'Aussie Rick''s Reviews > War

War by Sebastian Junger
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May 17, 2010

bookshelves: to-read, modern-conflicts


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André Rick,
I'm also interested in this one. The problem I have with the author is that his ego too often gets in the way of the stories he wants to tell. Junger isn't the first one writing about this war - and I'm sure he won't be the last. There are other great books out there on modern warfare, yet when asked what books Junger advises to read he comes up with cliches like Hemingway and such...
I always get the feeling it is more about himself than about the people.
We'll see how it is with this one.

'Aussie Rick' Hi Andre, I have heard similar criticisms of the author, time will tell I suppose. If I read it soon I will let you know what I think.
One book that I did enjoy was “The Soldier: A History of Courage, Sacrifice and
Brotherhood” by Darren Moore:

“Told through the stories of the combatants themselves, this unique history of the soldier provides a penetrating insight into the politics, emotions and psychology of war and its aftermath. Focusing primarily on the period from the Napoleonic Wars to the Global War on Terror, Darren Moore draws upon hundreds of narrative accounts of warfare written by soldiers from the UK, France, the USA, Canada, Japan, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Australia, Israel and Germany, to tell their story from basic training to discharge or death. From the mountains and plains of Spain where Wellington's army battled the French, to the complex urban battlefield of Fallujah where US Marines engaged Iraqi insurgents in deadly house-to-house fighting, this book reveals the true face of war. It draws on accounts from Timothy Gowing who took part in the storming of Sevastopol during the Crimean War, John O. Casler who fought alongside Stonewall Jackson during the American Civil War, Siegfried Knappe who took part in the desperate actions to stop the Russian Army entering Berlin in the closing stages of the Second World War and Lewis Puller Jr. who was horrifically wounded by a booby-trap in Vietnam, as well as contemporary accounts of British and American soldiers who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. Darren Moore lets the soldiers' own words reveal how they confront the possibility of being mutilated or killed; the mental and social conditioning that enables them to kill in battle; and the anguish of killing their comrades, whether through the death penalty or as a result of 'friendly fire'. The book also examines the relationship between love, sex and war and reveals the 'trial by media' faced by modern soldiers. "The Soldier" is a compelling tribute to our servicemen and women that is both topical and timeless.”

André Hi Rick, I don't recall where I watched it, maybe youtube (can't find it though), but what I do remember is that I didn't particularly like the guy.
I don't need to tell you this, I know, it's just so you see my point of view. When doing non-fiction about war, modern war, you get in touch with men who went through hell. That would always put me second, as a writer, out of respect and all the other emotions that are going through one's head while listening to their stories.
I'm sure he respects the soldiers, that's not it, but I can't lose the feeling this is all more about him, what a terrific writer he is and stuff, than about the real thing. I wouldn't go as far as suggesting he should call the book My War - but it's close.
There are other journalists out there who have a more subtle approach.

As to the other book: sounds great. My problem is I never want to read "anthologies" , that is books that take on different periods and such. In music I hate "Best Of's" I get the same feeling. Don't ask me why...
Still, a terrific idea for a book.

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