Every Man in This Village is a Liar: An Education in War
A few weeks after the planes crashed into the World Trade Center on 9/11, journalist Megan K. Stack, a twenty-five-year-old national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, was thrust into Afghanistan and Pakistan, dodging gunmen and prodding warlords for i ...more
I left Afghanistan--the light that falls like powder on the poppy fields, the mortars stacked like firewood in broken-down sheds at the abandoned terror compounds,...more
Megan Stack has given us a conscience-ripping look at the wars in the Middle East, the mostly-civilian casualties, and the utter, irredeemable waste of it all. For the most part the author doesn't attempt to take sides or to make political statements. She just presents the things she saw and heard and smelled, in all their tragedy and horror - the things the media won't show us, and lets America make up its own mind about what the bl ...more
The cover, title and flap sucked me in. She writes for the L A Times - figured she would be a better writer. If you can wade through the flowery language and imagery that she piles on, the experience is pretty interesting. But, she's a war correspondent - put on your big girl panties and write like one.
"I am covering the wars. It all matters. It is worth everyth ...more
Her ability to describe with simile and carefully chosen illustration is so good that you can almost smell the smells and hear the sounds. At times I smiled at how creative her prose was to the point where I may have missed her point.
But her point in ...more
War on Terror! Manifest or farce? Megan Stack, a foreign correspondent for the LA Times, attempts to answer that question. Shortly after 9/11, Stack found herself thrust into the Middle East, spending the next six years, in various hot zones: Afghanistan, occupied Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Libya, Saudi Arabia and a few others.
Stack’s first hand account of many atrocities is eye-opening and gut-wrenching. She befriends a variety of people in ea ...more
Since she's a journalist I think using that voice combined with her own thoughts would be more effective then the weird, almost saccharine voice that tries to be poetic. It's a real contradiction to what she is writing about which is how war is the opposite of things like poetry, so to go to the language she uses is odd.
However, sh ...more
I didn't find I enjoyed the authors writing style, although I can't put my finger on what it was about the style I didn't like. The writing at times was overly flowery - metaphors and similes left right and centre.
This is probably not going to be a helpful review, as I can't really explain my apathy with this book.
Generalising terribly, it seems that femal ...more
Ms. Stack is even-handed in her criticisms and blame throughout the book as she details the conflicts. It becomes clear that the problems in the Middle East, including the various involvement of America, are complex, with no simple fix. Each chapter tells a different story and highlights t ...more
War is generally not something I choose to read about. I also know embarrassingly little about the Middle East, whethe ...more
The book i ...more
An American reporter takes in one Middle East cataclysm after another in this searing memoir. Los Angeles Times correspondent Stack covered the war in Afghanistan after Sept. 11, then bounced around to other hot-spot postings, including Israel during the second Intifada, occupied Baghdad, and southern Lebanon during the 2006 conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. Stack offers gripping accounts of the sorrows of war, especially of the traumas Afghan and Lebanese civilians...more
She revels in uncovering double-standards and conflicting interests. She points out the irony in the anti-American statements of McDonald's patrons (122) and in the use of American manufactured tear gas against pro-democ ...more
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Here is the truth: It matters, what you do at war. It matters more than you ever want to know. Because countries, like people, have collective consciences and memories and souls, and the violence we deliver in the name of our nation is pooled like sickly tar at the bottom of who we are. The soldiers who don't die for us come home again. They bring with them the killers they became on our national behalf, and sit with their polluted memories and broken emotions in our homes and schools and temples. We may wish it were not so, but action amounts to identity. We become what we do.You can tell yourself all the stories you want, but you can't leave your actions over there. You can't build a wall and expect to live on the other side of memory. All of the poison seeps back into our soil.”