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War

by Sebastian Junger

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,590578,280 (4.13)71
Junger, author of "The Perfect Storm," turns his brilliant and empathetic eye to the reality of combat in this on-the-ground account that follows a single platoon through a 15-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley.
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    The Outpost by Jake Tapper (spotlf87)
    spotlf87: Both books portray the war in Afghanistan out in the combat outposts. They show the raw and austere nature of the war for many American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan. Both books are set in the same general area of the country.
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» See also 71 mentions

English (55)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (57)
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
I probably would have liked it more if I had read it instead of listened. The author/narrator was so monotone that there were several periods of listening when I realized that I had zoned out completely and had to rewind. Or didn't bother rewinding.

There were some very intense scenes and I got the point of the book and mostly enjoyed it. This is one of those audio books where the author shouldn't have done the reading. ( )
  amcheri | May 25, 2021 |
Sebastian Junger embeds with the Army in Korengal Valley in Afghanistan. He gives us a look at what the American soldiers are doing in the worst area of Afghanistan. It is not pretty but it gives a picture of what happens and what the soldiers think.

This is not the easiest book to read because of the emotions brought up by it. I felt it was an honest look at what was happening to this particular group of men. I came to know these men through Mr. Junger's writing. I hated when any of them died. I hated when they were wounded. I found it interesting how the Army tried to understand and help and bring the villagers onto their side against the Taliban. I never thought about how necessary it is for the native populations to want the Americans there and the help given on both sides. I liked that we discovered what happened to some of the men who went home. Not a pretty picture. Many cannot adjust to civilian life. They have seen and done too much.

In addition to what happens with the soldiers, we are also given rationale behind decisions as well as how things are done. I found it profound that the soldiers saw themselves as part of their group, not as individuals. They would let you know if you stepped out of line whether you were grunt, officer, or journalist. I learned so much about the Army and the soldiers that I have more respect for them. This was an eye-opener for me. ( )
  Sheila1957 | May 16, 2021 |
From the author of The Perfect Storm, a gripping book about Sebastian Junger's almost fatal year with the 2nd battalion of the American Army. For 15 months, Sebastian Junger accompanied a single platoon of thirty men from the celebrated 2nd battalion of the U.S. Army, as they fought their way through a remote valley in Eastern Afghanistan. Over the course of five trips, Junger was in more firefights than he could count, men he knew were killed or wounded, and he himself was almost killed. His relationship with these soldiers grew so close that they considered him part of the platoon, and he enjoyed an access and a candidness that few, if any, journalists ever attain. But this is more than just a book about Afghanistan or the 'War on Terror'; it is a book about the universal truth of all men, in all wars. Junger set out to answer what he thought of as the 'hand grenade question': why would a man throw himself on a hand grenade to save other men he has probably known for only a few months? The answer is elusive but profound, and goes to the heart of what it means not just to be a soldier, but to be human. 'War' is a narrative about combat: the fear of dying, the trauma of killing and the love between platoon-mates who would rather die than let each other down. Gripping, honest, intense, it explores the neurological, psychological and social elements of combat, and the incredible bonds that form between these small groups of men.
  MasseyLibrary | Jul 26, 2020 |
Un periodista (autor de "La tormenta perfecta", por cierto) pasa unos meses "empotrado" en una unidad de infantería destacada en un remoto puesto del valle de Korengal, cerca de la frontera afgana con Pakistán. Desde allí, mientras cuenta las actividades diarias de la tropa, reflexiona largo y tendido sobre la guerra y la condición humana. Podía haberles dedicado más tiempo a las reflexiones de los soldados y menos a las suyas propias, pero es un libro muy interesante. La unidad con la que vive está formada por 150 de los más de 70.000 hombres que hay en el país, y a pesar de ello reportó el 20% de los combates en los que hubo implicadas tropas estadounidenses. El puesto donde están, pequeño y aislado, abastecido por helicóptero y rodeado de enemigos que querían arrasarlo, se llama Restrepo, en honor a un médico militar previamente destinado en él, y cuya historia se nos cuenta.
Todo el libro es interesante, y el estilo es rápido, conciso y agradable. Lectura recomendada. ( )
  Remocpi | Apr 22, 2020 |
I read this after coming back from Afghanistan. This was one of the best, if not THE best writing on the "personal" aspect of the war at that time. Honestly I think this should be a must-read. It's not a story on killing and loss, though it indirectly deals in those subjects. It's more like the actual act of being there. It's a fact you have to deal with and understand, but not the real reason you're there. Very well written. ( )
  jons0813 | Oct 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
As with The Perfect Storm, Junger's 1997 best seller about a fishing boat disaster, it blends the specific and general. A sweeping picture emerges from a mosaic of close-ups. ...

His account may not convert supporters or opponents of the war, but it should fuel doubts on both sides and anyone in between.

At its best, War vividly documents the individual costs, which, he argues, need to be acknowledged ...
 
With his narrative gifts and vivid prose -- as free, thank God, of literary posturing as it is of war-correspondent chest-thumping -- Junger masterfully chronicles the platoon's 15-month tour of duty. But what elevates "War" out of its particular time and place are the author's meditations on the minds and emotions of the soldiers with whom he has shared hardships, dangers and spells of boredom so intense that everyone sits around wishing to hell something would happen (and wishes to God it was over when, inevitably, it does).
 
Sebastian Junger, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and the author of “The Perfect Storm,” spent months shadowing an American infantry platoon deployed in the valley between 2007 and 2008. The result is “War,” his absorbing and original if sometimes uneven account of his time there. ...

He uses the platoon (the second of Battle Company, part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade) as a kind of laboratory to examine the human condition as it evolved under the extraordinary circumstances in which these soldiers fought and lived. And what a laboratory it is. ...
 
...Junger uses the soldiers' experiences to briefly explore several asides that help illustrate their lives on the front lines of war. We learn about the treatment of wounds by combat medics, the numerous studies done by the Army and others during the past several decades to understand how soldiers function under fire, the glue of brotherhood — and it is nothing less than love — that gives fighting units courage and holds them together, the toll that "the steady adrenaline of heavy combat" takes on some soldiers.

These asides broaden a narrative that otherwise is so tightly focused that any larger view of the war in Afghanistan goes unmentioned. Then again, as Junger writes, "The moral basis of the war doesn't seem to interest soldiers much, and its long-term success or failure has a relevance of almost zero u2026 they generally leave the big picture to others."...
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sebastian Jungerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Larsson, Inge R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwaner, TejaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waltman, KjellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To my wife, Daniela
First words
O'Byrne is standing at the corner of Ninth Avenue and 36th street with a to-go cup in each hand and the hood of his sweatshirt pulled up.
Quotations
As a soldier, the thing you were most scared of was failing your brothers when they needed you, and compared to that, dying was easy. Dying was over. Cowardice lingered forever.
The moral basis of the war doesn't seem to interest soldiers much, and its long-term success or failure has a relevance of almost zero. Soldiers worry about those things about as much as farmhands worry about the global economy, which is to say they recognize stupidity when it's right in front of them but they generally leave the big picture to others.
Wars are fought with very heavy machinery that works best on top of the biggest hill in the area and used against men who are lower down. That, in a nutshell, is military tactics, and it means that an enormous amount of war-fighting simply consists of carrying heavy loads uphill.
The primary factor determining breakdown in combat does not appear to be the objective level of danger so much as the feeling--even the illusion--of control. Highly trained men in extraordinarily dangerous circumstances are less likely to break down than untrained men in little danger.
Combat was a game that the United States had asked Second Platoon to become very good at, and once they had, the United States had put them on a hilltop without women, hot food, running water, communication with the outside world, or any kind of entertainment for over a year. Not that the men were complaining, but that sort of thing has consequences. Society can give its young men almost any job and they'll figure out how to do it. They'll suffer for it and die for it and watch their friends die for it, but in the end, it will get done. That only means that society should be careful about what it asks for.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Junger, author of "The Perfect Storm," turns his brilliant and empathetic eye to the reality of combat in this on-the-ground account that follows a single platoon through a 15-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
Korengal Valley

Fifteen months of hell, boredom

Brotherhood and stress

(islanddave)

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Hachette Book Group

3 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0446556246, 0446566977, 1607881985

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