After more than a decade-and-a-half of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the number of Americans who have served in one or both conflicts has exceeded 2.7 million. Nearly 7,000 of them have died, and tens of thousands more were wounded. In The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq (Simon & Schuster, $28), C.J. Chivers tells the story of these ongoing, ill-fated, grossly mismanaged, and terribly costly wars not from the vantage of generals, admirals and civilian policymakers, but from the perspectives of those who have done the bulk of the fighting—the grunts, as they call themselves, in the lower and middle ranks. Chivers focuses on six individuals whose military tours occurred at different times and in different places. As a former Marine himself who has spent nearly twenty years reporting for the New York Times, Chivers is particularly well-qualified to present this intense, compelling, and unsettling account of Americans at war.
The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq by C.J. Chivers