Book Reviews: Military & Politics
Generation Kill by Evan Wright
Read by Natalie 2009
Natalie recommends this as a great insight into the first Marines into Iraq after 9/11.
This book was actually derived from a three part series published in Rolling Stone. Its author, Evan Wright was a journalist who followed the marines of the First Recon Battalion into Iraq shortly after the events of 9/11 as the US government sort to bring those responsible to justice. These men became the first generation deployed into open-ended combat since the Vietnam War and the first soldiers to fight their way through Iraq and enter Baghdad. The series was so popular, that Wright wrote a full length book, telling the story of a bunch of young boys as they journeyed through a country they didn't understand to fight a war they didn't necessarily believe in or want to fight, all the time desperately seeking urgent supplies such as batteries for their night vision goggles and fighting stupid decisions made by superior officers who weren't there to experience the action. The book is unbelievable for its description of what these men had to endure, from lack of supplies, to constantly being put in unnecessary and dangerous situations by a commander seeking medals and glory. But underneath it all, the camaraderie and humour with which these men do their jobs is both amazing and inspirational. The book has been made into a 7-part HBO series, which is equally good. Featuring two of the original Recon Marines, it gives you a good sense of who is who and everything these men had to go through. Some of the dialogue between the men is absolutely priceless! Wright became a voice for these men, telling the true story behind the glorified reports being sent back to America. While they were initially reluctant to have him ride along with them, they did grow to respect him and praised his efforts at telling their side of the story. He won the National Magazine Award for his Rolling Stone series and is the recipient of the General Wallace M. Greene Jr Award from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. An inspiring book and series.