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Publishers Weekly, June 25, 2007
“This cynical but appealing memoir by a lieutenant in the elite 101st Airborne recounts his unpleasant times fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. After a quick review of his youth (shy, smart, dreaming of glory), Friedman describes his unit's deployment to Afghanistan after 9/11 to fight the Taliban. Its mission turns out to be guarding an air base, four months of demoralizing boredom followed by urgent orders into battle. The result is an exhausting 11-hour march high into freezing mountains, where the soldiers arrive as the fighting ends. A year later, as American forces invade Iraq in March 2003, Friedman's unit advances almost to Baghdad without encountering resistance but yearning to fight. There follows three months of dull occupation duty until, to everyone's horror, a grenade kills two soldiers on patrol, and the insurgency begins. The author accepts that America needed to fight in Afghanistan, but can't fathom why we invaded Iraq. He does not re-enlist. Given the public's waning support for the war in Iraq, Friedman's voice is likely to be heard by sympathetic ears.”
Army/Navy/Marine Corps/Air Force Times, Nov. 3, 2007
“Friedman’s take is vivid, frank, precise, and dramatic. Currently a contributor to the Daily Kos blog, Friedman served as an officer in Afghanistan and Iraq – but his being served ouzo in Greece is the book’s dramatic zenith, a tense account in which he successfully evokes feelings of being entrapped, of being duped, of being near harm. These feelings illustrate the effect of war and politics on one veteran fresh off the lines.”
The Viginian-Pilot, Dec. 2, 2007
“A candid, timely combat memoir … Well-written by an intellectual man, this book recalls classics such as Goodbye Darkness, The Coldest War, With the Old Breed, and countless others. Friedman offers frank descriptions and commentary about the incongruity of daily events, the deadly cruelty of an implacable enemy, and the terrible accidents that plague any large operation.”
Outstanding description of the 101st Airborne 3rd BDE activities in OIF1Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
One of the best books I've read about the early days of the Iraq war.Published 10 months ago by Testudo
Another view that we don't often get to see. It shows how hard it can be to be in conflict and leave it. But it doesn't leave you.Published 10 months ago by R. Dunkle
It somewhat reminds me of what I thought about WW 2 as a Jr highschool kid and what we thought war should be like. Korea taught us what war was really llike. Read morePublished 11 months ago by George A. Demas