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Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of… (2004)
by Evan Wright
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Great on-the-ground reporting of the Iraq War's first week. Wright occasionally tries too hard to get into the heads of the Recon Marines, but for the most part he provides an even keeled account that demonstrates how the war's early successes laid the groundwork for the quagmire that followed. ( )
Generation Kill was my favorite movie/tv series (miniseries, somewhere in between) about the Iraq War (specifically the invasion phase). The journalist who rode with the Recon Marines during a high-speed, light force assault deep into Iraq was himself quite brave, and did an excellent job both winning the trust of the Marines and accurately documenting what it was like for them. It was particularly interesting that he was able to clearly describe the various personalities within the unit and how they interacted in a stressful situation, rather than just focusing on the facts and figures of the invasion.
I'd probably slightly prefer the miniseries to the book, but both are very good.
As a Marine who served in Desert Storm, I appreciated the candid look at this Marine unit which included all the good, bad and ugly. You can read the history about what happened, but this book gives an inside look at the Marines who made the history. Semper Fi.
I saw the television series first, and I thought it was brilliant. The book is of the same quality, though I missed the extra personality injected by seeing it enacted. Lots of nice additional details, but I think the biggest add-on came in the afterword, where the author reflects with incisive criticism on the book, its aftermath, its reactions, and the overall place/state of war in modern America.
A real solid effort, written with a very straight forward approach, this book covers the very beginning of the second Iraq war. When one compares it to a book like The Good Soldiers, which details the "insurgent" war much later, the combat covered in this earlier time is almost child's play, which is not to say the book isn't full of critically dangerous situations. This book shows how mismanaged the war was from the very beginning, despite having the war fought by well-trained and dedicated military (in this case Marines). In fact it's a little amazing how quickly the Marines highlighted in this book recognized how unprepared the Bush Administration was for the occupation of Iraq. It should be added that one of the strengths of this book is the care the author puts into detailing the various personalities of the Marine unit in which he was imbedded. By doing so, he lets the situations speak for themselves without having to editorialize.
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A narrative on the lives of twenty-three First Recon marines who led the attack on Iraq describes their training and the physical and psychological challenges they faced in skirmishes leading to the fall of Baghdad.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)956History and Geography Asia Middle East
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An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.