The Fighters.

Position:Book review


The Fighters

Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq

By C. J. Chivers

  1. J Chivers is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist best known for his work with the New York Times and Esquire. After serving in the military as a Ranger in the First Gulf War, Chivers covered crime and law enforcement for the New York Times and was an on-the-ground reporter in the aftermath of 9/11. He has also worked as a foreign correspondent covering political shifts and ongoing conflicts in Russia and the Middle East. His first book, The Gun, a history of automatic rifles, was published in 2010.

THE TOPIC: Through the eyes of American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, The Fighters explores the inherent failings of modern warfare and its deep effects on those who fight. Removed from the bureaucracy of politics and high-ranking military officials, The Fighters digs into the moment-by-moment experience of being a soldier in two of the longest-lasting military conflicts in global history. Chivers follows the lives--before, after, and during their tours of duty--of fighter pilots, corpsman, scout helicopter pilots, grunts, infantry officers, and a Special Forces sergeant from the war in Iraq, spilling out of the 9/11 attacks through the spread of the Islamic State. The Fighters is a book aimed at understanding the reality of the day-to-day lives of American soldiers in the Middle East and is also a reckoning with the moral and organizational morass those wars have become.

Simon & Schuster. 400 pages. $28. ISBN: 9781451676648

Field& Stream ****1/2

"In a time notable for its lack of truth, Chivers's reporting constitutes a very large dose of truth, and it is a bitter dose to swallow.... The Fighters is about as accurate a depiction of combat in the Sandbox as we are going to see in our lifetimes." DAVID E. PETZAL

Men's Journal ****1/2

"The book captures the anxiety and courage of the men as the wars play out day by day, then year by year.... The Fighters will stand as an essential record of Americans in combat in the years following September 11, much as A. J. Liebling's The Road Back to Paris or Michael Herr's Dispatches did for servicemen of the past." J.R.SULLIVAN

New York Times ****1/2

"What makes this book such a classic of war reporting is the very absence of panorama. Rather, Chivers has reconstructed the moment-by-moment experiences of Navy...

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