Michael Kelly was killed in Iraq in 2003 while he was there to cover the war for The Atlantic Monthly and The Washington Post. Things Worth Fighting For is composed of his collected writings, put together after his death. This award-winning columnist dissects visions of America, political figures such as Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy and Jesse Jackson, and the Gulf War, as well as fatherhood and the culture of obesity.
A self-confessed “dove” prior to covering the conflict in Bosnia, Kelly concludes, after seeing the damage in that country, that there are things worth fighting for. Though his view on the world is decidedly conservative, he is fair in his skewering of any topic. Kelly searched hard for the truth of any subject and was unimpressed by modern political spin. Quick to point out moral failings in individuals and society, Kelly’s work is an important read for anyone who came of age in the ‘90s and recalls the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, the first Gulf War, Bosnia, or Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait.
If you’ve not read Kelly before, you will finish this book mourning his passing and wishing for another voice as wise and clear as his.