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Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  2,516 Ratings  ·  239 Reviews
“The story of what Dakota did . . . will be told for generations.” — President Barack Obama, from remarks given at Meyer’s Medal of Honor ceremony.

In the fall of 2009, Taliban insurgents ambushed a patrol of Afghan soldiers and Marine advisors in a mountain village called Ganjigal. Firing from entrenched positions, the enemy was positioned to wipe out one hundred men who w
Hardcover, First Edition, 336 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Random House, Inc. (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jun 09, 2015 Joseph rated it it was amazing
Shelves: war, military
"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth- and the amusing thing about it is that they are."
Father Kevin Keaney, 1st Marine Division Chaplain

Yes, I am a Marine so my view may be a bit biased. Unlike Meyer, I served in the rather peaceful post-Vietnam Era. I read many of the Marine combat stories through the years and most were written by lieutenants, captains, on up to generals. There were also a few
Oct 10, 2012 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing
There is nothing poet-warrior about this book. It is written in a straight-forward and clear, almost staccato, style.

There are vague implications from McClatchy news that some of this story is fabricated or exaggerated. I wonder if they read the same book as I did?

Meyer's tale is never one of self-aggrandizement. It is one of regret, one of a world with little nuance ruled by people who see nuance in every situation. It's about how we treat our heroes--how we make them into machines, place them
Oct 08, 2012 Tom rated it it was amazing
Meyer's honesty is unnerving. His account of what happened is heroic, he does not "pretty up" his actions or what he was thinking before, during or after the battle.

What sticks with me is that we send guys like Dakota Meyer, Pat Tillman and thousands of other Americans to Iraq and Afghanistan where they face hell for us.....but the nation is not in these wars with them.

The work falls to people who go and we don't think about them until CNN flashes a story of American casualties...then we go ba
Mar 03, 2016 Mike rated it really liked it
Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War is a pretty fast read about a 6 hour battle. There was just no quit in Dakota Meyer. Here is one part of one of his five attempts to get to his trapped team, where he is being swarmed by a group of Taliban fighters:

(view spoiler)
Oct 07, 2012 David rated it it was amazing
An unusual memoir. First, Dakota Meyer is the only living soldier to have received the Medal of Honor in over thirty years. The Medal is usually awarded posthumously. I'm very pleased that Congress and the President found his incredible courage as well as actions deserving of such a high award.

Dakota's story is not a happy one. In fact, it is a very sad one that ends in the death of his "brothers" in his small unit of advisers in Afghanistan. To an extent I was lost in the action of the retellin
Michele Hoover
Sep 27, 2012 Michele Hoover rated it it was amazing
This is a heart-wrenching account of one Marine's mission to rescue his team in Ganjigal, and his battle to regain a life after returning to the U.S. I finished this book inside of a day - unable to put it down. Beginning with a brief history of Dakota's life, then the forming of Team Monti and the interpersonal relationships that developed, much of the book is devoted to the ambush at Ganjigal. The story is told exactly as Dakota remembers it.

I received this book as a First Read from Random Ho
Oct 14, 2012 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Pretty decent read about a young mans trials in combat, and like most CMOH awardees, being a hero is not something he planned. He did what he did to save his brother's and others on the field of battle. He also shows how often times, leadership fails to listen to what "the troops know" and yet, fail to listen and accept counsel from those more combat experienced; it also shows that sometimes, a leaders objectives may not be what they think best! Yet, combat leaders must often follow orders they ...more
Thomas Nevins
Aug 31, 2012 Thomas Nevins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meyer is a Marine, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, and a recipent of the Congressional Medal of Honor. INTO THE FIRE is the story of how he achieved this distinction. Military Historianm Bing West said of Meyer's actions; "most acts of bravery occur at a single point in time; Dakota rushed death, not once, not twice, but five times". But this is a story with plenty of contoversy, Meyer was refused backup, disobeyed orders and risked all to find his team. This book is an eye opener. Ultimate ...more
Read Ng
Oct 06, 2012 Read Ng rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, first-reads
This was a GoodReads giveaway. What a great tale.

A humble and honorable American Warrior. Such an epic story of bravery and heroism.

The detailed setting put you into the thick of battle. I wonder if under the same circumstances just how early in the fire fight I would have frozen into inaction, waiting for a hero like Dakota to come to my rescue? I hope Dakota finds peace with knowing that he did right by his fellow combatants and for his fellow Americans. His actions make me proud to be an Ame
Courtney Wright
Sep 28, 2012 Courtney Wright rated it it was amazing

I recommend this book to everyone to read! I read it in a day stopping only when I HAD to. Dakota Meyer is a very brave young man and I am glad there are people like him fighting for us.
Deborah Takahashi
Mar 29, 2013 Deborah Takahashi rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Born and raised in Columbia, Kentucky, Dakota Meyer had no idea he would follow in his father's footsteps. As a child, he was constantly on the move with his mother, who later left him with his stepfather, Big Mike, who adopted him. Dakota grew up on a 300-acre farm where he learned to cut down Tobacco and actually rode around on his cow, Tinker Bell. In high school, he earned a spot on the football team, and was quite good. Although his dream of playing college ball were dashed after several kn ...more
Urey Patrick
Dec 12, 2013 Urey Patrick rated it really liked it
This is a first-person account, as related by a young Marine using the language of young Marines from the perspective of young Marines… it is not great literature or great writing. It is a compelling and engrossing story of a young man’s development into a combat Marine, and its culmination in the day-long battle in Afghanistan resulting in his award of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Meyer’s heroism, courage and determination under fire (he returned into the battle five times, fighting his wa ...more
Chris Ross
A great book that is a fast read. There are things about the book that made my hair stand on end like reading about COP Monti and Lybert which were mentioned in The Outpost by Jake Tapper and to know that COP Monti is in the same area in Kunar Province where COP Keating was overrun by the Taliban also mentioned in Tapper's book. Dakota Meyer tells of his growing up in Kentucky and his journey that led him into the Marine Corps. He is a brave warrior and deserves the Medal of Honor. As Bing says ...more
Joshua Jose
Nov 21, 2013 Joshua Jose rated it really liked it
Into the Fire by Dakota Meyer and Bing West is a first person point of view of the battle in Ganjigal, Afghanistan in 2009. This book describes the actions that Dakota Meyer took that, in return, allowed him to receive a Medal of Honor. Not only does this book account for Meyer’s experience in Afghanistan, but also talks about his childhood, all the sacrifices made and all the hardships Meyer faced to become a Marine. Dakota Meyer is a farm boy that lived in Kentucky who enlisted, hoping to be i ...more
Nov 05, 2012 Melodie rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I was compelled to read this book after seeing Dakota Meyer interviewed on a late night talk show. The interview piqued my interest, but I had no idea exactly what this battle they talked about entailed.And Dakota Meyer is the first living Congressional Medal of Honor recipient in over thirty years. This medal is usually given posthumously.
The battle,which took place in Afghanistan in 2009, was the result of an Taliban ambush. The battle was particularly fierce, and notable in that the back up
Terry Koressel
Nov 05, 2015 Terry Koressel rated it it was ok
Dakota Meyer is a hero! Plain and simple. Fearless, brave, cannot find enough adjectives to describe this Medal of Honor recipient. A hero I hope that I could be in the same circumstances, but knowing that I would fall short. On the other hand, the book itself is just average if you compare it to the spell binding and riveting Lone Survivor and House to House...other books on heroes of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Into The Fire lacked emotion or passion. The book almost ha ...more
Nov 11, 2013 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book.

Do not expect a 'how great am I" recount as in "Warrior's Rage" by Douglas Macgregor or
"Front Burner: Al Qaeda's Attack on the USS Cole" by Kirk Lippold. The values that "Big" Mike Meyer instilled into his son would not allow that.

While Meyer describes the fateful battle, the questioning mind of a (relatively) junior Marine comes through load an clear, and he does describe incidents where is actions were clearly inappropriate. The narrative does not come across as "I was the only
Jason Lewis
Oct 14, 2012 Jason Lewis rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-won
Into the Fire is a first hand account of the triumphs and tragedies of the Afghan war that we are currently involved in. The story gives a true, no holds barred look into interaction among both fellow soldiers and trials and tribulations with those that are indigenous to the mountainside area.
He creates a perspective of regret as the recipient of the medal, showing concern that if it were successful, the events leading up to the said occasion for nomination of the medal of honor would never hav
Oct 13, 2012 Larry rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This is from a "First Read - Goodreads"

What a real first hand story of what our troops are experiencing in Afghanistan. I am sure it is the story of all wars. Our heroes, like Dakota Meyer, give their all and others just give them trouble and make their job harder or impossible. I learned more from the introduction than I have seen anywhere in news reports etc.

In the epilogue the authors describe what their goals were in the writing of Into The Fire: "It illustrates three themes: a frustrating w
Nov 11, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Rebecca by: Sheila Moak
I almost have nothing to say about this, because nothing I say can express how I feel. I can't encompass the drama, the pain and the epic sweep of this book, and about the only coherent reaction I have is "drop everything and read it now." Incoherent reactions have included nausea, weeping, rage and awe. It's a smoother, more polished style than Lone Survivor, but smoother doesn't mean less gut-wrenching. Someday this will probably be made into a movie that buffs out the raw edges and features l ...more
Oct 11, 2012 L rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone wants to better understand the Afghan War and the sacrifices our men are making everyday. Anyone that ever served will understand the frustration felt by Dakota Meyer and the brave men trying to do the right thing. God bless them. God damn the “Gut-less” wonders that enforce bureaucratic procedures that hamper success and cost unnecessary losses for our men because they refuse to put our troops safety first.
Oct 07, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads-free
I received this book free from Good reads. Thanks to Dakota Meyer and all the other military serving our Country. Having worked with ammo via my job, I found it intersting the ammo that he used. Also, he got across how he felt in a sit down across from me way, and I liked that. I would love to get his autograph and Bing West's and Will Swenson's. Easier time regarding Dakota Meyer as I have a brother in Louisville. I recommend this book.
Oct 01, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This was a very interesting and well written book about Dakota Meyers experience in the battle of Ganjigal. A majority of the book is dedicated to the battle of Ganjigal, told from Dakotas perspective. The battle is depicted extremely well, it draws you in and its hard to put down until its over because you have to see what happens next.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads and highly recommend it.
Nov 04, 2016 Jennifer rated it liked it
I really thought I would have enjoyed this book more, but was underwhelmed by the lack of emotion during such a terrifying encounter. The last third of the book when Meyer returned home from Afghanistan and what he experienced then was really well written and engaging. So very thankful for men like Meyer that serve this country.
Oct 05, 2012 Robert rated it really liked it
A very compelling account of a tragic battle in Afghanistan. Definitely one to read to read for anyone wanting a look into the brutal war in Afghanistan.

I think the book was very well written too. The book is well organized and makes for a good read, I finished it in just two days of reading off and on.
Dec 09, 2012 Terri added it
This is the first book on this subject matter I've read and regardless of the quality of writing it was insightful. Every time I picked it up to read I asked myself, " How do people do this?" They truly are amazing people. I saw Meyer on Jon Stewart or Colbert report and I'm glad I read it.
Aug 05, 2016 Cindy rated it really liked it
Not the usual hero story and it's frightening - still wondering how often that happened. Recommended.
Jan 10, 2013 Dachokie rated it really liked it
Fearless Warrior …

While the endeavors of Seal Team Six have generated popular interest in Special Forces operations, the media’s interest in providing information regarding the daily goings-on in Afghanistan has waned considerably. American’s “longest war” is actually no less deadly now than it was ten-years ago. The ambiguity surrounding the war (no definitive “front line” and variety of combatants) really doesn’t give most of us a firm understanding of the war’s status … only that it is an end
Dec 27, 2016 Kevin rated it really liked it
Very well done. But it's maddening to think that if the rules of engagement had been written by sane people, no one would have earned the Medal of Honor and the Taliban would have gotten its ass kicked.
Jan 02, 2017 Jeri rated it it was ok
LIke many books that come from the Afghan & Iraq wars, the topic seems too soon. I have to wonder if the author is trying to make $$ off the book and that bothers me.
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