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Hardcover Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America and the New Face of American War Book

ISBN: 0399151931

ISBN13: 9780399151934

Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America and the New Face of American War

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

In the tradition of Black Hawk Downand Jarheadcomes a searing portrait of young men fighting a modern-day war. A powerhouse work of nonfiction, Generation Killexpands on Evan Wright's acclaimed three-part series that appeared in Rolling Stoneduring the summer of 2003. His narrative follows the twenty-three marines of First Recon who spearheaded the blitzkrieg on Iraq. This elite unit, nicknamed "First Suicide Battalion," searched out enemy fighters...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

An outsiders perspective

He manages to give a great view of what it was like over there from the perspective of someone who is tagging along but not fighting, he talks fairly frankly about the men he was imbedded with but does try and find something positive to say about them all. It's an interesting read and provides a good snapshot as to what Operation Iraqi Freedom entailed.

No-nonsense account

This book, in the span of 300+ pages, just about covered all of my emotions. I laughed, I cried, I was amazed and I was disgusted. Additionally, I found it to be a page-turner that I could not put down, reading it from cover to cover in just 3 days. I have been in the Marine Corps both active duty and reserve for over 20 years and was a young Lieutenant back in Desert Storm, serving with an armored reconnaissance unit. Being a Marine, I was highly skeptical of a reporter's documentation of Marines in combat and have never been in favor of having them embedded with front-line combat units, but once I started reading, that skepticism quickly fell by the wayside. His character development is right on the mark, and I could easily find examples of each of the individuals he describes in my own military experience. You get a true sense of being there, either hunkered down in the back of a HMMVE, sleeping in the dirt in your "Ranger Grave" or watching a father carry away the body of his daughter into the darkness. Wright lays it right out in front of you, does not add whatever personal biases he may have and lets the reader choose for themselves. I am happy to learn that not much has changed since my days as a young officer. Marines are historically known for continuously "expressing their frustration" about how this or that is messed up, or how those in Command just don't seem understand the situation. But no matter what, it always comes down to this, Marines do what they are told to do and will always accomplish the mission. In my experience, much of the frustration experienced by these Marines is what has been continuously pounded into my "brain housing group" throughout my career. War is both an art and a science and being expeditionary warriors, we must learn to successfully operate in both the fog and friction of war. The manta goes that "the best laid plans will never survive past the first contact with the enemy." That concept is expertly captured here in these pages. In reading between the lines of the last couple of chapters, you get a sense that possibly the problems were are facing with the insurgency today came as a result of what we failed to do at the end of combat operations in Iraq. In the book, it appears blatantly obvious that the United States did not have a plan for what would happen after the "liberation" of Baghdad and if they did, they certainly did not share it with military planners. If you are looking for a no nonsense account of a small slice of the US led invasion of Iraq, this is the book to read. Additionally, one of the main characters Lt. Nathaniel Fick is releasing his own account in a book titled "One Bullet Away" due out in October 2005.

The one embed account you should read

If you can only read one account of the Iraq War, this should be it. Wright spent about a month with a squad of recon Marines -- essentially the special forces of the corps -- and his account is nothing short of gripping. It is also exhausting, as Wright subjects the reader to a full range of emotion -- from joy to appalling horror to pride. Wright has a keen eye for the details that bring the stories of the war to life. The banter between the soldiers is fascinating and frequently hilarious, and is definitely a highlight of the book. No other account brings you closer to the men who slugged this thing out as they barreled across the Iraqi desert. It is useful to keep in mind that this book calls the shots as they are seen from a small group of soldiers on the frontline of the war. What this book is not is a comprehensive overview of the run-up to the war or of the overall strategy employed by the U.S. military. The soldiers often gripe about certain officers and decisions taken at the higher levels. Some of the complaints are balanced out with alternate views. Wright's account is valuable not for its even-handed treatment of every side in a particular issue, but for giving insight into how the men on the ground met and dealt with problems that cropped up during their historic mission. The book does dwell on a lot of the mishaps encountered by the soldiers. Among the headaches endured by Wright's squad: a lack of lubricating oil to keep their weapons functioning properly, muffed radio communication thanks to incompatible encryption, and general cluelessness about the true nature of their mission, which was basically to drive through enemy positions to draw fire so their position/size/strength could be estimated. As with any good reporter, Wright plays the facts pretty straight. There isn't much here that is partisan one way or the other. He doesn't shy away from showing the sheer horror of war, such as the case of the Iraqi driver who had the top of his head scooped out by a bullet, leaving braindead but technicaly alive, with a beating heart and working lungs as he sat at the wheel of his vehicle. Nor does Wright paper over Saddam's brutal regime, and there are several scenes in which cheering crowds lined the streets to joyously welcome the Marines. The book's title is outrageously sensationalistic, and while at the start Wright seems poised to cast the entire adventure as a tale of ultra-violent American youth numbed by years of Hollywood action flicks and bloody video games, that theme is quickly left behind. Indeed, it would be difficult to make generalizations about American troops based on this book. On the one hand, you have extremely intelligent and upright men that represent the best of America, such as the guys who essentially shame an officer into authorizing a helicopter evacuation for an Iraqi kid who was accidentally shot. On the other hand, there are examples of sheer incandescent idiocy, such as the guy who remarks how coo

80% Accurate, 20% Interpretation

This book covers what we at 1st Recon called "The Best Spring Break Ever". Wright does an outstanding job accurately portraying the personalities of the operators of Bravo company. As a member of Charlie and H & S company I can verify that he is fairly accurate in his recalling of most events our Battalion faced. The only thing I found inaccurate is that he portrays many Officers to be incompetent. In reality there was a few morons in charge, but the vast majority were fairly good guys. This is fairly standard throughout the military. Also he took a lot of the things we said out of context and interpreted it to make us sound angry all the time(except Tim B., he really is angry all the time). All in all this book is 80%fact 20%spin. Regardless, it captures the general feelings and experiences that we in 1st Recon lived through. -November Echo four Romeo S.S.D.

No Boyscouts Here

I'm glad to read a story about the Marines that is uncensored - with the high expectations of the American people set by the greatest generation that ever lived I found it impossible to live up to Steven Spielberg's version of "Band of Brothers". Being a Marine in 1st Recon Bn, Evan Wright's interpretation of our daily lives and experiences are extremely accurate. While reading the book almost a year later I had forgotten some of the details of my own experiences that Wright brought back to life. It was almost like I was living through the war again. Simply put, if you want to know what it is like to be a Marine during this campaign there is no better book at this time. It seems to me that Evan Wright was influenced by nothing but the experiences and the personalities that he absorbed during the war. No one is over exaggerated.
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