Synopses & Reviews
"A visceral account of the war . . . honest, agenda-free, and chilling." -New York Times Book Review
The Iraq war officially began on March 20, 2003, and since then more than one million young Americans have rotated through the country's insurgent-infested hot spots. But although stories of dramatic ambushes and attacks dominate the front pages of newspapers, most of us do not truly know what the war is like for the Americans who fight it.
What Was Asked of Us helps us bridge that gap. The in-depth and intensely probing interviews this book brings together document the soldiers' experiences and darkest secrets, offering a multitude of authentic, unfiltered voices - at times raw and emotional, at other times eloquent and lyrical. These voices walk us through the war, from the successful push to Baghdad, through the erroneous "Mission Accomplished" moment, and into the dangerous, murky present.
"Monumental. . . . Amid the glut of policy debates, and amid the flurry of news reports that add names each day to the lists of the dead, Trish Wood has produced what is perhaps, to date, the only text about Iraq that matter."- San Francisco Chronicle
"An illuminating glimpse of American fighters' experiences in Iraq. . . . There are moments of strange beauty in the soldiers' recollections." -Chicago Tribune
"Stunning . . . chillingly eloquent. . . . Powerful and unflinchingly honest, Wood's book deserves to be a bestseller." -People
"The thing about fighting in a war, relates one soldier in this penetrating, terrifying and important book, 'is that there's no way to put into words what actually happened.' Yet with these brutally straightforward accounts by 29 American veterans of the Iraq War, Wood an award-winning Canadian investigative reporter proves her own subject wrong. Wood's deftness as interviewer and editor renders her own presence scarce, freeing each soldier to provide firsthand looks at botched reconstruction efforts, intelligence snafus and the practicalities of heroism. Among these stories by soldiers from widely varying ideological and personal backgrounds, unexpected examples are the born-again Christian, appalled by the abuse he witnesses at Abu Ghraib, who asks, 'America, what always makes us right?'; and the ex-drug addict, a self-described 'left-wing nut,' who calls the war 'a meaningless conflict' yet acknowledges that 'I loved every firefight I was in because for those few brief seconds nothing else matters.' Colloquial, coarse and compelling, these narratives flash with humor, horror, nihilism and poesy. Despite the layers of tragedy, the ascendant message is one of courage and self-sacrifice amid war's absurdities. 16 pages b&w photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In this modern-day successor to the Vietnam classic "Everything We Had," award-winning investigative reporter Trish Wood offers a gritty, authentic, and uncensored history of the war in Iraq, as told by the American soldiers who are fighting it. Includes 8 pages of photographs and 1 map.
An oral history of the war in Iraq draws on a series of in-depth, candid interviews with American soldiers who offer their personal recollections and experiences of the conflict, from the initial push to Baghdad and overthrow of Saddam Hussein to the internecine violence of the present day.
About the Author
Trish Wood is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been working with veterans of the Iraq war for more than two years. She has been honored by the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Canadian Science Writers' Association, the Radio-Television News Directors Association, the National Magazine Awards, and the New York Film Festival. Bobby Muller was a marine infantry officer in the Vietnam War until a bullet severed his spinal cord and left him paralyzed from the chest down. The founder of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, he is an outspoken advocate for veterans' rights and spearheads efforts to assist civilian victims of war. Recently he cofounded Veterans for America, a new program dedicated to meeting the needs of a new generation of veterans.