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Lone Survivor: The Incredible True Story of Navy SEALs Under Siege Paperback – January 16, 2014
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About the Author
Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell joined the United States Navy in March 1999, became a combat-trained Navy SEAL in January 2002, and has served in Afghanistan and Iraq. He lives in Texas. Patrick Robinson is known for his best-selling US Navy-based novels and his autobiography of Admiral Sir Sandy Woodward, One Hundred Days, was an international bestseller. He lives in England and spends his summers in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where he and Luttrell wrote Lone Survivor. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From The Washington Post
If you're looking for a true story that showcases both American heroism and Afghani humanity, Marcus Luttrell's Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 (Little, Brown, $24.99), written with Patrick Robinson, may be the book for you. In June of 2005, Luttrell led a four-man team of Navy SEALs into the mountains of Afghanistan on a mission to kill a Taliban leader thought to be allied with Osama bin Laden. On foot, the team encountered two adult men and a teenage boy. A debate broke out as to whether the SEALs should summarily execute the trio to keep them from alerting the Taliban. Luttrell himself was called upon to make the decision. He was torn between considerations of morality and his survival instinct, and he points out that "any government that thinks war is somehow fair and subject to rules like a baseball game probably should not get into one. Because nothing's fair in war, and occasionally the wrong people do get killed."
Luttrell opted to spare the Afghanis' lives. About an hour later, the Taliban launched an attack that claimed nearly a hundred of their own men but also the lives of all the SEALs except Luttrell, who was left wounded.
Not long after that, the Taliban shot down an American rescue helicopter, killing all 16 men on board. Luttrell is sure that the three Afghanis he let go turned around and betrayed the SEALs.
But if nothing is fair in war, neither is anything foreordained. Luttrell was found by other Afghanis, one of whom claimed to be his village's doctor. Once again, Luttrell had to rely on his instincts. "There was something about him," Luttrell writes. "By now I'd seen a whole lot of Taliban warriors, and he looked nothing like any of them. There was no arrogance, no hatred in his eyes." Luttrell trusted the man and his colleagues, who took him back to their village, where the law of hospitality -- "strictly nonnegotiable" -- took hold. "They were committed to defend me against the Taliban," Luttrell writes, "until there was no one left alive."
The law held, and Luttrell survived, returned home and received the Navy Cross for combat heroism from President Bush.
Copyright 2007, The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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The story doesn't just stop there, the story also tells of other members of this little known Valliant Fraternity of Soldiers sacrifices willingly given to try and save they're outnumbered surrounded and over ran team of four. Lastly breaking barriers of popular belief, the humanity and selflessness given by a villager that found our last wounded and dying solider. This simple villager provided physical care as well as putting his own life, the life of his family members, and even the life of his entire village in the line of fire and risk of slaughter to honor a generations old code that required him in his village at the cost of death to provide safety and help to a stranger who needed it. In keeping to this code a friendship was founded on more than most of us will ever know and lives to this day countries apart. Without this man in his village is help are only surviving soldier and this story to be tall stories would have never been known or told.
How Luttrell was awarded those honors in battle against the Taliban on an Afghanistan mountain, how he was trained as a Navy SEAL before the firefight with those vicious terrorists, and how he managed to escape their clutches with the significant participation of a Pashtun tribe and its leaders are the major parts of this adrenaline-fueled, terrifying book.
Like the protagonist in that best of all war novels Red Badge of Courage, we get to see, hear, smell, touch, and taste a ferocious battle while experiencing the thoughts and emotions of a true warrior in a fierce firefight. The only difference is that the author, Luttrell, was in reality the main character of his story while Stephen Crane, the author of Red Badge…, only learned about the horrors of war from others.
This is a political book; make no mistake. Luttrell, unequivocally, expresses his contempt of the liberal media and the political/military powers in charge concerning the rules of engagement in place for the Afghanistan conflict. The handcuffing of our armed forces is a principal frustration that he deplores, and it is the reason why those men died on that mountain. It is also a deadly moral dilemma that is at the epicenter of the story.
The writing style is straightforward, even if at times employing too many clichés. The story moves quickly and poignantly ending in an appreciation for our warriors and their total commitment to America, and why we should be assisting them as a moral imperative and honoring them as an obligation that every civilized society must keep. Marcus Luttrell’s inspiring story in these pages ultimately reminds us of what John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), the British economist and philosopher, said about “better men” and war:
“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”
The book, which was also written by author Patrick Robinson based on interviews with Marcus Luttrell, has only one flaw and that is the stated number of Taliban who attacked. In the book, it was erroneously indicated at between 80 and 100. In the Medal of Honor citation awarded posthumously to Lt. Michael Murphy, the commander of SEAL Team 10, it states: “between 30 and 40 enemy fighters besieged his four-member team.” That is the only quibble I have with this remarkable story of uncompromising bravery in the face of crushing savagery.
These men were all heroes, who were willing to lay their lives on the line for our country. Sadly, some of them had to do just that, based on a decision they had to make.