September 25, 2005

An accidental soldier's account of the war in Iraq

I haven't read the book yet, but in today's local newspaper a panel of readers gave reactions to The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier's Account of the War in Iraq, by John Crawford:

Crawford, a Palatka native, was newly married and two credits short of a bachelor's degree at Florida State University when his National Guard unit was called to duty for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Originally assigned for three to six months, Crawford's unit remained in Baghdad for more than a year while other National Guard units returned home.

Crawford, who began writing while in Iraq, does not dwell on the politics of the war itself. But the book roils with his bitterness -- toward war planners for failing to provide his unit with sufficient equipment, toward military commanders for seemingly capricious decisions and toward the Iraqi people for their confusing animosity.

"It was the most unglamorous picture of war I've ever read," said Book Club member Kim Adams, whose father served in Vietnam.
For more reviews, see the book reviews.

Reviewers with military experience, and especially those who served in Iraq, are highly favorable. Example:
I had the privilege of serving with Spc. Crawford in Iraq. His book tells it exactly like it was, with no holds barred. It covers everything from our supply inadequacies, to command mismanagements, to the reality of the war that the media never took the time to cover.

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