SOMALIA ON FIVE DOLLARS A DAY: A Soldier's Story

Martin Stanton, Author . Presidio $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-89141-741-5

A career army officer and a Gulf War vet, Stanton was familiar with combat pay, that extra something given to soldiers when facing "hostile fire or imminent danger" (currently $150 a month, or about $5 a day), when he sat on the roof of his Saudi Arabian headquarters in 1992 and read the "pink slip" that made him battalion operations officer of Task Force 2-87 infantry, 10th Mountain Division. By February 1993, his group was the first in Kismayu, beginning on the "squalid and puzzling little failure" that Operation Restore Hope turned out to be. Such sophisticated and contextualized observations are rife in this field memoir, one of the few to come out of the conflict and certainly in a class by itself in terms of the quality of the writing. Few army memoirs contain the solid, synthetic historical and day-to-day background to the conflict that Stanton includes throughout, and even fewer contain sentences like "It was quite a sight to see the tall, dignified [Ambassador Robert] Oakley, who towered over most of the elders, speaking to the old Somali men who sat uncomfortably on their chairs, with their carved, inlaid walking sticks beside them." Most of the book concerns firsthand observations of quotidian operations and analyses of what went wrong and why, which will limit its appeal, but it is certainly one of the finest books of its kind for the season. (July)

Forecast:As a Military Book Club selection and with a $75,000 promotion budget and radio tour "of the top 25 markets" behind it, this book will find its readership.

Reviewed on: 06/25/2001
Release date: 06/01/2001
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.