Grunt: Book summary and reviews of Grunt by Mary Roach

Grunt

The Curious Science of Humans at War

by Mary Roach

Grunt by Mary Roach X
Grunt by Mary Roach
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About this book

Book Summary

Best-selling author Mary Roach explores the science of keeping human beings intact, awake, sane, uninfected, and uninfested in the bizarre and extreme circumstances of war.

Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries - panic, exhaustion, heat, noise - and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. Mary Roach dodges hostile fire with the U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of U.S. Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. She visits a repurposed movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds. At Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, in east Africa, we learn how diarrhea can be a threat to national security. Roach samples caffeinated meat, sniffs an archival sample of a World War II stink bomb, and stays up all night with the crew tending the missiles on the nuclear submarine USS Tennessee. She answers questions not found in any other book on the military: Why is DARPA interested in ducks? How is a wedding gown like a bomb suit? Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks? Take a tour of duty with Roach, and you'll never see our nation's defenders in the same way again.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Roach applies her thorough - and thoroughly entertaining - techniques to the sobering subject of keeping soldiers not just alive but alert and healthy of mind and body during warfare." - Library Journal

"Roach's book is not for the squeamish or those who envision war as a glorious enterprise; it is a captivating look at the lengths scientists go to in order to reduce the horrors of war." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. A rare literary bird, a best selling science writer...Roach avidly and impishly infiltrates the world of military science...Roach is exuberantly and imaginatively informative and irreverently funny, but she is also in awe of the accomplished and committed military people she meets." - Booklist

"Battlefield R&D is a topic too fascinating to ruin, so readers who can tolerate the author's relentless flippancy will not regret the experience." - Kirkus

"Mary Roach is one of the best in the business of science writing...She takes readers on a tour of the scientists who attempt to conquer the panic, exhaustion, heat, and noise that plague modern soldiers." - Brooklyn Magazine

"Roach...applies her tenacious reporting and quirky point of view to efforts by scientists to conquer some of the soldier's worst enemies." - Seattle Times

The information about Grunt shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Mary Roach Author Biography

Photo: John Madere

Mary Roach grew up in a small house in Etna, New Hampshire. She graduated from Wesleyan in 1981, and then moved out to San Francisco s. She spent a few years working as a freelance copy editor before landing a half-time PR job at the SF Zoo. During that time she wrote freelance articles for the local newspaper's Sunday magazine.

Though she mostly focuses on writing books, she writes the occasional magazine piece. These have run in Outside, National Geographic, New Scientist, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine, as well as many others. A 1995 article of herse called "How to Win at Germ Warfare" was a National Magazine Award Finalist, and in 1996, her article on earthquake-proof bamboo houses took the Engineering Journalism Award in the general interest ...

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