“a recent outpouring of memoirs, fiction, poetry, blogs and even some readable military reports by combatants in Iraq and Afghanistan”

The New York Times’ writer James Dao covers war-time writing from soldiers in his article, “A Well Written War, Told in the First Person,” published, Monday, February 8, 2010.

The current group is different. As part of a modern all-volunteer force, they explore the timeless theme of the futility of war — but wars that they for the most part support. The books, many written as rites of passage by members of a highly educated young officer corps, are filled with gore, inept commanders and anguish over men lost in combat, but not questions about the conflicts themselves. “They look at war as an aspect of glory, of finding honor,” said Mr. O’Brien, who was drafted for Vietnam in 1968 out of Macalester College in St. Paul. “It’s almost an old-fashioned, Victorian way of looking at war.”

Read entire article

Reading List

Memoirs & Poetry


ONE BULLET AWAY: THE MAKING OF A MARINE OFFICER By Nathaniel Fick. (Houghton Mifflin Company.) Read review.

THE UNFORGIVING MINUTE: A SOLDIER’S EDUCATION By Craig M. Mullaney. (The Penguin Press.) Read review.

HERE, BULLET By Brian Turner. (Alice James.) Read review.

LOVE MY RIFLE MORE THAN YOU: YOUNG AND FEMALE IN THE U.S. ARMY By Kayla Williams. (W. W. Norton.) Read review.

POWDER: WRITING BY WOMEN IN THE RANKS, FROM VIETNAM TO IRAQ. Edited by Lisa Bowden and Shannon Cain. (Kore Press.)

Military Reports

FIXING INTEL: A BLUEPRINT FOR MAKING INTELLIGENCE RELEVANT IN AFGHANISTAN By Maj. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, Capt. Matt Pottinger, and Paul D. Batchelor. Read report.

AN UNRELEASED ARMY HISTORY ABOUT THE JULY 2008 BATTLE OF WANAT By Douglas R. Cubbison. Read the draft report (pdf).

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