Kaboom by Matthew Gallagher

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When Lieutenant Matt Gallagher began his blog with the aim of keeping his family and friends apprised of his experiences, he didn’t anticipate that it would resonate far beyond his intended audience. His subjects ranged from mission details to immortality, grim stories about Bon Jovi cassettes mistaken for IEDs, and the daily experiences of the Gravediggers—the code name for members of Gallagher’s platoon. When the blog was shut down in June 2008 by the U.S. Army, there were more than twentyfive congressional inquiries regarding the matter as well as reports through the military grapevine that many high-ranking officials and officers at the Pentagon were disappointed that the blog had been ordered closed.

Based on Gallagher’s extraordinarily popular blog, Kaboom is “at turns hilarious, maddening, and terrifying,” providing “raw and insightful snapshots of a conflict many Americans have lost interest in” (Washington Post). Like Anthony Swofford’s Jarhead, Gallagher’s Kaboom resonates with stoic detachment and timeless insight into a war that we are still trying to understand.


About Matthew Gallagher

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Matt Gallagher joined the Army in 2005 and left in 2009 following a fifteen-month tour in Iraq. Originally from Reno, Nevada, he now lives in New York City.
Published March 23, 2010 by Da Capo Press. 338 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Kaboom

New York Journal of Books

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With the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan now taking their place in our military-historical tradition, three new books emerged this summer.

Mar 23 2010 | Read Full Review of Kaboom

BC Books

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In a trailblazing Iraq War memoir, Gallagher pins down the feel of soldiers serving in Bagdad, while they try to make sense of what Counter Insurgency really means.

Nov 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Kaboom

The Wall Street Journal

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The Army pulled the plug on the blog in June 2008 after Mr. Gallagher posted an account of how he had turned down a promotion to a staff position in order to stay with his men—or, rather, he mentioned that news as part of a hilarious rant about Army injustices, pitch-perfect for the millennium ge...

Mar 23 2010 | Read Full Review of Kaboom

Seattle PI

Your California Privacy Rights |

Feb 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Kaboom

ForeWord Reviews

Similar to other memorable wartime remembrances, Gallagher provides compelling accounts of the sacrifices made by the military, while questioning the purpose of war, especially the Iraq War, which was fought without a home front, or as expressed on a Porta-Potty wall: “America isn’t at war.

Apr 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Kaboom

The Army Rumour Service

This is a cracking book detailing the author’s experiences as a US Cavalry Platoon Leader just outside Baghdad over fifteen months from late 2007 to early 2009, encapsulating the change in US policy as directed by Pertraeus and then continued by Odierno.

Apr 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Kaboom

The Moderate Voice

Ms Tomlinson has never been in the military or close to war and doesn’t understand that this is not a book about war but a book about soldier’s relationships in war.

Apr 26 2010 | Read Full Review of Kaboom

Reader Rating for Kaboom

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