We Were One: Shoulder to Shoulder with the Marines Who Took Fallujah

Patrick K. O'Donnell, Author . Da Capo $25 (244p) ISBN 978-0-306-81469-3

Military historian O'Donnell (Into the Rising Sun ) embedded himself in the 1st Platoon of Lima Company, 1st Marine Regiment. His book describes its training and deployment to Iraq in 2004, where the platoon patrolled, fended off guerrilla attacks and finally "fought bravely and died in the Iraq War's fiercest battle" in Fallujah. Most of the book is a detailed, blow-by-blow description of the brutal street fighting, during which nearly the entire unit became casualties. As the author portrays them, these Marines were heroes and warriors with only macho flaws, such as heavy drinking or practical joking, while their enemies are simply terrorists. Maintaining that our troops fight because they love America and their buddies, but their opponents fight because they are drug-addled, suicidal maniacs, the author forgets what every military buff knows: one cannot be a great warrior without a worthy opponent. Like many embedded reporters, O'Donnell appears to have fallen in love with his subjects, adding to the growing genre of worshipful, jingoistic battle narratives about Iraq. Though these Marines fought with great courage and the details of their battle make gripping reading, the author's uncritical cheerleading reduces their accomplishment to fantasy heroics. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/25/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 244 pages - 978-0-306-81573-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4332-0140-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-4332-0142-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4332-0141-7
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-1-4332-3752-2
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4708-2236-1
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