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No Place to Hide: A Brain Surgeon’s Long Journey Home from the Iraq War
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No Place to Hide: A Brain Surgeon’s Long Journey Home from the Iraq War

4.36  ·  Rating Details ·  384 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
A War Zone of the Soul

Dr. W. Lee Warren’s life as a neurosurgeon in a trauma center began to unravel long before he shipped off to serve the Air Force in Iraq in 2004. When he traded a comfortable if demanding practice in San Antonio, Texas, for a ride on a C-130 into the combat zone, he was already reeling from months of personal struggle.

At the 332nd Air Force Theater Ho
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Zondervan (first published February 25th 2014)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Natalie Vellacott
As a medical memoir or war biography, this is definitely a five star book. The author is a great story teller and I was hooked from start to finish despite the fact that he was only at war for 4 months! He takes the reader with him on his journey to Iraq as a brain surgeon serving with the US army. I could picture the scenes and imagine the emotions of the traumatic cases amidst the chaos. This wasn't sensationalised, it was the harsh reality of war. The team had few supplies and inadequate reso ...more
Jul 31, 2014 Violet rated it it was amazing
Dr. W. Lee Warren arrived at the 332nd Theater Hospital in Balad ab, Iraq in late 2004. His term of duty as a neurosurgeon ended four months later at the end of April, 2005. No Place to Hide – A Brain Surgeon’s Long Journey Home From the Iraq War is the story of those months. But it is more.

Warren went to Iraq at a time when his marriage was teetering on the edge. His experience in Iraq is framed by the turmoil in his personal life. The dangers, pressure, and extreme injuries he faces every day
Essam Munir
Apr 30, 2015 Essam Munir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr.Warren talked about his story but in fact this is the story of every iraqi doctor where you live daily with explosions, assassinations, and other stuff...
he lived in fear for 4 months in a safe place relative to " outside the wire " and he will tell you about his experience when he get outside the wire and walked in baghdad...
there is a great faith in this book, hard moments when you can't just sit and read but you want to do something (especially if you are a doctor and iraqi in particular).
Jun 21, 2015 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I found No Place to Hide completely engrossing... pun somewhat intended. Yes, there are some graphic descriptions of patients' injuries. But more importantly, Dr. Warren's book made me feel like I was there. I found his story fascinating and inspiring. Highly recommended.
Gabriella Gricius
Why Read: Originally something on NetGalley I wasn’t super interested in, I ended up enjoying the book ten times more than I thought I would. Normally I don’t read anything remotely resembling war fiction or religion, but somehow this book was different. So I suppose I’m actually quite glad it came into my lap.

Review: When a book gets me to tear up… I know it’s a good one. Especially when the topics are about things that I would never normally read: war and religion ring a bell? Even the concept
Amanda Geaney (Christian Shelf-Esteem)
No Place to Hide is really a book about two wars – one a military conflict and the other a combat surgeons battle for control. The first war magnifies the physical sacrifice and emotional wounds that service men and women are willing to endure for our freedoms. No Place to Hide details the cost of war while honoring human compassion. This book will take you on an emotional roller coaster through intimate accounts of lives saved and lives lost. The second war takes place within Dr. Warren as his ...more
Feb 18, 2015 David rated it it was amazing
I found out about this book when it was added to the 2015 Air Force Chief of Staff's Reading List. This book is about a neurosurgeon's experience at the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group (Air Force Theater Hospital) at Balad AB, Iraq. I was part of the 332nd at 2 different times in 2005-2006 and 2007-2008. The first was almost exactly a year after Dr Warren was there. It was very interesting to read about somebody else's experiences in a similar situation. Dr Warren wrote this book about his exp ...more
Kim Hamblin
May 15, 2014 Kim Hamblin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read for those who are interested in personal accounts of the war in Iraq. It details the experiences of an Air Force neurosurgeon in Balad, Iraq during a 4 month rotation in 2004-2005 in the period leading up to the election. This was a brutal time with multiple terrorist/insurgent attacks and many horrible casualties inflicted by IEDs. Told with detail, sometimes grisly, and with a testimony to Lee Warren's Christian faith.
May 22, 2014 Diane rated it it was amazing
EXCELLENT. Best book I've read in a long time regardless of your political views or your thoughts on the war in Iraq. It ranks up there with "Unbroken" as a book I didn't expect to be so absorbed by that I couldn't put it down. Can't wait to see what else he has written.
Ally Lynn
Jan 27, 2015 Ally Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is literally the best book I've read in a long time. It opens your eyes and truly changes you. The author is a Christian and I personally think that makes the book even better!
James Pate
May 11, 2014 James Pate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
W. Lee Warren. No Place to Hide: A Brain Surgeon’s Long Journey Home from the Iraq War. Zondervan, 2014.

W. Lee Warren was an American medic in Iraq during the Iraq War. He treated Americans and Iraqis, including Iraqi insurgents. He even met Saddam Hussein after Saddam’s overthrow. This book is largely about the operations that he performed on Americans and Iraqis, and the carnage with which he came into contact. Writing his story was a way for him to address his post-traumatic stress.

The most i
Holly Barrett
Jul 08, 2014 Holly Barrett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No Place to Hide: A Brain Surgeon’s Long Journey Home from the Iraq War by W. Lee Warren, MD chronicles Dr. Warren’s experiences in an Air Force surgical hospital during the war in Iraq. Four life-changing months were spent in Balad, Iraq as Dr. Warren worked to save the lives of our military men and women as well as both Iraqi allies and enemies.

But there’s so much more to his story than that. Arriving in Iraq while the fate of his marriage and family were unknown, Dr. Warren spends these month
Crystal Carder
Jun 05, 2014 Crystal Carder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book in exchange for my honest review

When I signed up to review this book, I never thought it would be a book that I would enjoy as much as I did. The cover was boring and if it weren't for the American flag, I probably wouldn't have chose it as a book I wanted to review.

No Place to Hide, A Brain Surgeon's Long Journey Home From The Iraq War by W. Lee Warren, M.D. is a biography of a brain surgeon and his encounters while in the Iraq war. W. Lee Warren, M.D. never expected the ch
Sep 08, 2015 Quinndara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is a personal account by Dr. Lee Warren, a neurosurgeon, of his 4 month deployment in Iraq at a field hospital working with other medical staff to save lives: American and Iraq, even terrorists. "We are Americans. We treat everybody." In addition to describing the medical emergencies in graphic detail, he also shares his personal concerns and feelings about his wife (he is getting a divorce), his children, his faith, working in battle gear, in tents, under constant mortar and shelling a ...more
Jul 12, 2015 Relstuart rated it really liked it
Shelves: military, memoir
US Air Force Dr. Warren operated in a tent on a base subject to regular mortar and rocket attacks in Iraq. He didn't lack for work as Iraq civilians, terrorists, US and international coalition forces were rushed into the tent hospital after receiving injuries. As a brain surgeon most of his cases were severe injuries to the head.

This was a tough read. Dr. Warren was going through an emotionally tough time in his life personally as he deployed and then dealing with the trauma of horribly wounded
Jun 23, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book 4 days ago, after consuming the entire book one day at work. I still have no idea what to say about this book except to say that if you don't read it, you are missing out on one of the best books I have read all year.

I laughed, I cried (a lot) and I felt compelled to contact the author when I finished it to thank him for his story and his service to our country. And to express how profoundly his book effected me.

I'm not sure I could go back and read it again anytime soon, bu
May 11, 2015 Jose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up after seeing it on the 2015 Air Force Chief of Staff reading list. First night reading it I was hooked and finished over a third of it. It is a fantastic book with the personal accounts of Dr. Warren and his Iraq experience. It gave a different perspective of the battle field. Easy to follow and wrapped everything up very nicely at the end.
Mar 16, 2015 Todd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I saw this book on the Air Force Chief of Staff reading list and decided to take a chance on it. It became a page-turner read for me as I just wanted to read yet another short chapter to see what happened.
Feb 01, 2015 Internetta rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Tried to read. Too much of the grisly war hospital. Stayed with is 25% couldn't take it. So disturbing.
Mary Beth
Dec 14, 2014 Mary Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
He writes extremely well about what had to be a very harrowing experience. I smiled and cried by turns. I hope he's doing well and loving life.
Lisa Davis
Jan 15, 2017 Lisa Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book was absolutely amazing. I felt like I was right their with the author the whole time while telling his story
maryann mccreedy
Great and inspiring book

This book should be required read for everyone in this country be they a hawk or a dove. I am a fiction reader at heart. The only two nonfiction books I have read in recent years are NoPlace To Hide and Amy's War. One about a surgeon in Iraq and one about one of the first group of women in combat in Afghanistan. They were both memorable for different reasons. What they have in common is how little the average American knows about and understands what our military personne
Jan 26, 2017 Jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Could not put it down

I read this book in one day. I kept telling myself I would go do something else at the end of the chapter, or at the end of the hour, but I couldn't put it down. There were parts that had me in tears because the book was so well written that I could almost see what Dr. Warren was describing. He held nothing back, not about what he saw or what he felt. For anyone interested in combat medicine, I highly recommend this book.
Ina Bone
Jul 15, 2017 Ina Bone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding book about contemporary war, as told by this gifted neurosurgeon who experienced it first hand

Beautifully candid, excellently written. A great reminder of the blessings of our freedom,and of the sacrifices of those who fight to keep us free. Dr. Warren shares his deepest thoughts, harrowing experiences, and his personal struggles with letting go, with the help from his service time family, the love of his stateside family, and his tremendous faith in God.
Rose Atwater
Jul 17, 2017 Rose Atwater rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating and inspiriing book. It's raw and intense and so eye-opening. My husband served in the Air Force so I've always appreciated the military, but this shed a new light on the service of those who went to war. Highly recommended!!
Janet L. Gimlin
Jul 09, 2017 Janet L. Gimlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Being an avid reader who usually reads fiction, I was compelled to read this story, and it did not disappoint! I wish that everyone could absorb the idea that we have so much to be thankful for. Thank you Dr. Warren for sharing your ordeal with us!
Jun 06, 2017 Jlauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting book. Not for the faint of heart. Very realistic and eye opening perspective on the Iraq War. Very "real."
Brad Feldman
Feb 26, 2017 Brad Feldman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
really gives you an eye opening experience as to what our troops and the people who helped them dealt with in the war in Iraq and at home while they were away.
Jul 03, 2017 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read, less clarifying about the origins of PTSD in medics who do not see frontline combat than I had hoped.
Vera Godley
Jun 21, 2014 Vera Godley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't plan on this being a book about soldiers and battalions fighting with ammunition zinging, tanks and planes duking it out with cannons and weaponry blazing. It is not a "war" book in that essence. It is, however, a war book that will engage the reader and provide insight into the war that is waged in a field-hospital in a war zone. It will allow you to see the mental, emotional, and physical strength of our soldier/doctors and soldier/medics and our soldier/chaplains. You will see their wea ...more
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W. Lee Warren, MD is a writer, a brain surgeon, inventor, and Iraq War veteran.

In his writing, his blog (, his podcast and his novels, he strives to explore the complex interplay between faith and science and unlock the secrets of the mind, body, and spirit with a goal of helping us become healthier, feel better, and be happier in our lives, our relationships and our b
More about W. Lee Warren...

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“The last thing I saw before darkness enveloped me was a stain on my DCU pants from the vanilla latte I’d spilled on my leg after I’d stopped at the coffee shop next to the DFAC on my way to the chapel. Nice, I thought, I’m flying into battle smelling of Starbucks. Very GI Joe. No wonder the Army guys make fun of us” 0 likes
“Show me another army in the world full of soldiers willing to sacrifice their own blood for their enemies.” 0 likes
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