Twelve, May 2010
For fifteen months, Sebastian Junger followed a single platoon of American soldiers at a remote outpost in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. His objective was both simple and ambitious: to convey what soldiers experience – what war actually feels like.
Gripping, honest, intense, WAR explores the neurological, psychological and social elements of combat, and the incredible bonds that form between these small groups of men. This is not a book about Afghanistan or the ‘War on Terror’; it is a book about the universal truth of men at war — all men, in all wars. Junger set out to answer what he thought of as the ‘hand grenade question:’ why would a man throw himself on a hand grenade to save other men he has probably known for only a few months? The answer elusive but profound, and goes to the heart of what it means not just to be a soldier — but to be human.
WAR is also the basis for the Academy Award nominated documentary film, Restrepo, which was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Festival. You can learn more about Restrepo at http://www.restrepothemovie.com
“Riveting... Junger experiences everything [the soldiers] do—nerve-racking patrols, terrifying roadside bombings and ambushes an unforgettable portrait of men under fire.”—Publisher's Weekly (starred)
“As in THE PERFECT STORM, Junger blends popular science, psychology and history with a breathlessly paced narrative Harrowing.”—Kirkus
“Junger's book offers no grandiose theory of how to combat terrorism. It is a gripping account of how modern warfare is experienced by those who do the fighting, and its focus is that of a laser, not a floodlight. He reaches just one grand conclusion about the nature of war: that in the final analysis, you kill the enemy not because of nationality or ideology, but because if you don't, the enemy might kill you.”—Eugene Robinson, Op-ed Columnist, The Washington Post
“With his narrative gifts and vivid prose -- as free, thank God, of literary posturing as it is of war-correspondent chest-thumping -- Junger masterfully chronicles the platoon's 15-month tour of duty...Junger makes us see the terror, monotony, misery, comradeship and lunatic excitement that have been elements of all wars since, say, the siege of Troy. He thus becomes a kind of 21st-century battle singer, narrating the deeds and misdeeds of his heroes while explaining what makes them do what they do...It's the best writing I've seen on the subject since J. Glenn Gray's 1959 classic, The Warriors: Reflections on Men in Battle. . . . Junger's sketches of the men are deft, his ear for their quirky speech (aided by video recordings) spot on . . . This splendid book should help the rest of us understand them -- and war itself -- a little better.”—Philip Caputo, Washington Post
“Incisive...absorbing and original...Junger captures many things a lesser writer might miss.”—New York Times Book Review
“Junger is one of the few embeds out there who gets it... He writes about what these guys go through honestly... and in a language that's reminiscent of Michael Herr's Vietnam classic DISPATCHES.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Not since Tim O’Brien’s THE THINGS THEY CARRIED, has an author so successfully captured the primitive experience of combat as Sebastian Junger in his new classic WAR. It makes for one of the most compelling love stories I’ve ever read.”—Reid Smith, The Daily Caller
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Agent: Stuart Krichevsky