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HOUSE TO HOUSE: A TALE OF MODERN WAR Paperback – 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Staff sergeant Bellavia's account of the fierce 2004 fighting in Fallujah will satisfy readers who like their testosterone undiluted. Portraying himself as a hard-bitten, foul-mouthed, superbly trained warrior, deeply in love with America and the men in his unit, contemptuous of liberals and a U.S. media that fails to support soldiers fighting in the front lines of the global war on terror, Bellavia begins with a nasty urban shootout against Shiite insurgent militias. Six months later, his unit prepares to assault the massively fortified city of Fallujah in a ferocious battle that takes up the rest of the book. Anyone expecting an overview of strategy or political background to the war has picked the wrong book. Bellavia writes a precise, hour-by-hour account of the fighting, featuring repeated heroic feats and brave sacrifice from Americans but none from the enemy, contemptuously dismissed as drug-addled, suicidal maniacs. Readers will encounter a nuts-and-bolts description of weapons, house-to-house tactics, gallantry and tragic mistakes, culminating with a glorious victory that, in Bellavia's view, will go down in history with the invasion of Normandy. Like a pitch-by-pitch record of a baseball game, this detailed battle description will fascinate enthusiasts and bore everyone else. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Staff Sgt. Bellavia brings it. This is life in the infantry, circa right now. They used to say that the real war will never get in the books. Here it does, stunningly. You may not agree with it, or like what he has to say. Read it anyway -- and then sit silently for an hour or so and contemplate what he has done on behalf of his country."
-- Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq and Making the Corps
"Like St. Mihiel, Normandy, Inchon, and Khe Sanh before it, Fallujah is one of the most horrific and hard-fought battles in U.S. history. SSG David Bellavia's riveting, poignant, and at times even humorous firsthand account vividly emphasizes why this battle must never be forgotten. And why, because of the breathtaking courage of Bellavia and his fellow troops, it was won."
-- Andrew Carroll, editor of War Letters and Behind the Lines
"David Bellavia shows us the stairways and alleys of Fallujah through the sights of his M-4. Politics and strategy are impossible luxuries for the combat infantryman, but Bellavia writes about even bigger themes: courage, fear, brotherhood, and duty. This is a humbling story, brilliantly told."
-- Nathaniel Fick, author of One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer
"A hair-raising tale of men in battle. House to House is about as raw and real as it gets."
-- Evan Thomas, author of Sea of Thunder
"House To House is a terrifically realistic account of the hardest kind of combat known to man. Staff Sergeant Bellavia puts you right there with his men as they see it. This is a must read."
-- Gunnery Sgt. Jack Coughlin, USMC (Ret.), author of Shooter: The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper
"Bellavia is the legend from Iraq. He went house-to-house in Fallujah killing the terrorists -- alone! MUST reading for all grunts."
-- Bing West, author of No True Glory
"House to House is a charged and honestly stark view down the rifle-sights of an infantryman during a crucial period in Iraq. Ballavia is our man with boots on the ground. To read this book is to know intimately the daily grind and danger of men at war."
-- Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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This account should be a classic, illuminating not only his experience, or even that of his war, but of soldiers in all modern wars. He covers literally every moment and thought through a graceful read. And although Bellavia had some help with a veteran writer, Bruning, I can hear Bellavia in every sentence.
I have read reviews that debunk this book for immature writing, foul language, lack of believability, and disrespect for military order/rank. To me these reviews are missing the mark completely - this book is not trying to be anything other than what it is: a MEMOIR of war. The experiences of one man as he interprets and recounts them. I cannot commend this book enough as it offers an unfiltered and unmolested look into the mind, heart, and soul of a courageous human being experiencing extreme conditions and situations that would rock the very sanity of most people. He has laid bare his core for the reader to understand, empathize, and critique. By doing so, he demonstrates his incredible courage yet again.
My fiancé's infantry unit replaced SSG Bellavia's in Iraq in 2008. The stories he shared with me were so alien that I could hardly relate to or comprehend them. SSG Bellavia's detailed account of his experiences has helped me personally to grow stronger and begin to understand the trials of modern warfare. For that, I cannot thank him enough.