This is a revealing book on the Iraq War, especially the battle for Fallujah, Iraq, that occurred in 2004. Bing West presents the battle from an eyewitness point of view, along with remarks and accounts from the soldiers and others involved. The color photos are overwhelmingly well done, bringing the reader to see what actually happened there. There is some blood and gore in these pictures, but that is reality; the pictures may bring the reader to tears as they capture the emotions of those in the photos, showing real humanity. West wishes to point out the reality of war - especially this war, where (to date in November 2005) over 2,100 members of our Armed Forces have died, may they be remembered with honor. But this is not an anti-war book - it is a history of the battle for Fallujah that will be a primary source on the history of the Iraq War.
West’s recounting of this battle keeps the reader enthralled, showing some of the feelings of futility on the part of the American soldiers and the Iraqis who are trying to improve Iraq. He reveals the red tape and the mess that the American government got into in those days, and reveals as will that the Bush government was not prepared for an Iraq after Saddam Hussein was brought down. The soldiers were and are combating insurgents, Al-Qaeda, and others who want things in Iraq to be their way. West gives you the impression that American soldiers and their allies are fighting against a relentless wall, but he also shows that many in Iraq want prosperity and freedom, and some are willing to die for that.
Bing West is the author of The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the U.S. Marines (2004) and The Village (2002). He served as a Marine in the Vietnam War and was assistant secretary of defense under Ronald Reagan. The author (who has a website at www.westwrite.com) appears regularly on The News Hour and Fox News. He has written articles for Slate, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
Universal Studios bought the film rights to the book and West and his son are working on the screenplay. This book is recommended to those interested in the Iraq War and those who want a firsthand account that holds nothing back from the truth.