[By Nic Lindh on Wednesday, 22 June 2005]
Evan Wright spent the beginning of the Second Iraq War embedded with the elite Marine First Recon Battalion, riding with them in their Humvees as they spearheaded the invasion.
Generation Kill is an unflinching and gritty portrait of the invasion from a grunt’s eye view—the marines deal with being undersupplied with crucial equipment such as batteries for night vision gear and special lubricant to keep their weapons functioning in the Iraqi desert, as well as the fog of war where they are driving relentlessly through towns, being attacked seemingly at random, and having to constantly and through their sleep deprivation make life-and-death decisions affecting both themselves and the civilians used as cover by guerrilla forces, often with tragic results.
Throughout the book, Wright’s reporting stays crisp and factual, and avoids becoming sentimental or jingoistic even when the material calls for it. This discipline gives the book a fierce, lingering punch.
Anybody with an interest in current events should read Generation Kill.