From the Stash is just my way to denote when something is from before I had the blog. I have been reviewing books since January 2010 so I’d like to showcase some of that past work, as well as safeguard my reviews for posterity
War by Sebastian Junger
Published: May 11th 2010 by Twelve
Format/Source: Hardcover borrowed from the library
Originally read: April 2011
In his breakout bestseller, The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger created “a wild ride that brilliantly captures the awesome power of the raging sea and the often futile attempts of humans to withstand it” (Los Angeles Times Book Review). Now, Junger turns his brilliant and empathetic eye to the reality of combat–the fear, the honor, and the trust among men in an extreme situation whose survival depends on their absolute commitment to one another. His on-the-ground account follows a single platoon through a 15-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. Through the experiences of these young men at war, he shows what it means to fight, to serve, and to face down mortal danger on a daily basis.
I had to read this book for class, but I’ve enjoyed it so much that I keep forgetting it was assigned.
Sebastian Junger was embedded in an Army Airborne unit in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan, right near the border with Pakistan in 2007. It was and is a place that with a lot of combat. Devoid of overtly political aims or message, Junger describes what a deployment is like, the conditions they are in, and the brotherhood that comes out of it. It’s completely a pro-soldier book with little added about the broader war. It was completely refreshing to read something that strived so hard to portray the facts of a situation and the truth of the people involved without inserting personal beliefs.
I had watched Junger’s documentary, Restrepo, before reading this book and it definitely helped with picturing the people in the book as well as the scenery and events. It is not a book (nor is the documentary) a cheerful read. It is heavy and does not shy away from some of the results of combat. Reader discretion is advised. It was entirely enlightening and I look forward to reading other books like it.