I began Dexter Filkins book on the Iraq War, "The Forever War", this morning and finished it a short time ago. I simply could not put it down.
This book isn't an anti-war screed. There are no polemics leveled against the war criminals in the Bush administration. No philosophic waxing on the horrors of war. It is instead just a brutally honest telling of the Iraq war (with some detours to Afghanistan and NYC on 9/11) from the ground. Filkins plays it straight, the reader has no idea what his opinion is of the war or of Bush. "The Forever War" is a combination war journal and straight history. Filkins presents first hand accounts of the horrors he witnessed on the streets of New York on 9/11, the brutality of the Taliban in Afghanistan in the late '90s and in the alleyways and on the rooftops of Fallujah in spring 2004. It is all presented in sometimes gruesome, sometimes heartbreaking but always honest detail.
I've read close to two dozen books this year, none have held me as thoroughly captivated as "The Forever War".