The impetus for this memoir is the military hearing U.S. marine Pantano underwent in 2004 for the alleged murders of two Iraqi insurgents during a raid in Al Anbar (chronicled in a New York
magazine cover story and featured on NBC Dateline
). What is initially fascinating about Pantano's story is how 9/11 galvanized him. His first reaction after seeing the smoke and debris choking streets in Manhattan was to run to his barber and get a military haircut. Pantano had been a marine in Desert Storm but then morphed into a commodities trader and the founder of an interactive TV think tank. The core of his book is how 9/11 re-upped the semper-fi side of his identity. Although there is far too much initial background on family and upbringing, the heart of the book, which shuttles from Pantano's experiences in Iraq and the Article 32 hearing into the accusation that he committed premeditated murder, is suspenseful and involving. Pantano provides firsthand accounts not only of the marine ethos and the fighting in Iraq but also of the media pile-on during his hearing and the machinations of military lawyers. Although choosing to tell his story in book form necessitates too much padding--this might have been better as a lengthy magazine article--there is still lots to like here: good courtroom drama, excellent war reporting, and absorbing psychology. Connie FletcherCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"The writing is riveting...the message timeless.... Put it at the top of your reading list."
-- Michelle Malkin, New York Times
-- The Weekly Standard
"Suspenseful and involving.... Good courtroom drama, excellent war reporting, and absorbing psychology."
--This text refers to the