In the Company of Soldiers

In the Company of Soldiers

A Chronicle of Combat

Book - 2004
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From Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author Rick Atkinson comes an eyewitness account of the war against Iraq and a vivid portrait of a remarkable group of soldiers For soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division, the road to Baghdad began with a midnight flight out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in late February 2003. For Rick Atkinson, who would spend nearly two months covering the division for The Washington Post, the war in Iraq provided a unique opportunity to observe today's U.S. Army in combat. Now, in this extraordinary account of his odyssey with the 101st, Atkinson presents an intimate and revealing portrait of the soldiers who fight the expeditionary wars that have become the hallmark of our age.At the center of Atkinson's drama stands the compelling figure of Major General David H. Petraeus, described by one comrade as "the most competitive man on the planet." Atkinson spent virtually all day every day at Petraeus's elbow in Iraq, where he had an unobstructed view of the stresses, anxieties, and large joys of commanding 17,000 soldiers in combat. Atkinson watches Petraeus wrestle with innumerable tactical conundrums and direct several intense firefights; he watches him teach, goad,and lead his troops and his subordinate commanders. And all around Petraeus, we see the men and women of a storied division grapple with the challenges of waging war in an unspeakably harsh environment.With the eye of a master storyteller, the premier military historian of his generation puts us right on the battlefield. In the Company of Soldiers is a compelling, utterly fresh view of the modern American soldier in action.
Publisher: New York : H. Holt, 2004
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780805075618
0805075615
Branch Call Number: History 956.704 Atk

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LRS1969 Mar 04, 2015

Rick Atkinson, who has proven a capable if not fully outstanding military historian in the past, loses it with this book.

The individual and small unit aspects of the book are okay, but he completely loses it with the focus on Petraeus (and his interpretation of Petraeus). He not only gets caught up by the Petraeus PR machine, he in effect becomes an integral part of that PR machine. A Book about the "company of soldiers should focus on soldiers... And not higher unit staffs and Perfumed Princes! Yet that is primarily what the author does here!

Like so many others this author has a Petraeus idolization fixation (similar to the mythology of great generalship this sprung up relating to CSA General Robert E. Lee).

Yet Petraeus, while personally intelligent, in fact was not militarily brilliant nor particularly savvy (repeating a myth often enough does NOT make it Truth)... though he indeed was one of the Perfumed Princes who believes absolutely in the Three Ps: Power, Perks, and Privileges!

EVERYTHING that Petraeus did in his military and post military life has had one and only one agenda - to do what is right for Petraeus and his personal benefit. Entitlement is an expectation of his (which he got even in "the end"... a deal that converts multiple severe felonies demanding decades of imprisonment down to one misdemeanor that carries no jail time and allows him to maintain his oligarchic and highly wealthy post treasonous career!).

So much for his oft repeated claims of innocence. And this is the deal if the century. He should have been prosecuted for every count and once convicted, sentenced to life without parole in Leavenworth!

"Petraeus Takes Plea Deal"

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/04/us/petraeus-plea-deal-over-giving-classified-data-to-lover.html

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