Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Boots on the Ground

Boots on the Ground

A Month with the 82nd Airborne in the Battle for Iraq

Karl Zinsmeister

Truman Talley Books

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Includes 32 color photos taken by the author during the month he was embedded with the 82nd in Kuwait and Iraq.

This is a riveting account of the war in Iraq moving north with the 82nd Airborne. Units of the 82nd depart Kuwait and convoy to Iraq's Tallil Air Base en route to night-and-day battles within the major city of Samawah and its intact bridges across the Euphrates. Boots on the Ground quickly becomes an action-filled microcosm of the new kinds of ultramodern war fighting showcased in the overall battle for Iraq. At the same time it remains specific to the daily travails of the soldiers. Karl Zinsmeister, a frontline reporter who traveled with the 82nd, vividly conveys the careful planning and technical wizardry that go into today's warfare, even local firefights, and he brings to life the constant air-ground interactions that are the great innovation of modern precision combat.

What exactly does it feel like to travel with a spirited body of fighting men? To come under fire? To cope with the battlefield stresses of sleep-deprivation, and a steady diet of field rations for weeks on end? Readers of this day-to-day diary are left with not only a flashing sequence of strong mental images, but also a notion of the sounds and smells and physical sensations that make modern military action unforgettable.

Ultimately, Boots on the Ground is a human story: a moving portrayal of the powerful bonds of affection, trust, fear, and dedication that bind real soldiers involved in battle. There are unexpected elements: The humor that bubbles up amidst dangerous fighting. The pathos of a badly wounded young boy. The affection openly exhibited by many American soldiers--love of country, love of family and hometown, love of each other. This is a true-life tale of superbly trained men in extraordinary circumstances, packed with concrete detail, often surpassing fiction for sheer drama.

EXCERPT

BOOTS ON THE GROUND

INTO KUWAIT
1
IS ANYTHING WORTH WAR?
MIRACLES
MADISON COUNTY, NEW YORK, MARCH 1--In four days, I have just confirmed with the Pentagon, I will depart for Kuwait.
Amidst...

Reviews

Praise for Boots on the Ground

“Karl Zinsmeister's splendid report from within the maelstrom of combat demonstrates how the public can benefit when America's superb military is closely observed by a superb reporter.” —George F. Will, news columnist

“A fast-moving story of courage and competence, written by an observer who offers a far different picture from what was presented by our mainstream media. A moving tribute to what free soldiers united in a common cause can accomplish.” —Victor Davis Hanson, military historian

“The finest, most objective piece of war journalism I've read since Ernie Pyle in WWII. Tells the story after talking to all grades of soldiers. No one else took time to tell the full story.” —Burton Poole, Lt. Col., USAF, Retired

“The most powerfully real ‘war experience' I will probably ever have. I applaud its insight, voluminous factual information, the personal stories collected from many soldiers, and especially the discoveries about the power of love in extreme life and death situations. Karl Zinsmeister has done an invaluable service to America in getting to the heart and soul of this war.” —Mary Lavato, a soldier's mother

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Karl Zinsmeister

Karl Zinsmeister's newest book is Dawn Over Baghdad: How the U.S. Military is Using Bullets and Ballots to Remake Iraq. He is editor-in-chief of The American Enterprise, a national magazine of politics, business, and culture (TAEmag.com), and J. B. Fuqua Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a major Washington, D.C. research institute. His work has appeared in publications such as The American Enterprise, The Atlantic Monthly, Reader's Digest, the Wall Street Journal, and even a Marvel comic book series of real-life soldiers' tales. A former assistant to U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Zinsmeister has been an advisor to research and policy groups, and has testified before Congressional committees and Presidential commissions many times. He appears often on television and radio programs. Zinsmeister lives with his wife and three children in rural upstate New York.

Karl Zinsmeister

From the Publisher

Truman Talley Books

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