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In the Company of Soldiers by Rick Atkinson

In the Company of Soldiers (2004)

by Rick Atkinson

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This is a gripping account by a first-rate war correspondent. He demonstrates the futility and thrills of war and the swift decline of American efforts in Iraq. In context, he reminds us of the chilling first bloody incident of soldiers killed by one of their own. An Islamist fragged officers and his brother soldiers as an American soldier who had converted to Islam. Rather than remaining an isolated incident the Fort Hood killings were to continue the despicable story of Islamism.
  gmicksmith | Mar 5, 2014 |
The book called: In The Company Of Soldiers, was however very interesting. It had very cool facts about how they survived through out the night, and even what they eat and drink in the harsh environmental seasons of the war. However, the reason i had dropped this book was because it was way above my reading level. Another reason why i had dropped: In The Company Of Soldiers was because it got very confusing at times. The reason why i chose this book was because i had read other books from the author (Rick Atkinson) and were a very good read for me. Another reason why i had chose the book to read was because i love reading about the army and combat fighting.
If you like reading combat fighting books with facts about the army, then you might like this book. Also, you do however, need a very good higher type of reading level. Another reason why you really have to get into this book to like it is if you understand chronicle books. That however, is another reason why i had to drop this book because i do not read those types of books and i do however get really confused at times on how they jump from people to people. ( )
  br14evle | Oct 15, 2013 |
In The Company of Soldiers is a great story about Rick Atkinson`s experience with men during battle.He is side by side with General Paetrus throughout the whole book witch gives it a interesting twist.Rick Atkinson does a good job of explaining what is going on in the story and keeps you involved.I did not finish the book because I lost interest.It takes 100 pages for any fighting or really interesting things to happen.I read 150 pages of the book and it bored me so it was not the book for me.While for someone who likes very descriptive chronicals of military history this is the book for you.A boring but well written book just not for readers like me
  br13codub | Sep 27, 2012 |
I agree with the reviewer who said this is more aptly titled, "In the Company of Generals," though I would add "and Colonels." Unlike Thunder Run or The March Up, few battles are narrated from the perspective of the soldier actually doing the fighting. This is not a criticism of the book, just a notice to the prospective reader. What Atkinson does well is write about the Commanders of the 101st Airborne, and their travels, travels, and accomplishments from preparing for war through the Gulf War itself.

The sheer logistical nightmare of preparing for a war thousands of miles from one's base is captured in the big picture and through anecdotes, such as the vigorous disagreement about whether to tape or paint helicopter blades to protect them from the sand. After heated discussion and much agonizing, it was discovered there was no tape. Paint would have to suffice. By spending time with the Commanding General of the 101, as well as his logistics and other officers, Atkinson does an excellent job of conveying the size of the logistical challenge faced by the 101st (and, no doubt, other U.S. divisions) and the magnitude of the accomplishment in meeting it.

As the war itself unfolds, Atkinson does a decent job of helping us understand how the 101st' mission changes to meet the realities of combat. The reader may be (as I was) distracted by continuous petty attacks on President Bush, Secretary Rumsfeld, and even Fox News. They are so ancillary to his point that they serve no purpose other to offend, or at the very least distract. Though Atkinson may try to place them in a bigger context, it's pretty transparent he is searching for his own voice among the facts at his disposal (like when he singles out a negative comment written in a bathroom stall about President Bush as somehow representative of troop morale and opinions on the war).

Overall, an excellent discussion about preparing for war, a good discussion of the 101st' role in that war as seen from its Commanders, but distracting and petty political potshots taken throughout. ( )
1 vote Layman | Aug 19, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0805075615, Hardcover)

The advent of embedded reporters in the opening days of the 2003 US war on Iraq meant a more direct and personal point of view than battlefield coverage has historically offered. Rick Atkinson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for An Army at Dawn, an account of combat in North Africa during World War II, traveled with the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army from its deployment out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky through its entry into Baghdad. The result, In the Company of Soldiers, is a thoroughly engrossing look at the strategies, personalities, and struggles of waging modern warfare. Much of Atkinson's focus falls on the division's leader, the hugely competitive and charismatic Major General David Petraeus, who seems to guide his troops through Iraq by sheer force of will. Atkinson devotes most of his time to the senior commanders, but the loss of the G.I. perspective, while disappointing, is outweighed by Atkinson's access to the minds of the brass who must navigate an Iraq whose citizens were not nearly as happy as military planners had hoped and who offered resistance in ways other than what the Americans had prepared for. While plenty has been written about the American military effort in Iraq, Atkinson's perspective, combined with a direct, economical writing style, allows him to present sides to the war not often seen or considered: long periods of waiting punctuated with mad scrambles to apply gas masks, fretting over how to pack all necessary supplies into tiny kits, dealing with dust storms that can ground state of the art attack helicopters, and reading the irreverent yet shrewdly observant graffiti left by American soldiers. In the Company of Soldiers lionizes the American military officers but it neither condemns nor offers unqualified praise to the US effort in Iraq. Indeed, the disturbing omens of chaos hinted at soon after the invasion began in the spring of 2003 would come into sharper relief when the book was published a year later. --John Moe

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:14 -0400)

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An account of the 101st Airborne Division during the 2003 Iraq War, from preparations in Kuwait to the occupation of Baghdad.

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