- Paperback: 378 pages
- Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (September 26, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553383191
- ISBN-13: 978-0553383195
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (263 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah Paperback – September 26, 2006
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The most hard-fought campaign since the invasion of Iraq by coalition forces in April 2003, the battle for Fallujah seems here to embody most every facet of the American military experience in that country--inordinate courage by the fighting men and their immediate superiors, indecision and contradiction by U.S. leaders from the top down, a disconnect between military will to succeed in Iraq and a lack of dollars and troops to support it, and a treacherous relationship between Fallujans and those Americans who would do everything to "help" them. West, who coauthored The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the United States Marines (2003), does touch on the larger policy decisions made by U.S. leaders concerning Iraq but really only as they affect the soldiers trying to execute those decisions in Fallujah. Instead, 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. Appearing neither pro- nor antiwar, West simply delivers a remarkably detailed, vivid firsthand account of the American military experience, 2004-05, in a highly combustible part of Iraq. Alan Moores
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“While many other correspondents have ventured to the front lines in Iraq, few have stayed as long as West, or brought as much knowledge of military affairs to their work. The result is a book that … features amazing accounts of heroism, brutality, perseverance, and gallows humor.”—Max Boot, The Weekly Standard
"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 Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
No True Glory provides a searing description of the fighting that destroyed that city, as well as an insightful and critical overview of the political and military decision- making that affected the outcome, and whose repercussions and lessons define Iraq today more than any other episode in the war.
The book outlines how The White House, senior generals and ambassadors ordered, then stopped, then re-ordered the attack upon Fallujah in April 2004, finally refusing to let the Marines finish the job at all. This occurred despite evidence that the Marines were close to clearing out the city. (Indeed, in less publicized battles in nearby Ramadi, the Marines had closed out an equally entrenched revolt. The major difference in Fallujah was international press coverage). Result: Fallujah became the stronghold of the insurgency and the Marines had to face a more entrenched and confident foe in October 2004. Fallujah provided a blueprint to the insurgents in the use of international political opinion to change the course of US military action.
The book also gives a clear insight into the challenges the US faces in pacifying the Sunni triangle, given the entrenched rebellion and the Sunni's fear of giving up control of Iraq. It sheds some light on the difficulties in getting the Sunnis to cooperate in the political process as played out in the recent constitutional drama.
Finally, the book highlights the intensity of the house-to-house and hand-to-hand fighting in Fallujah, which was equal to engagements going back to World War II. The Sunni insurgency, with some combatants jumping out of taxi cabs to join fights, only to melt away upon disengagement, offers a classic guerilla style war, with high walled compounds taking the place of the jungles and mountains typically associated with these campaigns. The Marines, when set loose, overwhelmed the opposition in a manner which caused the insurgency to permanently switch tactics from fixed position defenses to a more brutal manner of roadside and car bombing.
No True Glory is not only a great look at the battles, but a great primer on the issues the US continue to face in Iraq.
I was compelled to read this book--my son was there for the November 2004 campaign. He made it home, but my friend Sharon's son did not. I owe it these men and their brothers to understand as best I can. It is not something my son will discuss, and this is probably the most I'll ever know about his time there. Reading this book was painful. Despite crying my way through much of it, I couldn't put it down.
I had yet to read a book that gave me the real story of how it is going and what we are doing. Mr. West has used his experiences as both a Marine and high government official to inform the reader of what is happening and why. A true hallmark of a well written book is that regardless of what side of this war you are on, this book would inform, enlighten and most importantly educate one on the facts.
What I knew in my heart but this book confirmed was the gross distortions not only the Arab viewers of Al J and Al A see but the even sadder distortions that millions of viewers of the BBC saw as these brave young men fought in Fallujah. If just one British person that thinks the Marines slaughtered the innocents in Fallujah reads this book he will realize the distortion he has been subjected too.
Every person in any Coalition government that is involved with Iraq should read this book.
This book is superbly written and researched. It presents a balanced and incisive view of the operation in and around Fallujah during OIF2. Along with The March Up, West has established himself as the premiere chronicler of Marine Operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom I and II. Taken together with his previous works (The Village and The Pepperdogs), his body of work covers over 3 decades, and may end where it started -- in Small Wars types of operations in a counterinsurgency.