The Mirror Test : America at War in Iraq and Afghanistan / J. Kael Weston.
- First edition.
- New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2016.
xix, 585 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
- Weston, J. Kael.
United States. Department of State -- Officials and employees -- Biography.
Iraq War, 2003-2011.
Afghan War, 2001-.
Iraq War, 2003-2011 -- Personal narratives, American.
Afghan War, 2001 -- -Personal narratives, American.
- Personal narratives.
- "In a powerfully written firsthand account of the human costs of conflict, the author challenges Americans to address hard questions about America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,"--NoveList.
A powerfully written firsthand account of the human costs of conflict. J. Kael Weston spent seven years on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan working for the U.S. State Department in some of the most dangerous frontline locations. Upon his return home, while traveling the country to pay respect to the dead and wounded, he asked himself: When will these wars end? How will they be remembered and memorialized? What lessons can we learn from them? These are questions with no quick answers, but perhaps ones that might lead to a shared reckoning worthy of the sacrifices of those--troops and civilians alike--whose lives have been changed by more than a decade and a half of war. Weston takes us from California to Iraq, Afghanistan, Maryland, Wyoming, and New York City. We meet generals, corporals and captains, senators and ambassadors, NATO allies, Iraqi truck drivers, city councils, imams and mullahs, Afghan schoolteachers, madrassa and college students, former Taliban fighters and ex-Guantánamo prison detainees, a torture victim, SEAL and Delta Force teams, and many Marines. The overall frame for the book centers on soldiers who have received a grievous wound to the face. There is a moment during their recovery when they must look upon their reconstructed appearance for the first time. This is known as "the mirror test." From an intricate tapestry of voices and stories--Iraqi, Afghan, and American--Weston delivers a mirror test for our nation in its global role. An unflinching and deep examination of the interplay between warfare and diplomacy, this is a crucial look at America now, how it is viewed in the world and how the nation views itself.--Adapted from dust jacket.
- Prologue: Twentynine Palms, California
Part I. The wrong war. Quagmire ; Friends and enemies ; Phantom fury or new dawn? ; Happy birthday ; The potato factory ; Clear, hold, build ; Helo down ; Collaboration ; KIA in Mayberry ; When senators and generals talk ; Sara al-Jumaili and the last Grand Mufti ; A farewell to Fallujah ; The 93 ; To Monument Valley
Part II. The right war. Deeper into the Muslim world ; Dilawar of Yakubi ; Khost U. ; A handshake, or two ; Reformed Taliban ; The ego has landed ; Life after Guantánamo ; The dead of Sabari District ; The commander and the top student ; Jackpots and dryholes ; Motor City ; Escalation ; Our British friends ; Ask & tell ; A dignified transfer and the 91
Part III. Home. To Cherokee, Iowa ; To Menard, Texas ; The parade ; Semper fido and the Sierras ; Operation Mend ; The Spirit of America ; The library ; A museum of war ; Nick's home ; The Mall of America
Epilogue: New York City ; After war ; A soldier's war journal ; 31 angels.
- "A Borzoi Book."
- Other format:
- Online version: Weston, J. Kael, author. Mirror test
- 9780385351126 (hardcover)
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