A New York Times Editors' Choice
A Military Times Best Book of the Year
J. Kael Weston spent seven years on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan working for the U.S. State Department. Upon returning home, traveling throughout the United States to pay his respects to the dead and wounded, he wondered what lessons, if any, could be learned from these wars.
In this essential book, Weston questions, interprets, and explains our wars in the Middle East through a tapestry of voices—Iraqi, Afghan, and American—taking readers across California and Fallujah, Khost and Colorado. Along the way we meet generals, corporals, and captains, former Taliban fighters, Afghan schoolteachers, SEAL teams, imams, and many Marines.
When will these wars end? How will they be remembered? Perhaps no one is better suited to tackle these important questions than Weston. The Mirror Test is an unflinching look at warfare and diplomacy, and a necessary reckoning with America’s actions abroad.
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
JOHN KAEL WESTON represented the United States for more than a decade as a State Department official. Washington acknowledged his multi-year work in Fallujah with Marines by awarding him one of its highest honors, the Secretary of State's Medal for Heroism.
Read an Excerpt
By summer 2003, massive and ongoing troop movements had outstripped the Pentagon’s ability to fly U.S. service members to Iraq using only military aircraft. Lucrative contracts were awarded for commercial and charter airlines to fill the gap. Soon Boeing 757s helped transport battalions of Marines and soldiers to Kuwait. From there the Pentagon’s workhorse C-130 flown by uniformed pilots—many National Guard units in effect federalized—made the final, corkscrew landing into Baghdad.
Excerpted from "The Mirror Test"
Copyright © 2017 J. Kael Weston.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Twentynine Palms, California 3
Part I The Wrong War
Friends and Enemies 26
Phantom Fury or New Dawn? 37
Happy Birthday 49
The Potato Factory 63
Clear, Hold, Build 79
Helo Down 92
KIA in Mayberry 123
When Senators and Generals Talk 136
Sara al-Jumaili and the Last Grand Mufti 150
A Farewell to Fallujah 161
The 93 176
To Monument Valley 195
Part II The Right War
Deeper into the Muslim World 213
Dilawar of Yakubi 228
Khost U. 242
A Handshake, or Two 251
Reformed Taliban 260
The Ego Has Landed 270
Life After Guantánamo 279
The Dead of Sabari District 290
The Commander and the Top Student 303
Jackpots and Dryholes 311
Motor City 323
Our British Friends 346
Ask and Tell 357
A Dignified Transfer and The 91 366
Part III Home
To Cherokee, Iowa 391
To Menard, Texas 404
The Parade 416
Semper Fido and the Sierras 427
Operation Mend 436
The Spirit of America 446
The Library 463
A Museum of War 476
Nick's Home 485
The Mall of America 498
Epilogue: New York City 513
After War: A Soldier's War Journal 533
31 Angels 543
Author's Note 569
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
J. Kael Weston had me hooked from the first page. He describes how soldiers and marines live -- from his perspective. THE MIRROR TEST is a pleasure even though the subject matter is heavy. The writing style is easy. Easy but not elementary. Weston's premise gave me pause, expect this book to challenge your thinking, as it did mine. I found this book compelling and credible.. Mr. Weston is one impressive author with great experience, friends in high places, and pure guts. A definite 5 stars!