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War Nerd Paperback – July 1, 2008


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War Nerd + The Exile: Sex, Drugs, and Libel in the New Russia
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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 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Haiti is a mess because they all love voodoo.
Declan Hill
Brecher writes in a breezy, opinionated style, but one that's ultimately shallow and off-putting, which I would summarize as "War is swell!".
J. B Kraft
In the current era of ceaseless war, this is a book every informed citizen should read.
Jason Dowd

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By D. Halliday on August 5, 2008
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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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Steven E. Martin on May 7, 2008
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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By D. Watt on May 8, 2008
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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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jason Dowd on May 8, 2008
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Boyd on March 21, 2009
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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Damocles on May 16, 2008
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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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jan frel on May 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
You can send your son to college and burn $150K, or you can spend less than $20 and give him all the education he needs about world history and human nature. No joke.
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