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No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah Paperback – Illustrated, September 26, 2006
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"No True Glory is the gripping account of the valor of the Marines in the fiercest urban combat since Hue. Yet, the even-handed description of the vacillation regarding policy will likely please neither some of our senior officers nor the White House."—Former Secretary of Defense, James R. Schlesinger
"No True Glory is the best book on the U.S. military in Iraq to emerge so far."—Tom Ricks of The Washington Post
“The finest chronicle of the strategy behind battle and the fighting during battle that I've ever read!"—General Carl E. Mundy, former Commandant of the Marine Corps
"A remarkably detailed, vivid firsthand account of the American military experience…. West’s focus is on the “frontline,” putting the reader at the negotiating table with U.S. military commanders and Fallujan sheiks, imams, and rebel leaders; in the barracks; and on the street, fighting hand to hand, house to house, in some of the fiercest battles of the Fallujah campaign and the Iraq war."—Booklist
“West describes the fury of the fighting in Fallujah and Ramadi in a style that makes him part historian, part novelist — the grunts' Homer.”—LA Times Book Review
“West successfully brings the war back home in all its agonizing and illuminating detail. From the combat stories of those on the ground all the way up to the White House, West [is] uniquely placed to write a chronicle of the fight. The narrative truly shines."—The Christian Science Monitor
“Exhaustively reported...West paints a picture of highly capable Marines struggling to make the best of untenable political circumstances.”—Washington Post Book World
From the Back Cover
----General Dwight D. Eisenhower
For months author F. J. "Bing" West lived among the Marines who besieged the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, and interviewed members of the three US Army units that fought in that factious city before the Marines arrived. With access from frontline personnel to senior policymakers and negotiators, West's astonishing account takes us into strategy discussions between generals, on tense night patrols, and into fighting from rooftop to rooftop to tell the story that hasn't been told in the press or on the nightly news.
The Marines originally planned to slip into Fallujah "as soft as fog." But in March 2004, after a mob killing and mutilating four American contractors was recorded in images that horrified the world, the Marines attacked. West recounts the ferocious street battles that followed, the stiff resistance and shocking violence that caught many in our military and government off guard, and the sweeping US counterattack that outraged the Arab world.
We go behind the scenes to the intense negotiations to persuade Iraqis to take charge and hunt down terrorists like al-Zarqawi, who were using the city as a sanctuary-negotiations whose ramifications will impact Iraq for years to come. But the real focus is upon the heroic, everyday efforts of the American fighting soldier and Marine confronting the key paradox of the war: that the Iraqis both wanted and didn't want Americans in their country.
No True Glory is a firsthand account of the gritty fighting, political maneuvering, and ongoing struggle in this crucial city-a microcosm of the confused and frustrating Iraqi war.
- Publisher : Bantam; Annotated edition (September 26, 2006)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 378 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0553383191
- ISBN-13 : 978-0553383195
- Item Weight : 14.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #100,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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God bless Bing West for taking the time to recount the trials of these amazingly courageous young Americans. We may argue through infinity about the wisdom of sending our military to Iraq (or Afghanistan, as well), but we must not allow our political opinions to diminish the brave accomplishments of our troops. They served in this hell for us, and for one another. Their crucible is worth remembering, and Bing West has sung their song. Semper Fi, Bing West.
There is then the seamless move to the battles, not just in Fallujah, but Ramadi and Sadr City as well. All of these were battles for cities, i.e. street fighting or as it is now called "operations in the urban terrain." It wasn't quite as bad as Stalingrad, Berlin and Budapest in WWII, but then the US forces engaged rarely exceeded an infantry regiment or brigade against high odds, albeit made up of untrained, but often fanatical fighters. The descriptions of these engagements are both hair-raising and exciting; this was a book hard to put down, even knowing the end.
There is a constant switching between the fighting and the "big picture" view and this is essential for gaining a knowledge of how the United States conducted its occupation and nation-building in Iraq. In fact, even in spite of many missteps, this turned out to be successful by the end of 2008 and started deteriorating afterwards when Pres. Obama announced the withdrawal of US troops.
Be that as it may, there were missteps enough in 2003-4 and the author describes them in detail but without acrimony or hyperbole. Indeed, he is careful to write history objectively, with personal views/conclusions limited mainly to the last chapter. I found it difficult to disagree with them. The author, by the way, is eminently well qualified for the subject by way of his service in the USMC and the Defense Department.
This is actually rather a short book, but it contains two long excerpts from Bing West's other books on Iraq and I am planning to buy both, although the excerpts by themselves are very useful.