Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Memorial Day Book Recommendation

In the United States, Monday is Memorial Day. And if you're looking for something to read that could mark the occasion, might I suggest "War" by Sebastian Junger. It's just come out in paperback and it's a pretty easy read. It's about the war in Afghanistan. And as the review over at The New York Times explains, "...he uses the platoon (the second of Battle Company, part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade) as a kind of laboratory to examine the human condition as it evolved under the extraordinary circumstances in which these soldiers fought and lived. And what a laboratory it is." What it does not do is "...attempt to explain the strategy behind the American war in Afghanistan, or the politics of Afghanistan, or even the people of the Korangal Valley". I really appreciated that because it's such a fustercluck over there that it's pointless to even try and explain anything at this point. The book is good. And reading something is a pretty good way to celebrate Memorial Day if you're asking me. We need to know what those soldiers go through and even though we can't know exactly, reading things like Sebastian Junger's "War" at least help us keep things in perspective. And that's always a good thing.

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