From the front lines of the battle against Islamic fundamentalism, a searing, unforgettable book that captures the human essence of the greatest conflict of our time.
Through the eyes of Dexter Filkins, the prizewinning New York Times correspondent whose work was hailed by David Halberstam as reporting of the highest quality imaginable, we witness the remarkable chain of events that began with the rise of the Taliban in the 1990s, continued with the attacks of 9/11, and moved on to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Filkinss narrative moves across a vast and various landscape of amazing characters and astonishing scenes: deserts, mountains, and streets of carnage; a public amputation performed by Taliban; children frolicking in minefields; skies streaked white by the contrails of B-52s; a nights sleep in the rubble of Ground Zero.
We embark on a foot patrol through the shadowy streets of Ramadi, venture into a torture chamber run by Saddam Hussein. We go into the homes of suicide bombers and into street-to-street fighting with a battalion of marines. We meet Iraqi insurgents, an American captain who loses a quarter of his men in eight days, and a young soldier from Georgia on a rooftop at midnight reminiscing about his girlfriend back home. A car bomb explodes, bullets fly, and a mother cradles her blinded son.
Like no other book, The Forever War allows us a visceral understanding of todays battlefields and of the experiences of the people on the ground, warriors and innocents alike. It is a brilliant, fearless work, not just about Americas wars after 9/11, but ultimately about the nature of war itself.
For anyone who despairs, as I have, of ever understanding the nations and events which orbit around the date September 11, 2001, The Forever War is part antidote, part exacerbation. As in the rest of life, the more we learn, the less we really know. Yet, this is the great value of the book. Filkins shows us that black and white ideologies – political, moral or otherwise – may be easy to stand by in our comfortable, peaceful world, but they become much harder to proclaim from the other side of the world, in the grey heart of war. (Reviewed by Stacey Brownlie).
The New York Times - Lee H. Hamilton
His prose is as blunt as it is powerful. Iraqis, and Afghanis, have spoken for themselves, and Mr. Filkins has listened carefully.
The New York Times Book Review - Robert Stone
Dexter Filkins, one of The New York Times's most talented reporters, employs a fine journalistic restraint, by which I mean he does not force irony or paradox but leaves that process to the reader. Nor does he speculate on what he does not see. These are worthy attributes, and whether their roots are in journalistic discipline or not they serve this unforgettable narrative superbly.
The Washington Post - Bing West
These stories are accurate but not antiseptic, detached but not uncaring. And they force the reader to reflect on how fragile civilization is and how fortunate we Americans are.
Vanity Fair - Elissa Schappell
Brutally intimate, compassionate, often poetic accounts of the battle against Islamic fundamentalism...destined to become a classic.
Starred Review. Filkins...is widely regarded as among the finest war correspondents of this generation.
Sharing his deeply humbling, transforming journey, the author tempers numbing details of slaughter and carnage with affecting human stories.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Cindy Warner Dexter's introduces his photographer Ash in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot [Editor's note: The introduction to Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is written by Dexter Filkins, author of The Forever War. As many, if not all, the photos in the book relate to The Forever War, the review of Whiskey Tango... Read More
Rated of 5
by Cindy Warner Laish Laish Habibi (why, why friend?) Finished first reading of The Forever War just now after picking it up in San Francisco on my bike Thursday night. Took leap of faith and paid the $25 based on the integrity of the groups and media you have been talking to as well as that... Read More
Iraq and Afghanistan are countries with deep histories and multiple ethnic
and religious citizen groups.
The geographical area that today is
Iraq is regarded by historians as the site of some of the earliest human
civilizations, including the Sumerians (who lived between the Tigris and
Euphrates rivers in
a Greek word meaning land between the two rivers).
The division between the Shia and Sunni elements of Islam began sometime in the
late 600s after Arab tribes had taken control of the area from Iranian rulers.
After an approximately 500 year Arab dynasty and intervening conflicts with
Turkish warriors, the land that is now Iraq became part of the Ottoman Empire
in the 1600s and remained so until after World War I. The struggle
between Sunni and Shia factions continued during this period.
At the end of World War I, the country of Iraq was carved out of the Ottoman
Empire and became a British protectorate (up until 1920, the area had been...
Michael Weisskopf, a journalist, was riding through Baghdad with a US Army patrol when they were attacked and his hand was destoyed by a grenade. This book is the story of his treatment and rehabilitation as an amputee, and the stories of the three soldiers who recovered alongside him.
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U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...