Laura's Reviews > The Forever War

The Forever War by Dexter Filkins
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's review
Sep 13, 2008

bookshelves: to-read, to-read-adult-nonfiction

Did anyone else read the review of this in the NYT Book Review this weekend? Here's a glimpse of the review: "It is not facetious to speak of work like that of Dexter Filkins as defining the 'culture' of a war. The contrast of his eloquence and humanity with the shameless snake-oil salesmanship employed by the American government to get the thing started serves us well."

Or this:

"The work Filkins accomplishes in 'The Forever War' is one of the most effective antitoxins that the writing profession has produced to counter the administration's fascinating contemporary public relations tactic."

Wow. This sounds like a must-read.
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message 1: by Tom (new) - added it

Tom Robert Stone's review was indeed an excellent one, Laura -- well-written and insightful, about both Filkin's work and the broader theme of the "culture" of wars. Having seen Filkins provide many first-hand reports from Iraq on The News Hour, I've been impressed with his fair but sobering assessments of the "progress" of the war, assessments that served as stark corrections to Rumseld's dismissive excuses of "stuff happens." Nonetheless, when I first saw the cover of last week's NYT BR, I admit that my initial reaction was, 'Oh, and here's yet another book on Iraq by a reporter.' Having read much of Assassin's Gate and Imperial Life in the Emerald City, in addition to innumberable articles and reviews of other books, I assumed Filkins couldn't possibly have much to add to all the other accounts. However, Stone's favorable comparison of The Forever War to Michael Herr's classic, Dispatches, has persuaded me that this book is probably a must-read.

And of course, Stone was an inspired choice to review the book. He covered Vietnam and wrote a very good novel about cultural corruption of that war inDog Soldiers, a book I highly recommend.

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