What Was Asked of Us: An Oral History of the Iraq War by the Soldiers Who Fought It

Trish Wood, Author . Little, Brown $25.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-01670-4

The thing about fighting in a war, relates one soldier in this penetrating, terrifying and important book, "is that there's no way to put into words what actually happened." Yet with these brutally straightforward accounts by 29 American veterans of the Iraq War, Wood—an award-winning Canadian investigative reporter—proves her own subject wrong. Wood's deftness as interviewer and editor renders her own presence scarce, freeing each soldier to provide firsthand looks at botched reconstruction efforts, intelligence snafus and the practicalities of heroism. Among these stories by soldiers from widely varying ideological and personal backgrounds, unexpected examples are the born-again Christian, appalled by the abuse he witnesses at Abu Ghraib, who asks, "America, what always makes us right?"; and the ex-drug addict, a self-described "left-wing nut," who calls the war "a meaningless conflict" yet acknowledges that "I loved every firefight I was in because for those few brief seconds nothing else matters." Colloquial, coarse and compelling, these narratives flash with humor, horror, nihilism and poesy. Despite the layers of tragedy, the ascendant message is one of courage and self-sacrifice amid war's absurdities. 16 pages b&w photos. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/25/2006
Release date: 11/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 303 pages - 978-0-316-01671-1
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-316-02321-4
Open Ebook - 978-0-316-02316-0
Open Ebook - 978-0-316-02320-7
Ebook - 978-0-316-02322-1
Ebook - 978-0-316-02319-1
Open Ebook - 190 pages - 978-0-316-14330-1
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