A powerful account of eighteen months in the lives of three soldiers and
a journalist, all patients in Ward 57, Walter Reeds amputee wing
magazines Michael Weisskopf was riding through Baghdad in the back of
U.S. Army Humvee, an embedded reporter alongside soldiers from the 1st
Armored Division, when he heard a metallic thunk. Looking down, he saw
a small, dark object rolling inches from his feet. He reached down and
took it in his hand. Then everything went black.
lost his hand and was sent for treatment to Ward 57 at Walter Reed
Medical Center, the wing of the armed forces hospital reserved for
amputees. There he crossed paths with Pete Damon, Luis Rodriguez, and
Bobby Isaacs, three soldiers whose stories he learned during months in
the ward. Alongside these men, Weisskopf navigated the bewildering
process of recovery and reentry, and began reconciling life before that
day in Baghdad with everything that would follow his release.
is the story of this difficult passagefor Weisskopf, Damon, Rodriguez,
Isaacs, and hundreds of othersa story that began with healthy men
heading off to a war zone, and continued through the months in Ward 57
as they prepared their minds and bodies for a different life than the
one they left. A chronicle of devastation and recovery, this is a
deeply affecting portrait of the private aftermath of combat
If you're looking for a gung ho story of military heroism, or a polemic on the Iraqi War, Blood Brothers is not for you - this is not a political book (at least not overtly) and while there are heroes aplenty in its pages, Blood Brothers focuses on what happens to the soldiers who return from the front a fraction of their former selves, and how they, and their families, learn to live with horrific and life altering injuries long after the media, and most likely the military, has lost interest in them. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Readers with a low tolerance for inspirational stories will still find plenty of technical and medical details of one tragic, little-publicized consequence of the Iraq war.
Booklist - Roland Green
This thoroughly distinguished addition to the literature on the Iraq War adds further distinction to Weisskopf's career, which he plans to continue to the best of his remaining abilities.
Ward 57 becomes a metaphor for the horrors of war and the triumph of the human will. An unflinching depiction of the aftermath of war and of the spirit of those who live through it.
Unlike much of the current literature on the Iraq war, little of this book discusses the political aspects of the conflict. Weisskopf recognizes his own experience in that of the soldiers, making for a wonderful story of tragedy and recovery.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by John Heiss A graduate of Walter Reed school of injury and recovery You really hit the proverbial nail. A gut wrenching saga of war from the men and women on the front lines. I too spent my time at Walter Reed(1969). Blood Brothers brought it all back in focus from the moment of impact all the way through... Read More
Michael Weisskopf is a senior correspondent for Time magazine,
working out of Washington D.C. He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner
of a number of awards for journalism including the Daniel Pearl Award for
Courage and Integrity in Journalism. As an investigative reporter for the nation
section. he has scored many scoops, including the smoking-gun letter of FBI
whistle-blower Coleen Rowley and broke stories on Arthur Andersen's shredding of
Enron documents, President Bill Clinton's deal with prosecutors and several
Monica Lewinsky stories.
In addition to Blood Brothers, he is co-author of two books: Truth At
Any Cost, a book on the Kenneth Starr probe published in April of 2000, and
Tell Newt to Shut Up, a book about the 1995 Republican revolution in
congress, published in 1996.
He joined Time in 1997 after 20 years at the Washington Post where he
covered money in politics, the environment and the Pentagon. Fluent in
Chinese, he was the paper's correspondent in China from 1980 to 1985...
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