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Forever War: Dispatches from the War on Terror
     

Forever War: Dispatches from the War on Terror

4.2 82
by Dexter Filkins
 

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780099523048
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/28/2009

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Forever War 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 78 reviews.
Kay_Fair More than 1 year ago
Named one of the "10 best books of 2008" by the New York Times and brandishing a National Book Critics Circle Award, The Forever War by journalist Dexter Filkins has been leering at me from my Need-To-Read list for quite some time. "Consider the source," I warned myself as I first cracked it open; bracing myself for the far, far, far left wing swing I expected from a book written by a former reporter for both the L.A. and New York Times. "Be patient," my inner voice also advised, as I anticipated a long two-week trek of forcing myself through a dry and emotionless propaganda spew, chapter by painful chapter. Forty eight hours later, I was done. And I was so very, very wrong. There, I said it. The book begins with Mr. Filkins recounting some of his more colorful experiences in Afghanistan prior to the American military intervention. A barbaric judicial ritual, mangled bodies, and an emotionally, economically, and spiritually exhausted nation are the main take-aways. But then, without pause, explanation, or even the outline of a travel itinerary, Mr. Filkins is suddenly in Iraq. I can't be sure that he wrote this transition-less transition for the purpose of creating the impression it left readers (like me) with, but I hope so. It was a "wow, how did we end up here?" sort of a moment... much like the war itself. The United States was supposedly trucking right along in Afghanistan when, poof! Iraq, here we come! It was just that quick, and just that inevitable. (complete review at whatrefuge.blogspot)
cannonball More than 1 year ago
Presented as a series of vignettes, this book details war from the point of view of those who must slog through it. The Forever War is not a chronological history or a who's who of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rather Filkins offers tales of civilians, soldiers, and others caught in a confusing maelstrom of death and destruction. There is no attempt to make ultimate sense of the situation or to explain the logic behind the chaos. In a broad sense, the book represents a powerful portrayal of any war, any time. However, as an account of the recent Mideast wars specifically, the book brilliantly describes the meltdown of society in Iraq and the failure of authorities to understand it--let alone contain it. Filkins' adventures as a reporter, while at times bordering on the suicidal, capture the ambivalence of many Iraqis about being liberated as well as the isolation of the liberators themselves who stay well-protected inside Bahgdad's Green Zone. Written with great humanity, The Forever War is easy to read and hard to put down. It's an important book and a must read.
adamgn More than 1 year ago
I bought this after listening to Filkins' interview on NPR. I was immediately blown away from beginning to end. I gave it low ratings for "Topical Conversation" because I've found this to be the only book I've read in a long, long time that I don't know how to talk about. It's so powerful and moving that abbreviated descriptions can't explain it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dexter Filkins really solidifies himself as the top war correspondent of our generation with his gripping first hand accounts of what the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are really like. His drive and dedication to brave death again and again are remarkable as he brings the stories of men and women from both sides of this "Forever War" that is gripping the Middle East. This is an unprecedented account of the wars in the Middle East and will undoubtedly be a part of the foundation of numerous books to come in regards to what has occurred in the Middle East since 1998. This is a superb book and extremely eye opening. I would recommend anyone looking for insight to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or just a good book in general to read "The Forever War", it will not disappoint. It is as gripping as it is eye opening. It will both sober you and delight you. Terrific book, highly recommend it.
ger1959 More than 1 year ago
I urge anyone who wants to know about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but who have never served to read "The Forever War." Author Dexter Filkins. Dexter is a fearless throwback to the war corresspondents of the past who embedded on the front lines and captured a perspective rarely seen by anyone but combatants. The insights he provides based on his experiences in both combat zones are utterly harrowing and uniquely inspiring and candid. I have read almost all of the narratives written about Iraq and Afghanistan and by far, this is one of the best. Dexter's amazing ability to convey his experiences to written words is only surpassed by his unflinching willingness to go into harm's way to achieve the insights. He is the real deal and so is this book!
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