Crossings Jon Kerstetter “Crossings” is subtitled “A Doctor-Soldier’s Story,” but there’s much more to it than that. It chronicles Jon Kerstetter’s service as a flight surgeon in Iraq, but it also tells the story of his whole life, in which his tours in Iraq are just a small part. The son of a single mother […]
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When Things Fall Apart Pema Chödrön “When Things Fall Apart” is a short, pithy collection of essays by esteemed Buddhist nun and spiritual guide Pema Chodron about facing the difficult things in life, whatever they may be. Although Chodron sometimes discusses specific situations, and occasionally gives specific examples, sometimes rather amusing ones of her inability […]
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How To Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide For the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers Toni Bernhard Foreword by Sylvia Boorstein The problem for most Western approaches to dealing with a serious or chronic illness is that they are based, whether they know it or not, on the concepts of objective distance and physical and rational […]
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I Married a Soldier Brenda Hale and Rachel Farmer It’s what every military spouse fears: silence when there should have been emails, followed by uniformed strangers at the door. In “I Married a Soldier,” Brenda Hale chronicles her happy marriage to career military man Mark Hale, and its heartbreaking end when he was killed in […]
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The Lonely Soldier Helen Benedict If you still harbor any starry-eyed illusions about the Iraq war as a noble endeavor, or of the military as a welcoming place for women, this book will dispel them. Focusing largely on the experiences of a fairly diverse group (two white, one Mexican-American, one African-American, one Native American, all, […]
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Embed: With the World’s Armies in Afghanistan Nick Allen I knew Nick Allen as the translator of the excellent “One Soldier’s War,” so I was interested to read his own story of spending two years embedded with various countries’ armies in Afghanistan. I was not disappointed: it’s a fascinating book that depicted what for me […]
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American Sniper Chris Kyle “We were slaughtering them,” brags Chris Kyle, America’s most prolific sniper, in his bestselling memoir that spawned the hit movie directed by Clint Eastwood. The “them” here refers to Iraqi insurgents, of whom Kyle killed close to 200, something he attributes largely to luck and being in the right place at […]
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“Blackwater” Jeremy Scahill With Erik Prince’s recent op-ed in the NYT arguing in favor of largely turning the US presence in Afghanistan over to private military contractors, now seems like a good time to review Jeremy Scahill’s “Blackwater,” a detailed expose of Blackwater’s (now merged with Triple Canopy and known as Academi) actions during the […]
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Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden How much good can you do with the point of a gun? This is the question that, at its heart, “Black Hawk Down” asks–and answers. The answer? Only so much. “Black Hawk Down” covers, with moment-by-moment thoroughness, the 1993 battle of Mogadishu, when a small group of US Rangers […]
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“For once,” Dan Mills says about the news that his battalion was being sent to Iraq, “we were going somewhere interesting.” A professional soldier in his 30s and the head of his battalion’s sniper group, Mills had been bored stiff by a series of tours in tedious places like Northern Ireland and Bosnia. But finally, […]
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