Into the Fire by Dakota Meyer
A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War

80%

13 Critic Reviews

Written with his imperfect humanity bravely on display, Mr. Meyer's narrative shows us that cartoon notions like "invincibility" have no place in the equation.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

“The story of what Dakota did . . . will be told for generations.”—President Barack Obama, from remarks given at Meyer’s Medal of Honor ceremony

In the fall of 2009, Taliban insurgents ambushed a patrol of Afghan soldiers and Marine advisors in a mountain village called Ganjigal. Firing from entrenched positions, the enemy was positioned to wipe out one hundred men who were pinned down and were repeatedly refused artillery support. Ordered to remain behind with the vehicles, twenty-one year-old Marine corporal Dakota Meyer disobeyed orders and attacked to rescue his comrades.
           
With a brave driver at the wheel, Meyer stood in the gun turret exposed to withering fire, rallying Afghan troops to follow. Over the course of the five hours, he charged into the valley time and again. Employing a variety of machine guns, rifles, grenade launchers, and even a rock, Meyer repeatedly repulsed enemy attackers, carried wounded Afghan soldiers to safety, and provided cover for dozens of others to escape—supreme acts of valor and determination. In the end, Meyer and four stalwart comrades—an Army captain, an Afghan sergeant major, and two Marines—cleared the battlefield and came to grips with a tragedy they knew could have been avoided. For his actions on that day, Meyer became the first living Marine in three decades to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
 
Into the Fire tells the full story of the chaotic battle of Ganjigal for the first time,  in a compelling, human way that reveals it as a microcosm of our recent wars. Meyer takes us from his upbringing on a farm in Kentucky, through his Marine and sniper training, onto the battlefield, and into the vexed aftermath of his harrowing exploits in a battle that has become the stuff of legend. 
 
Investigations ensued, even as he was pitched back into battle alongside U.S. Army soldiers who embraced him as a fellow grunt. When it was over, he returned to the States to confront living with the loss of his closest friends. This is a tale of American values and upbringing, of stunning heroism, and of adjusting to loss and to civilian life.
 
We see it all through Meyer’s eyes, bullet by bullet, with raw honesty in telling of both the errors that resulted in tragedy and the resolve of American soldiers, U.S. Marines, and Afghan soldiers who’d been abandoned and faced certain death. 
 
Meticulously researched and thrillingly told, with nonstop pace and vivid detail, Into the Fire is the unvarnished story of a modern American hero.

Praise for Into the Fire
 
“A story of men at their best and at their worst . . . leaves you gaping in admiration at Medal of Honor winner Dakota Meyer’s courage.”—National Review
 
“Meyer’s dazzling bravery wasn’t momentary or impulsive but deliberate and sustained.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“[A] cathartic, heartfelt account . . . Combat memoirs don’t get any more personal.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“A great contribution to the discussion of an agonizingly complex subject.”—The Virginian-Pilot
 
Black Hawk Down meets Lone Survivor.”—Library Journal
 

About Dakota Meyer

See more books from this Author
Dakota Meyer was born and raised in Columbia, Kentucky, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2006. A school-trained sniper and highly skilled infantryman, Corporal Meyer deployed to Iraq in 2007 and to Afghanistan in 2009. In 2011, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his unyielding courage in the battle of Ganjigal. He now competes at charity events in skeet and rifle competitions. He also speaks frequently at schools and veterans' events to raise awareness of our military and remains dedicated to the causes of our veterans. For the families of fallen troops, he has raised over one million dollars.Bing West, a Marine combat veteran, served as an assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration. He has been on hundreds of patrols in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. A nationally acclaimed war correspondent, he is the author of The Village; No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah; The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq; and The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, West has received the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation award, the Colby Award for military nonfiction, the Veterans of Foreign Wars News Media Award, and the Marine Corps University Foundation's Russell Leadership Award. He lives with his wife, Betsy, in Newport, Rhode Island.
 
Published September 25, 2012 by Random House. 266 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, War. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Oct 14 2012
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Critic reviews for Into the Fire
All: 13 | Positive: 11 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Excellent
on Sep 15 2012

Combat memoirs don’t get any more personal, and Meyer deserves honors for his honesty here just as much as for his experiences in the field.

Read Full Review of Into the Fire: A Firsthand Ac... | See more reviews from Kirkus

WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by James Hornfischer on Oct 02 2012

Written with his imperfect humanity bravely on display, Mr. Meyer's narrative shows us that cartoon notions like "invincibility" have no place in the equation.

Read Full Review of Into the Fire: A Firsthand Ac... | See more reviews from WSJ online

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Nathaniel Moir on Jun 18 2013

...the efforts to help other soldiers and in Dakota Meyer's case, mostly allied Afghan Soldiers is inspiring and a model of selflessness. That is something, despite war, that is always worth remembering.

Read Full Review of Into the Fire: A Firsthand Ac... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Washington Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Gary Anderson on Nov 11 2012

I sincerely hope this book project is a catharsis for Sgt. Meyer. The fact is, his higher headquarters planned a poor mission and did not properly support it when trouble occurred.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Elizabeth Samet on Dec 08 2012

Readers in search of tactical detail will find much to satisfy them in this book.

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The Washington Post

Below average
Reviewed by Elizabeth Samet

Readers in search of tactical detail will find much to satisfy them in this book. Those interested in larger strategic, political or existential truths will be frustrated.

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The American Spectator

Excellent
Reviewed by Aram Bakshian, Jr. on Nov 01 2012

The story of America’s most recent living Medal of Honor winner highlights two contrasting traits found in martial organizations: heroism and C-Y-A poltroonery.

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UT San Diego

Good
Reviewed by Gretel Kovach on Dec 22 2012

...Meyer offers the reader one grunt’s view, the tactical thinking of a highly trained marksman and deer hunter, his lust for battle and the guilt that nearly kills him after he finally finds his friends, dead in a ditch.

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Marine Corps Gazette

Excellent
Reviewed by R. Works

“Into the Fire” is more than an incredible story of Dakota Meyer’s heroic actions; it reveals the complexities of the war in Afghanistan from the infantryman’s per­spective...

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PJMedia

Excellent
Reviewed by David Forsmark on Nov 28 2012

...Dakota Meyer fearlessly took on overwhelming odds by commandeering a mounted gun. But by undertaking not one but five suicide missions in one day, this stubbornly ferocious Marine is in a league of his own.

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Kentucky.com

Below average
Reviewed by Cheryl Truman on Sep 27 2012

As it is, the reader is forced to flip back and forth between pages and maps and earlier descriptions. It makes for a rocky read.

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BlackFive

Good
Reviewed by Elise Cooper on Oct 18 2012

This book is a must read and will be very hard to put down. It is an intense story that puts the reader right into the battle.

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Frogen Yozurt

Good
Reviewed by Editor on Dec 09 2012

Into the Fire tells the full story of the chaotic battle of Ganjigal for the first time, in a compelling, human way that reveals it as a microcosm of our recent wars.

Read Full Review of Into the Fire: A Firsthand Ac...

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Andrew Novak 23 Sep 2013

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