Released at a time when soldier memoirs seem to be a dime-a-dozen publishing phenomenon, Harmon's entry should be celebrated as much for what it isn't as what it is. This is an even-paced, detailed, deliberate account of a sincere New Englander's move to Israel in 1990, where he enlists as a paratrooper just before the beginning of the Gulf War. Despite his weak grasp of Hebrew, Harmon graduates from basic training and soon finds himself guarding the country's borders and volunteering for raids against known and suspected terrorists. Throughout his service in the West Bank and Lebanon, he maintains a measured tone sympathetic to the hardships of neighboring Palestinians, even as he's called back from civilian life following an upswing in violence. For such a strictly chronological account-not merely day-to-day but at times moment-to-moment-Harmon's work is surprisingly captivating. Though he isn't always able to distinguish between pertinent and expendable information, Harmon's voice is so consistent and genuine that it's impossible not to identify with his steadfast journey. An illuminating account of a much-covered conflict, this is a memoir for anyone who wants a look behind the daily headlines.