The Forever War by Dexter Filkins

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From the front lines of the battle against Islamic fundamentalism, a searing, unforgettable book that captures the human essence of the greatest conflict of our time. Through the eyes of Dexter Filkins, the prizewinning New York Times correspondent whose work was hailed by David Halberstam as “reporting of the highest quality imaginable,” we witness the remarkable chain of events that began with the rise of the Taliban in the 1990s, continued with the attacks of 9/11, and moved on to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Filkins’s narrative moves across a vast and various landscape of amazing characters and astonishing scenes: deserts, mountains, and streets of carnage; a public amputation performed by Taliban; children frolicking in minefields; skies streaked white by the contrails of B-52s; a night’s sleep in the rubble of Ground Zero. We embark on a foot patrol through the shadowy streets of Ramadi, venture into a torture chamber run by Saddam Hussein. We go into the homes of suicide bombers and into street-to-street fighting with a battalion of marines. We meet Iraqi insurgents, an American captain who loses a quarter of his men in eight days, and a young soldier from Georgia on a rooftop at midnight reminiscing about his girlfriend back home. A car bomb explodes, bullets fly, and a mother cradles her blinded son. Like no other book, The Forever War allows us a visceral understanding of today’s battlefields and of the experiences of the people on the ground, warriors and innocents alike. It is a brilliant, fearless work, not just about America’s wars after 9/11, but ultimately about the nature of war itself.

About Dexter Filkins

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Dexter Filkins, a foreign correspondent for The New York Times, has covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001. Before that, he worked for the Los Angeles Times, where he was chief of the paper's New Delhi bureau, and for The Miami Herald. He has been a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize and a winner of a George Polk Award and two Overseas Press Club awards. Most recently, he was a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Published September 16, 2008 by Knopf.
Genres: . Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Forever War

The Telegraph

I can imagine some using it as a defence of the invasions - the countries were broken before we arrived - but for most of us who experience Afghanistan or Iraq only from news footage, Filkins's compassionate and unvarnished book is a vitally important one.

Oct 04 2008 | Read Full Review of The Forever War

Christian Science Monitor

The Sunni-Shia religious divide is one example, but Filkins also examines the way the goal of global jihad, fueled by Iraqi nationalism, drives other insurgent groups, even turning them against multinational Al Qaeda, until “A civil war of sorts was breaking out inside the insurgency itself.” “Th...

Oct 10 2008 | Read Full Review of The Forever War

The Daily Beast

Along similar lines he offers a wry but surprisingly sympathetic portrait of Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi émigré politician who, among other things, supplied the Bush administration with dubious alibis for the 2003 invasion and is accordingly demonized by critics of the war (most of whom, unlike Filk...

Sep 25 2008 | Read Full Review of The Forever War

Marine Corps Gazette

In a moment of clarity, as shards of hot metal whizzed past, Filkins reported: “I felt sure we were going to die if we didn’t move, and I felt sure we would die if we did.” He patrolled with Marines through the devastated city of Ramadi.

| Read Full Review of The Forever War

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