From the author of The Perfect Storm, a gripping book about Sebastian Junger's almost-fatal year with the 2nd battalion of the American Army.
They were known as "The Rock." For one year, in 2007-2008, Sebastian Junger accompanied a single platoon of thirty men from the storied 2nd battalion of the U.S. Army, as they fought their way through a remote valley in Eastern Afghanistan. Over the course of five trips, Junger was in more firefights than he can count, men he knew were killed or wounded, and he himself was almost killed. His relationship with these soldiers grew so close that they considered him part of the platoon, and he enjoyed an access and a candidness that few, if any, journalists ever attain.
War is a narrative about combat: the fear of dying, the trauma of killing and the love between platoon-mates who would rather die than let each other down.
Gripping, honest, intense, War explores the neurological, psychological and social elements of combat, and the incredible bonds that form between these small groups of men. This is not a book about Afghanistan or the 'War on Terror'; it is a book about the universal truth of all men, in all wars. Junger set out to answer what he thought of as the 'hand grenade question': why would a man throw himself on a hand grenade to save other men he has probably known for only a few months? The answer elusive but profound, and goes to the heart of what it means not just to be a soldier, but to be human.
Praise for ‘Fire’:
'This is frontline reporting of the highest order from the dangerous, blade-sharp edge of things.' The Times
'His language, as powerful as the most abrasive undercurrent, describes an exceptional tug of war with the elements.' Alex O'Connell, The Times
'He writes like a poet who has been to meteorology school.' Ruth Rendell, Daily Telegraph
'Detail blazes through these chapters like the fiercest fire storm, yet the writing is invariably controlled, never breathless…Junger is an excellent story teller.' Sunday Telegraph
About the author
Sebastian Junger is the bestselling author of The Perfect Storm and A Death in Belmont. He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, and has been awarded a National Magazine Award and an SAIS Novartis Prize for journalism. He lives in New York
War is insanely exciting.... Don't underestimate the power of that revelation, warns bestselling author and Vanity Fair contributing editor Junger (The Perfect Storm). The war in Afghanistan contains brutal trauma but also transcendent purpose in this riveting combat narrative. Junger spent 14 months in 2007 2008 intermittently embedded with a platoon of the 173rd Airborne brigade in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley, one of the bloodiest corners of the conflict. The soldiers are a scruffy, warped lot, with unkempt uniforms they sometimes do battle in shorts and flip-flops and a ritual of administering friendly beatings to new arrivals, but Junger finds them to be superlative soldiers. Junger experiences everything they do nerve-racking patrols, terrifying roadside bombings and ambushes, stultifying weeks in camp when they long for a firefight to relieve the tedium. Despite the stress and the grief when buddies die, the author finds war to be something of an exalted state: soldiers experience an almost sexual thrill in the excitement of a firefight a response Junger struggles to understand and a profound sense of commitment to subordinating their self-interests to the good of the unit. Junger mixes visceral combat scenes raptly aware of his own fear and exhaustion with quieter reportage and insightful discussions of the physiology, social psychology, and even genetics of soldiering. The result is an unforgettable portrait of men under fire.
Customer ReviewsSee All
God bless Tim. Great book mate. Respect to you to report on war in Afghanistan. God bless.
Beautifully written and observed. I was totally hooked, Junger has opened up a world only seen by most of us in the censored and sanitised tv news. Brilliant.