The Fighters
“A classic of war reporting...The author’s stories give heart-rending meaning to the lives and deaths of these men and women, even if policymakers generally have not.”—The New York TimesPulitzer Prize winner C.J. Chivers’ unvarnished account of modern combat, told through the eyes of the fighters who have waged America’s longest wars.More than 2.7 million Americans have served in Afghanistan or Iraq since September 11, 2001. C.J. Chivers reported from both wars from their beginnings. The Fighters vividly conveys the physical and emotional experience of war as lived by six combatants: a fighter pilot, a corpsman, a scout helicopter pilot, a grunt, an infantry officer, and a Special Forces sergeant.Chivers captures their courage, commitment, sense of purpose, and ultimately their suffering, frustration, and moral confusion as new enemies arise and invasions give way to counterinsurgency duties for which American forces were often not prepared.The Fighters is a tour de force, a portrait of modern warfare that parts from slogans to do for American troops what Stephen Ambrose did for the G.I.s of World War II and Michael Herr for the grunts in Vietnam. Told with the empathy and understanding of an author who is himself an infantry veteran, The Fighters presents the long arc of two wars.

The Fighters Details

TitleThe Fighters
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 14th, 2018
PublisherSimon & Schuster, Inc.
ISBN-139781451676648
Rating
GenreNonfiction, History, War, Military Fiction, Military, Military History, Writing, Journalism, Politics

The Fighters Review

  • Donna Davis
    January 1, 1970
    Chivers is a senior editor at The New York Times, and has won the Pulitzer for journalism. This meaty but readable book is the culmination of his years covering the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is not the creation of a man parked in a library behind his laptop; he has personally gone to Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, and Libya, and has either accompanied the people he writes about or retraced their footsteps. He covers the lives of six servicemen in the lower and middle ranks of the Chivers is a senior editor at The New York Times, and has won the Pulitzer for journalism. This meaty but readable book is the culmination of his years covering the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is not the creation of a man parked in a library behind his laptop; he has personally gone to Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, and Libya, and has either accompanied the people he writes about or retraced their footsteps. He covers the lives of six servicemen in the lower and middle ranks of the armed forces, and so he primarily uses eye witness reporting and interviews, in addition to American military data. I read it free courtesy of Net Galley and Simon and Schuster in exchange for my honest review. The Fighters will most likely be regarded in future years as the go-to book for those that want to know more about this war and the people whose lives were changed by it—including many of those whose homeland is or has been part of the war zone. Chivers sees a tremendous amount of waste and foolhardy disregard for human lives on the part of the Pentagon, and he makes an undeniable case for it. After reading it I came away convinced that he did not begin his project with an axe to grind and seek out the particular facts that would support the reality he wanted to present, but rather that over the many years since the towers fell in 2001, the things that he has seen and heard all point remorselessly toward the same conclusion. In point of fact, there are two places in my reading notes where I marked, without hyperbole, the similarity between the true information provided here and what I might expect to read in The Onion. Take, for example, the Afghan allies that are integrated into U.S. forces. The U.S. provides them with guns, but as far as anyone can see, it is strictly for the purpose of the Pentagon’s public relations campaign. Afghan soldiers in U.S. units don’t fire those guns. They hold them. They don’t aim; they don’t look at whoever is giving instructions nor at the translator. (They sure as fuck don’t salute.) In a protracted firefight, an American will eventually run out of ammunition and trade their empty weapon for one of those they hold, if the Afghan has not disappeared and taken the gun with him. And at night, the night watch exists in large part to ensure that if the Afghan soldiers choose to make themselves scarce overnight, they won’t take a bunch of munitions and hand them off to the Taliban. But since the American public is increasingly impatient with the duration and loss incurred by this war, those guys have to be kept around like untrustworthy mascots in order to maintain the illusion that Afghan forces will be taking the place of U.S. troops soon. Timelines get pushed back, but nothing significantly changes. The drums beat on. Thoughtless and ham-handed decisions by the top brass increase the resentment of civilians that live near the bases, people living in miserable poverty in sometimes directly across the street, with expensive machinery and plenitude of supplies the locals will probably never have. Meanwhile, troops are sent into circumstances that are bound to be fatal and also fail in their military objectives. It makes you want to sit down and cry. However, most of the narrative is not carnage and defeat. Who would read it if it were? Chivers instead does a fine job of painting the individual lives of the Americans he follows, and so most of the story reads almost like good fiction, and rather than being swathed in constant despair or endless statistics, I was instead deeply absorbed. Who knew it would be so interesting? Those that are curious about the war in the Middle East, the first U.S. war in generations to see reporters banned from providing live footage or photographing flag-covered caskets sent home, could hardly find better material to read. This is on-the-ground coverage at its finest. If you want to read just one book about the U.S. conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, this should be it.
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  • Paul
    January 1, 1970
    The Fighters honors the soldiers who try to see through the fog of war every day: the medical corpsman who has to triage a roadside bomb and the helicopter instructor pilot who takes his students through their first missions. They may not be directly connected to ‘why’ of the missions, but they certain are there for their fellow solders. This is a much needed text. Much needed because not enough has been documented about the last 17 years of war. And Chibers gives us a near-complete look, not at The Fighters honors the soldiers who try to see through the fog of war every day: the medical corpsman who has to triage a roadside bomb and the helicopter instructor pilot who takes his students through their first missions. They may not be directly connected to ‘why’ of the missions, but they certain are there for their fellow solders. This is a much needed text. Much needed because not enough has been documented about the last 17 years of war. And Chibers gives us a near-complete look, not at the directors, but the grunts with their hands on the triggers and the responsibilities on their shoulders. I commend Chivers’s dedication to expose the report on the challenges of these and all the soldiers.Full review can be found here: http://paulspicks.blog/2018/07/01/the...All my reviews can by found on my blog: https://paulspicks.blog
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  • Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com
    January 1, 1970
    For more reviews and bookish thoughts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.comThe Fighters by C.J. Chivers is a non-fiction book offering unnerving accounts of soldiers on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Chivers is a Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times journalist and former Marine Corps infantry officer.This book is a riveting read which tells of the harsh truths, challenges and pains of fighting two wars in distant countries, away from home. If you like your “alternate facts”, or happ For more reviews and bookish thoughts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.comThe Fighters by C.J. Chivers is a non-fiction book offering unnerving accounts of soldiers on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Chivers is a Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times journalist and former Marine Corps infantry officer.This book is a riveting read which tells of the harsh truths, challenges and pains of fighting two wars in distant countries, away from home. If you like your “alternate facts”, or happy stories this book is not for you. But if you’d like to read what US soldiers are going through, face some ugly truths and difficult facts this is it.The author tells real stories of real soldiers that have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, some are new to the military and others are veterans of other conflicts. Their stories are told from a humane point of view and takes into account the human factor and the toll fighting takes on one’s self and one’s family.The book is told from a third person perspective, but we read the background on each of them and see them as individuals, not just soldiers who are small cogs in a big machine who have opinions on what they do, why they do it, and suffer the consequences along with hundreds of thousands of others.Mr. Chivers’ does some analysis, not much but some, in the course of the book. His analysis is reasonable and based on facts, you or I might agree or disagree with some of them, but that is what reasonable people do. The author does not make up facts, but makes reasonable assumptions and tries to stay as objective as possible.The book is very real and raw, it makes several points – some on geopolitical matters which I do not know enough to comment on, but others on local level. One of the main points is how the US, as a whole, needs to treat our veterans better, especially those that are suffering from physical and/or mental wounds. Coming home broken is not a weakness, but one does need strength and support, as well as no social stigma, to ask for help when needed.If you feel inclined, please support the Wounded Warrior Project, or any other of the fantastic organizations that were set up to help these veterans.
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  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    Chivers focuses his narrative on the lives of fighters ( I’m so glad he didn’t use the word warrior)he met while reporting on the Middle East for the past two decades. We slip into and out of their lives during this endless period of war. His introduction is as elegant a denunciation of America’s prosecution of war as has been written yet, a damning indictment of American political and military leadership.We meet a : Naval aviator, Green Beret, two Navy corpsman, Army helo pilot, Marine Lt, and Chivers focuses his narrative on the lives of fighters ( I’m so glad he didn’t use the word warrior)he met while reporting on the Middle East for the past two decades. We slip into and out of their lives during this endless period of war. His introduction is as elegant a denunciation of America’s prosecution of war as has been written yet, a damning indictment of American political and military leadership.We meet a : Naval aviator, Green Beret, two Navy corpsman, Army helo pilot, Marine Lt, and Army infantry NCO. Some are lifers and others are there to do their part. Some will die, some will be grievously wounded, others will survive unscathed. We’ll meet a mother who confronts the President over what his decision did to her son.Be ready to shed some tears. Life is unfair. We’ve been at war for seventeen years with no end in sight, yet “the fighters” and a new generation of fighters continue to step forward to serve. Chivers tells their stories with a fervor but this is not hagiography. It is a stark glimpse into the harsh and unforgiving reality of war, one that too few Americans have any comprehension of because “they are at the mall.” I had resisted reading this book because I’ve read too many like it. This one is different.
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  • Grouchy Historian
    January 1, 1970
    A different spin on the typical book of soldiers at war like Band of Brothers. Follows Americans through multiple combat tours spanning several years and both Iraq and Afghanistan. Show the real cost that over a decade of war had on these warriors.
  • Jan
    January 1, 1970
    This is one tough read. This journalist shows the waste, poor planning, and ineptitude of self aggrandizement by the Congress and the armed forces brass in this seemingly endless war to save the lives of people who no longer believe us by verbally delving into the lives of a number of combatants in all branches of the US armed forces. If the reader is in a paramedical field or law enforcement, there will be triggers in the graphic descriptions of incidents and results. He covers the time from ea This is one tough read. This journalist shows the waste, poor planning, and ineptitude of self aggrandizement by the Congress and the armed forces brass in this seemingly endless war to save the lives of people who no longer believe us by verbally delving into the lives of a number of combatants in all branches of the US armed forces. If the reader is in a paramedical field or law enforcement, there will be triggers in the graphic descriptions of incidents and results. He covers the time from early days after the attacks in the US to present days, and the reader can see for self that only those who had or have boots on the ground are the ones who really care, and the families suffer right along with them for as long as they can. I requested and received a free review copy from Simon and Schuster Publishers via NetGalley.
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  • george carlin
    January 1, 1970
    Great story.
  • Ash Ponders
    January 1, 1970
    “If you want to find the General, I know where he is,I know where he is, I know where he is.If you want to find the General, I know where he is,He's pinning another medal on his chest.I saw him, I saw him, pinning another medal on his chest,I saw him, pinning another medal on his chest.[…]If you want to find the Private, I know where he is,I know where he is, I know where he is.If you want to find the Private, I know where he is,He's hanging on the old barbed wire.I saw him, I saw him, hanging o “If you want to find the General, I know where he is,I know where he is, I know where he is.If you want to find the General, I know where he is,He's pinning another medal on his chest.I saw him, I saw him, pinning another medal on his chest,I saw him, pinning another medal on his chest.[…]If you want to find the Private, I know where he is,I know where he is, I know where he is.If you want to find the Private, I know where he is,He's hanging on the old barbed wire.I saw him, I saw him, hanging on the old barbed wire,I saw him, hanging on the old barbed wire.”-WW1 marching song.
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  • PWRL
    January 1, 1970
    O
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