Red Platoon: A True Story of American Valor

Clinton Romesha. Dutton, $28 (432p) ISBN 978-0-525-95505-4
Former SSG Romesha, a Medal of Honor recipient for his actions in the 2009 battle for Outpost Keating in Afghanistan, viscerally describes the dirt, danger, and chaos of that battle. This ranks among the best combat narratives written in recent decades, revealing Romesha as a brave and skilled soldier as well as a gifted writer. He supports his own memories with hours of interviews and official reports to describe the battle and its context. Romesha offers some personal history and a rundown of the precarious nature of life at the remote American outpost before launching into his minute-by-minute account of its defense, from the moments prior to the attack at 5:58 a.m. until the first medevac helicopter arrived to remove the wounded and dead at 8:11 p.m. At the end of the battle, of the 50 soldiers at Keating, eight were dead and 27 were wounded. The soldiers were not hardened Special Forces operators, but rather ordinary young Americans “cut from a more ragged grade of cloth.” Romesha remains humble and self-effacing throughout, in a contrast with many other first-person battle accounts, and his powerful, action-packed book is likely to stand as a classic of the genre. Photos. Agent: Jennifer Joel, ICM. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/04/2016
Release date: 05/03/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-14-752470-6
Library Binding - 500 pages - 978-1-62899-993-8
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-1-101-98433-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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