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A torrent of Internet blogs has poured from U.S. forces overseas, providing a unique view of our wars. Retired officer and blogger Burden does not claim this collection of extracts represents a cross section of what's available, nor does he disguise his biases. All the officers in the book are competent; all the enlisted men and women are brave; and all the husbands love their wives and vice versa. Every writer supports America's war aims, admires the President, despises enemy fighters (generally referred to as terrorists) and holds a low opinion of Americans who oppose the war (generally referred to as liberals). The best (if sometimes troublesome) selections relate personal experiences: a woman trucker is severely wounded; a tanker fights his way into Fallujah, enthusiastically describing the men he kills; a base commander fires an obstreperous Iraqi employee. More literary efforts are less successful, with several wince-inducing attempts at poetic battlefield imagery. Tributes to fallen comrades often fall into mawkishness. Burden warns that unfettered war blogging may soon disappear under the heavy hand of military censorship, but if our leaders are worried about criticism of their policies, Burden's book will reassure them.
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Vietnam has often been called the "first television war." In a similar way, the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan might be viewed as the "first Internet war." That is, for the first time, Internet bloggers are having a significant impact in shaping the public perception of the planning and conduct of an ongoing war. Many of those bloggers are pundits or pseudopundits who have never been in harm's way. But Burden, a veteran who has served with Special Operations and intelligence units, provides a glimpse into a new form of war literature, the military blog. Previously, war letters, diaries, and memoirs were published long after the actual experience of the writers. Burden, a blogger himself, has selected observations of ordinary men and women written and sent in real time as they endure the cauldron of war. Some of the writings are mundane, but there are also chilling descriptions of surviving a mortar attack and attempting to save the life of a severely wounded Iraqi. This collection is an excellent introduction to an emerging form of war reporting. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
As an original Blackfive.net reader, having been serving in Iraq when Matt Burden started B5, I was gratified to see all those terrific testimonials and essays together in one... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Morris Hayes
As a civilian, I was deeply touched by the insight and passion of each of these stories. There is such a level of sacrifice for each other and for what this Country stands for... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Shana Lyn
The military experience he fumbles in explaining does not meet my military experience nor reality. It is a pity that he is so bitter in this book and soooooo boring. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Dan
Until the military basically got rid of every blog, soldiers and their families were writing about the experiences of being at war or witnesses to war. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Arizona Reader
Accurate description of the book's condition. Amazing material and content enabling the reader to engage is something that they would not otherwise wise be able to as a common... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Tim
This is one of the truest forms of what war & it's consequences do to our men & women on the frontlines... as well as our future generations causes. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Susan Sitton
I pre-ordered this book before it was compiled by Blackfive & published as a paperback in 2006. I had daily read almost all these bloggers "live" -- as they wrote from... Read morePublished 23 months ago by AngieF
Each of these brave service men put it all out there, Their love of family and country are clear and as a retired military member stationed overseas during Desert Storm, each of... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Peggy Russell
ok why would I want to keep writing writing and writing while all I wanted to say is good. strange.Published on November 28, 2012 by Amazon Customer