearing neither pro- nor antiwar, West simply delivers a remarkably detailed, vivid firsthand account of the American military experience, 2004-05, in a highly combustible part of Iraq. Alan Moores
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“While many other correspondents have ventured to the front lines in Iraq, few have stayed as long as West, or brought as much knowledge of military affairs to their work. The result is a book that … features amazing accounts of heroism, brutality, perseverance, and gallows humor.”—Max Boot, The Weekly Standard

"No True Glory is the gripping account of the valor of the Marines in the fiercest urban combat since Hue. Yet, the even-handed description of the vacillation regarding policy will likely please neither some of our senior officers nor the White House."—Former Secretary of Defense, James R. Schlesinger

"No True Glory is the best book on the U.S. military in Iraq to emerge so far."—Tom Ricks of The Washington Post

“The finest chronicle of the strategy behind battle and the fighting during battle that I've ever read!"—General Carl E. Mundy, former Commandant of the Marine Corps

"A remarkably detailed, vivid firsthand account of the American military experience…. West’s focus is on the “frontline,” putting the reader at the negotiating table with U.S. military commanders and Fallujan sheiks, imams, and rebel leaders; in the barracks; and on the street, fighting hand to hand, house to house, in some of the fiercest battles of the Fallujah campaign and the Iraq war."—Booklist

“West describes the fury of the fighting in Fallujah and Ramadi in a style that makes him part historian, part novelist — the grunts' Homer.”—LA Times Book Review

“West successfully brings the war back home in all its agonizing and illuminating detail. From the combat stories of those on the ground all the way up to the White House, West [is] uniquely placed to write a chronicle of the fight. The narrative truly shines."—The Christian Science Monitor

“Exhaustively reported...West paints a picture of highly capable Marines struggling to make the best of untenable political circumstances.”—Washington Post Book World


From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Very well written, easy to read and even has pictures.
SayThere
Bing West is the "real deal" and sets forth the compelling story of the Battle of Fallujah as only a Marine can do.
Gary D. Wilson
Thank you for this great account and god bless all the Warriors out there.
Ronald Stjean

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

157 of 161 people found the following review helpful By D. Roche on September 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The First and Second Battles of Fallujah, in April and October, 2004, represented the largest sustained US military engagement since the Battle of Hue over thirty years earlier in Vietnam. But just as the battles represented a landmark in terms of US military involvement in Iraq, the political and strategic landscape of the US position in the country was dramatically altered as a result of the campaign. No True Glory is a great overview of the battles and I would highly recommend it.

No True Glory provides a searing description of the fighting that destroyed that city, as well as an insightful and critical overview of the political and military decision- making that affected the outcome, and whose repercussions and lessons define Iraq today more than any other episode in the war.

The book outlines how The White House, senior generals and ambassadors ordered, then stopped, then re-ordered the attack upon Fallujah in April 2004, finally refusing to let the Marines finish the job at all. This occurred despite evidence that the Marines were close to clearing out the city. (Indeed, in less publicized battles in nearby Ramadi, the Marines had closed out an equally entrenched revolt. The major difference in Fallujah was international press coverage). Result: Fallujah became the stronghold of the insurgency and the Marines had to face a more entrenched and confident foe in October 2004. Fallujah provided a blueprint to the insurgents in the use of international political opinion to change the course of US military action.

The book also gives a clear insight into the challenges the US faces in pacifying the Sunni triangle, given the entrenched rebellion and the Sunni's fear of giving up control of Iraq.
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174 of 191 people found the following review helpful By TX Marine Mom on September 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have no literary critic's polished review to offer. My comments are based on pure emotion.

I was compelled to read this book--my son was there for the November 2004 campaign. He made it home, but my friend Sharon's son did not. I owe it these men and their brothers to understand as best I can. It is not something my son will discuss, and this is probably the most I'll ever know about his time there. Reading this book was painful. Despite crying my way through much of it, I couldn't put it down.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By T. C. Davies on October 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Not only does this book give you a grunt-eye view of the battles and fighting in the streets, it gives you that feeling of what the decision makers are going through as these young men fight and die for a higher calling.

I had yet to read a book that gave me the real story of how it is going and what we are doing. Mr. West has used his experiences as both a Marine and high government official to inform the reader of what is happening and why. A true hallmark of a well written book is that regardless of what side of this war you are on, this book would inform, enlighten and most importantly educate one on the facts.

What I knew in my heart but this book confirmed was the gross distortions not only the Arab viewers of Al J and Al A see but the even sadder distortions that millions of viewers of the BBC saw as these brave young men fought in Fallujah. If just one British person that thinks the Marines slaughtered the innocents in Fallujah reads this book he will realize the distortion he has been subjected too.

Every person in any Coalition government that is involved with Iraq should read this book.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. Wasito on October 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I served in the Marines in the early 1990s, and worked for some of the individuals described in this book, including Col John Toolan and Maj Gen James Mattis. This book does a terrific job on many levels, but one of the best things is to get a close-up description of these key individuals under the stress of combat. Toolan comes across as a guy who is always up front with his Marines, level headed, decisive. Mattis is a officer who embodies the fighting spirit of the Marines under his command. In West's previous book, The March Up, the signature moment for Mattis is when a group of Marines attack past his humvee, which is out front. One of the Marines stops, breathing heavily. Mattis offers him some water from his hummer. The Marine clasps Mattis on the shoulder, and says, "thanks man." In this book, Mattis' signature moment may be when he is late to a meeting of other generals due to his detour to help fight an ambush with the two light armored vehicles that he is travelling in. That's General Mattis.

This book is superbly written and researched. It presents a balanced and incisive view of the operation in and around Fallujah during OIF2. Along with The March Up, West has established himself as the premiere chronicler of Marine Operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom I and II. Taken together with his previous works (The Village and The Pepperdogs), his body of work covers over 3 decades, and may end where it started -- in Small Wars types of operations in a counterinsurgency.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By David N. Thielen on May 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This tells the story of the American battles in Falluja - all 3 of them. And it gives the full background around them, why the first was stopped, why the second was rushed and then stopped, and why the third one was finally approved.

This is probably the best example of the problem with trying to bring peace and sanity to Iraq. All of the major problems are here in this microcosm.

You see what happens to those Iraqis who try to step forward to make Iraq a better place and why those that want death and anarchy win. You see how politics, both U.S. and Iraqi have a gigantic impact on what can be done and when.

And you see how the Marines have to then take the fight to the insurgents and how horrible and bloddy that is.

What is really interesting about this is the book is written by an ex-Marine and Regean assistant secretary of defense. And he clearly has great respect for the Marines and for what the U.S. is trying to accomplish in Iraq.

But at the same time, he writes in a very even-handed manner and it leaves you with a feeling of hopelessness. Yes with significant Marine casualties the U.S. can take any city. But what is left is a ruin and the cost for accomplishing it is so very high.

It will definitely leave you trying to figure out if the battle (the last one) was worth it. And wondering how out of all this, any success is possible.
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