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War Nerd Paperback – July 1, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979663687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979663680
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #666,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Don't be deceived by the toilet humour, crudity and sweeping generalisations: this is a highly entertaining book with Brecher's observations on everything from the fashion choices of West African warlords to the conflict resolution style of Pakistani taxi drivers far more amusing than any serious comedy.

Certainly, this is just a collection of essays already available on the internet but besides the benefit of being printed in book form, this also gives the author and editor the opportunity to concentrate on what they judge the most important and worthwhile of Brecher's writings.

I found this book valuable for the following reasons:

Brecher's several page summaries of the bigger and more interesting Third World wars of the past few decades which generally receive so little attention in the West, despite containing some surprising omissions (for example writing dozens of pages on ethnic conflict in South East Asia without mentioning the overwhelming Chinese economic dominance in many of these countries), provide a superficial sketch of these conflicts for minimal reader effort (but don't expect rigorous references or justification).

Brecher's analysis of the nature of warfare itself and how it's changed since the end of the Cold War is very interesting: how Western military doctrines have not always yet caught up, particularly in regard to Iraq, Afghanistan and how the USA is potentially wasting much of its vast defence budget.

Brecher's understanding of the nature of typical ethnic relations (conflict rather than harmony) is essentially common sense to anyone with the capability of independent thought who pays attention to current affairs but apparently not yet recognised by the political class who runs Western societies or the media class who back them.

If you're interested in the rest of the world outside of the West, if you're interested in military conflict, this book is a worthwhile read.
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Format: Paperback
Sure, of course this is a mere collection of the Exile columns but I'm just tickled pink to be able to read these things in old school print and in a form where I can pass along the book to friends and enemies. Brecher's analysis of current events is not only frighteningly accurate but his writing is fit inducing hilarious. Buy this book. Often.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I too have been a fan of War Nerd from his work on the Exile, and I bought this sucker because he deserves some payback for all I've gotten out of him. I have found book form to be even more enjoyable, as I can now get my fill of bitter cynicism from the comfort of my couch and show others his work.

The first thing that struck me about Brecher's writing is that he doesn't sugarcoat it with nonsense. His brand of objective analysis is a breath of fresh air in a world of dogma and propaganda raining down on us from the airwaves 24/7. Any time I start getting suspicious when the official AP article seems incomplete or filled with logical gaps, I can rely on Brecher to eventually get around to explaining the story under the surface. And best of all, he does it in a way that's both understandable and entertaining - the most effective way to get your point across. In nice little article-sized cuts I've even gotten non-readers to get some information through their thick skulls with this book.

His level of cynicism is entirely appropriate for assessing our most crappy and stupid of human habits, war. Straight to the point and not prone to half-baked theories and wishful thinking, I consistently walk away having learned something new from an angle I hadn't considered before. His articles inform and make you think, and I wager some gung-ho types could really stand to read his descriptions of what war is mostly really about.

I will be vastly saddened the day he finally keels over of a massive heart attack at the ripe age of 46.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While it's just a collection of his columns at the eXile, I'm very pleased to give Brecher a little bit of money in return for all the entertainment he's given me over the years.
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Format: Paperback
I've learned a vast amount about warfare -- both modern and ancient -- from Gary. His insights have given me the power to see through the BS constantly spewed at us by the media and an administration that obviously know far less about warfare than he does.

His unapologetic cold bloodedness and complete lack of candy coating the harsh realities of warfare are incredibly refreshing.

In the current era of ceaseless war, this is a book every informed citizen should read.

And when the revolution comes, this is the man we'll need planning our battles.
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Format: Paperback
The War Nerd is a fun read, but it's important to keep some perspective. It's meant as entertainment, and while there are often some amusing and interesting insights, it should not be taken as gospel. Much of it is exaggerated for comic effect, and plenty of facts or counterpoints routinely go unmentioned. It's tongue in cheek, with the most serious research being whatever you'd find here and there on the internet.

It is entertaining, fairly well written and novel...But take it with more than an pinch of salt, and realize that the author has his own biases.
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Format: Paperback
Gary Brecher is up there with 10 or 15 other great American essayists of all time. Since he's running roughshod over our particular cultural taboos, that makes him pretty much the funniest guy out there, for us.

If you're not familiar with his schtick, you don't know what it is, and you should know. If you're already a war nerd fanatic, some of the essays are distinct enough to stand as alternate versions, but relatively similar. Essays also should have been dated, Brecher is one of the few literary geniuses unaware people are going to be reading his stuff in 100 years, and he tends to speak "in the moment," on in-the-news matters, making the arrangement of essays chronologically problematic. Still essential reading though, for debunking the Victorian nonsense of our times, liberal and conservative.

"The iconoclast proves enough when he proves by his blasphemy that this or that idol is defectively convincing - that at least one visitor to the shrine is left full of doubts. The liberation of the human mind has been best furthered by gay fellows who heaved dead cats into sanctuaries and then went roistering down the highways of the world, proving to all men that doubt, after all, was safe - that the god in the sanctuary was a fraud. One horse-laugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms."

-- H.L. Mencken
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