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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  19,612 ratings  ·  1,654 reviews
In his breakout bestseller, The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger created "a wild ride that brilliantly captures the awesome power of the raging sea and the often futile attempts of humans to withstand it" (Los Angeles Times Book Review).

Now, Junger turns his brilliant and empathetic eye to the reality of combat--the fear, the honor, and the trust among men in an extreme si
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by Twelve (first published 2010)
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Burak As Andrew mentions, the book gives a deeper account, but I also think, that is the reason why it provides a much better understanding of one of the ce…moreAs Andrew mentions, the book gives a deeper account, but I also think, that is the reason why it provides a much better understanding of one of the central questions in the book: Why do young man, after having a terrible experience with war, want to go back to this very same existential threat?

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 ·  19,612 ratings  ·  1,654 reviews

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Stupendously brilliant and enlightening book. I understand the appeal of war much more now. It's nothing to do with altruism and everything to do with an uber-boy's club, guns and adrenaline. I understand men a lot more now too. This book should be required reading for the parents and girlfriends of the young men who have enlisted in the military.

It isn't what anyone would actually want to hear - no one much cares about the political reasons for prosecuting the war, everyone likes firing guns a
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: war
Just Say No

Young men have fantasies about being soldiers. But whatever it is they imagine combat to be, it isn’t this - the unremitting discomfort of heat, fleas, and filth; the obvious futility of all their efforts to do a job which is impossible; the unrecognized stress of being a continual target of bullets from the enemy, hate and suspicion from the local populace, and disdain by their superiors; the inevitable incompetence of those in command of a situation which they never comprehend; and
Will Byrnes
Stripped to its essence, combat is a series of quick decisions and rather precise actions carried out in concert with ten or twelve other men. In that sense it’s much more like football than, say, like a gang fight. The unit that choreographs their actions best usually wins. They might take casualties, but they win.

The choreography—you lay down fire while I run forward, then I cover you while you move your team up—is so powerful that it can overcome enormous tactical deficits. There is a ch
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Even pacifists, it's enlightening...
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Petra-masx
One word - WAR and that doleful eye glaring out at you. Powerful cover, so’s the book. Picked it because it promised to get me inside the head of a soldier. An honest, no holds barred account of the day-to-day lives of soldiers serving in the intensely hot military zone of Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. Riveted from page one my mouth was actually hanging open reading this - seriously. It’s gritty and raw; it’s also pretty funny at times; these guys have a truly twisted appreciation of the abs ...more
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Michael by: Will Byrnes
This book was a gripping and moving read for me. Junger renders an account of the experience a platoon stationed at a remote outpost in northern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. He calls it “the tip of the spear” in the war effort because the units stationed in this mountain valley, the Korengal, saw more continuous fighting than elsewhere in the war. Junger was physically embedded with these men for five one-month periods between 2007 and 2008, and he was clearly emotionally embedded too. ...more
Aug 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: pro-patria-mori
Another reviewer on here said wryly that this book taught her a lot about men. A valid reaction, but it still made me wince. It’s as if I were to say I’d learned a lot about women from, like, The Devil Wears Prada or something. You want to jump up and shout, “But we’re not all like that. Or if we are, we’re not like that all the time.”

In a way, though, War isn’t a bad advertisement for what used to be called the masculine virtues. The men profiled here are incredibly brave, thrillingly competent
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
War is my second book by Junger, and I found it to be even better than Tribe. He has a thoughtful, though also analytical approach to this subject and his style of writing is engaging, reading almost like fiction. If only it were fiction. War is an unflinching portrait of a reality human's have contended with and participated in almost since the dawn of civilization. He details his own experiences as a reporter, his relationship with the soldiers, their attitudes, fears, the trust and brotherhoo ...more
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I tend to avoid non-fiction books about war but I'm so glad I read this one. Junger's account of a platoon in Afghanistan is educational and scary. The question that resonated the most with me is - what place do these soldiers have in our society when coming home? The strengths they exhibit in combat mostly translate to weaknesses in everyday life. There is no happy ending in War.
May 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This incredible piece of journalism, written by Sebastian Junger, should be read by each and every citizen. Mr. Junger spent 15 months with a platoon whose base was in a remote area of eastern Afghanistan, known as the Korengal Valley. The base was known as the Korengal Outpost (KOP). Mr. Junger's investigative piece was written for Vanity Fair magazine.

I did not want to inject my personal or political opinions into this review; however, I've come to the conclusion that my personal and politica
warren Cassell
May 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any book club--a great eye-opening book for discussion.
Recommended to warren by: NYTBR
This is a phenomenal book and should be required reading for all the knee jerk liberals like me who have had nothing but disdain for the military. What impressed Junger the most during his several months series of embedments with the US army in Afghanistan was the closeness of the men in his units. These soldiers didn't talk about bringing democracy to Afghanistan or any other political or social raison d'etre for their being in what could be described as a Hell on earth. Their only goal was to ...more
Jun 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am constantly asking myself why I am so fascinated with the detailed accounts of combat. I don't have an answer. Since I was a boy I devoured memoirs of the Vietnam experience and todays accounts of Iraq and Afghanistan draw my interest in the same manner. Having never experienced combat I still wonder how it looks, smells, sounds.... books can communicate all that, but not how it really feels. Some come close, and Jungers book comes as close as I think is possible. So close that I didn't come ...more
Opening Line: “O’Byrne and the men of Battle Company arrived in the last week of May when the rivers were running full and the upper peaks still held snow.”

Great cover on this, a haunting image and an equally powerful read. Written by Sabastian Junger (of The Perfect Storm fame) In WAR he spends 15 months following a single platoon based at a remote outpost in Eastern Afghanistan. His objective is simple, to convey what soldiers experience, what war actually feels like.

Divided into 3 “books”: F
Junger was partnered with photo journalist Tim Hetherington in the Korengal valley a little over 10 years ago now. Time flies, even if you're not having fun. Both men were embedded with US troops; not continuously, but for enough time on frequent stays to have been exposed to many of the same dangers. They were dependent on the Army for rations and accommodation, and both shared the soldiers' lot on patrol and in camp.

Junger has a true interest in the lives of the soldiers and their reactions to
May 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Sebastian Junger is the author of,"The Perfect Storm" and this book "War". His Oscar-nominated documentary "Restrepo," won the 2010 grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

Sebastian Junger spent 5 months in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan, 25 miles from Pakistan border. The area is extremely isolated, rugged and mountainous terrain. The summers are blistering hot, the winters are ice cold. The valley is only 6 miles long but 70% of the bombs dropped in Afghanistan are dropped here and
aPriL does feral sometimes

'War' by Sebastian Junger is an outstanding journalist's memoir. I bought the video-enriched Kindle version, which is also outstanding. Besides a map of the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan, included were clips from the documentary, 'Restrepo'. In the back of the book is a list of selected sources and references.

The book chronicles a series of five visits by the author and Tim Hetherington, journalist-photographer, from 2007 to 2008, and subsequent events, to an Afghanistan outpost of infantry sol
"The Outpost: the Book" ?
"Thank You For Your Service: the Prequel ?"

What's it like to serve at a small US mountain base in Afghanistan, on the very edge of the 'War on Terrorism' ? 18 months of live-in journalism paint a frank picture.

Nothing compares to the intensity of combat. Nothing is more important than to not let the team down. Those mantras sum up the mentality of Battle Brigade. These truths are the greatest barrier to re-entering civilian life or even a highly regimented garrison envi
A raw and honest account of the psychological and phyiscal dangers a soldier in Afghanistan faces. Specifically for anyone who is interested in the psychology of combat and how a soldier's life beacons at the point of a firefight, only to dwindle after, this is a very good read. It's mostly impressive because Junger was there with the soldiers, experiencing the same thing, except without the ability to pick up a gun and fight alongside them, because of his position as a journalist. I would've so ...more
Dana Stabenow
May 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I hope this is as close as I ever get to being shot at. This book is that real, that immediate. Junger follows the 173rd Airborne’s Battle Company into the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan. Next to the definition of Hell on Earth in the dictionary? That’s the Korengal Valley. The weather (“Summer grinds on: A hundred degrees every day and tarantulas invading the living quarters to get out of the heat.”) and the terrain (“The last stretch is an absurdly steep climb through the village of Babiyal th ...more
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military
Having spent a lot of time interviewing veterans this book really opened my eyes to the connection, dynamics, consequences, and emotional pull and push that war and combat is to a veteran. Junger describes things so well and in a way that only a person who has been through combat can relate but as the reader you almost feel as though you get it, but then again you really can't unless you've been through it. Many a veteran has tried to explain it to me but has been at a loss for words. Junger put ...more
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
War is a lot of things, and it’s useless to pretend that exciting isn’t one of them. It’s insanely exciting.

So says Sebastian Junger who decided to shadow an American infantry platoon in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan. The 2nd Platoon, Battle Company of the storied 173rd Airborne Brigade, to be exact.

And what a way to view the conflict in Afghanistan.

The reality of combat- the heat, the cold, the fleas, the TARANTULAS, the violence, the primitive conditions, and even the boredom, all ma
Kyle, E
This books was ok. I found it to be an enjoyable read but the jumpy narrative was a bit off putting. I kept catching myself skimming paragraphs and some things that should have been explained or pointed out were left for the reader to figure out (like a dushka) whereas, things like mortars, which are pretty simple to understand and many people know what they are, were explained in more detail.

I didn't find many of his theories very insightful as he used mostly psychological studies conducted by
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is so much bigger than me. I feel like I understand a few people better now, but I'm probably just imagining it.
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
This nonfiction book is written about Afghanistan's war from a journalist eyes traveling with the horrors of young soldiers surviving in jungles & battles. It's tone allows you to associate the identical difficulties felt in Korea & Vietnam jungle "wars".

The book reminds me of Oliver Stone's Platoon movie plot.

The audiobook says "Narrated By Author" (on Amazon).
The emotions & enthusiasm in the read are fantastic !!

Amazon/Audiobook narrated by Author
Sam Quixote
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"War" is about the 18 month placement Sebastian Junger got with Battle Company in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan. Battle Company, 150 men, see 20% of the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. 150 men out of hundreds of thousands! This is because of the Korengal Valley, the most dangerous area in this region. The mountains border Pakistan and many of the Taliban fighters come across from Pakistan into Afghanistan.

There are a number of things that strike you about the men in Battle Company. How t
One of the most powerful books I've read. The author does a superb job of capturing the atmosphere of an infantry platoon and the relationships of its members with each other as individuals and with the platoon as a whole throughout a brutal combat deployment lasting 15 months. To do so, he spent a great deal of that 15 months living with them, including accompanying them on combat missions in which he was nearly killed several times. This story was the basis for the award-winning National Geogr ...more
Andi Marquette
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
"War is a lot of things and it's useless to pretend that exciting isn't one of them. It's insanely exciting. The machinery of war and the sound it makes and the urgency of its use and the consequences of almost everything about it are the most exciting things anyone engaged in war will ever know. ...It's just not something that many people want acknowledged. War is supposed to feel bad because undeniably bad things happen in it, but for a nineteen-year-old at the working end of a .50 cal during ...more
Mar 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Best known for The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger wrote about the Boston Strangler in A Death in Belmont and being a reporter in such hot spots as Sierra Leone and the former Yugoslavia in Fire. In WAR, Junger travels through Afghanistan with young U.S. troops as an embedded journalist. WAR provides a violent, unflinching account of the war in Afghanistan down to the bloody details of death and the minutiae of war. Afghanistan is such a poor, vast, isolated country with plenty of places for the ...more
May 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: military-war
The past year, I have read half a dozen books that have woven me through the Iraq war starting in 2003 (Nathaniel Fick's "One Bullet Away"; Evan Wright's "Generation Kill"), moving forward through 2004 and 2005 (Peter Mansoor's "Baghdad at Sunrise"; Donovan Campbell's "Jocker One") and ending with David Finkel's "The Good Soldiers" (the surge in 2007). Robert Baer's "The Devil We Know" provided a glimpse of Iran. Sebastian Junger's "War" has carried me into Afghanistan starting in 2007 and endin ...more
Larry Bassett
Jun 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: war
This is definitely a blood and guts story -- supposedly all true. It emphasizes the bonds between warriors and other consequences of the war trade. I would call it full of macho.

"War is a lot of things and it is useless to pretend that exciting isn't one of them. It's insanely exciting. ... but the public will never hear about it."

What is Junger's political position on the war? "Afghanistan, on the other hand, was being fought by volunteers who more or less respected their commanders and had th
Jun 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Junger's book needs some photos and maps and a glossary, especially the photos...these are real people and we need real faces to go along with our reading. So I'd recommend watching Junger and Hetherington's film Restrepo about halfway through WAR or even before starting it.

As a film, Restropo explores much of the same ground and time frame as War; it may be more limited than the book in some aspects, but it serves to bring to life the events of Junger's book and adds more of a human dimension t
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Sebastian Junger is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of War, The Perfect Storm, Fire, and A Death in Belmont. Together with Tim Hetherington, he directed the Academy Award-nominated film Restrepo, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. 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 Yo ...more

Articles featuring this book

Junger shares the books, fiction and nonfiction, that he considers to be powerful accounts of life on and off the battlefield.
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“The Army might screw you and your girlfriend might dump you and the enemy might kill you, but the shared commitment to safeguard one another’s lives is unnegotiable and only deepens with time. The willingness to die for another person is a form of love that even religions fail to inspire, and the experience of it changes a person profoundly.” 56 likes
“Each Javelin round costs $80,000, and the idea that it's fired by a guy who doesn't make that in a year at a guy who doesn't make that in a lifetime is somehow so outrageous it almost makes the war seem winnable.” 52 likes
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