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What Every Person Should Know About War Paperback – June 9, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
York Times, The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science
Monitor and National Public Radio. He was a member of the team that won the
2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for The New York Times
coverage of global terrorism, and he received the 2002 Amnesty International
Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. Hedges is the author of the bestseller
American Fascists and National Book Critics Circle finalist for War Is
a Force That Gives Us Meaning. He is a Senior Fellow at The Nation Institute
and a Lannan Literary Fellow and has taught at Columbia University, New York
University and Princeton University.
Top Customer Reviews
In discussing casualties, wounds, and combat trauma, the reviewer says: "...such experiences have become less common in America's high-tech, casualty-averse military."
Sentences like this prove to me (a two-time war-zone US Army vet) how much this book IS needed.
Who does the reviewer think is on the battlefield? Robots?
No. Humans. Human soldiers and human civilians and when humans step on land mines or get shot they scream, they bleed, and they die.
Hedges has held true to his prologue: this book is skewed neither to the left or right politically; it just tells it like it is, almost always from direct quotes from US Army manuals and medical texts. This book is about the truth, the truth of warfare. It makes no commentary, but it also pulls no punches.
Again, I'm a veteran, and proud to be one. If I had to do it again, I would join the service again, even if it meant a return to war for me. I think it's important to say that, because people are criticising this book for being anti-American. Ridiculous. This book is about the truth, the truth of the war experience. Not the Hollywood airbrushed "Army of One" ads the Pentagon runs on TV.
The USA has an all-volunteer military, something we should be proud of. In my mind, every potential "volunteer" should read this book before they join. They may still join (like I said, I would have), but at least they'll be going with open eyes.
Highly recommended for all humans to read: soldiers and civilians alike.
At first I thought the Q&A format would make it hard to get into, but it ended up making it easier. There's not an explicit narrative but the questions are broken up into chapters, and within the chapters they follow a simple logic. The next question is usually the next question you'd ask if you were having a conversation with someone who had all the answers.
I have to disagree with the official review from Publisher's Weekly, on two counts. One, the author's point is that while the Pentagon would have you believe that war has changed, the fact is that the soldier on the ground is still firing bullets at the enemy and having bullets fired at him. Believing that a high-tech war is fundamentally different or "easier" is demeaning to those who fight and win wars today the way they have always been fought and won: on the ground.
The second point is the suggestion that this is a book "for soldiers." This abrogates the responsibility of every American to understand what our government asks of these young men and women when it sends them off to fight. At the very least, anyone who votes or pays taxes in America is complicit in the decision to go to war, and everyone should understand what military men and women go through. To say to a soldier "this book is for you; I don't need to know this" is again to insult his or her experience.Read more ›
This is a book that should be required reading for any prospective service person. Mr. Hedges has gone way out of his way to be factual, and objective, and let the facts speak. Its purposefully under-heated style reminded me of nothing else but the Baltimore Catechism, albeit minus the dogma. If I had the wherewithal I'd supply every guidance counselor in the US with a few copies, and if I were the Secretary of any service branch I'd give a copy to every potential recruit; however, I neither have, nor am.
I do wonder as to the books potential efficacy in guiding someone away from the service - not Mr. Hedges' stated purpose by the way. Eighteen year olds are immortal - I was - as well as, "young, dumb, and full of cum" - I was. Weren't you? And certainly not prone to being guided by facts - especially when our recruiting efforts are so sexy. Anthony Swofford in "Jarhead," writes about Marine recruits watching war movies - even those considered to be "anti-war" movies - and tells us that our anti-war movies are just the opposite to the troops. I can just hear a couple of prospective recruits reading about death's unraveling - "Cool..."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Poor format subjects covered well. Some questions and answers unclear ending too gruesome .Published 4 days ago by Milhus
The author asks and answers very realistic, interesting questions about war. There are a variety of questions on varying topics and when there are different answers from the... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Sarah W.
Unblinkingly honest and forthright, no judgments, just the facts. A must read for every 18 year old American and their parents.Published 21 days ago by Diane Wolfe
Throughout today’s society, war is almost always occurring somewhere across the world and the media is able to capture it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Save our Republic. Read this book. Get your teenagers (who could care less we've been at war for 23 years) to read it.Published 6 months ago by Hans Schtangler
The book may have some strong points, but one weakness can be found in the figures in Chapter 1, or at least the way in which they are contextualized. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Roberto Muhlenkamp