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Joker One: A Marine Platoon's Story Of Courage, Leadership, And Brotherhood (2009)

by Donovan Campbell(Favorite Author)
4.05 of 5 Votes: 5
1400067731 (ISBN13: 9781400067732)
Random House
review 1: This is, quite simply, the finest wartime account I have ever read. The author is sincere, fallible and motivated by the human desire to do the right thing; these traits, combined with strong writing abilities, provide the reader with a story that is fast-moving, relevant, and, above all, genuinely moving. Unlike many other books on the topic of firsthand war experiences, the author omits his political views and denigrates no one, including the civilian population that resists the US military. He does not self-aggrandize. In fact, quite the opposite occurs. This book is wonderful to read.Hats off to you, Mr Campbell. Thank you for telling your story, even the ugly parts. And thank you for including humor and those too-rare moments of sublime beauty.
review 2: I
... more bought this book as background research for a project. I was actually the company commander of G 2/4 in years past, and my Iraq War, which included Ramadi, was as a much more senior officer, far removed from "kicking butt and taking names." I expected to breeze through the book, taking bits and pieces as I needed them. I was wrong.Once I started reading, I was caught. I could not pull myself away. I read it through in one sitting, ignoring e-mails and skipping dinner. I was totally engrossed with the narrative.The author's writing style was direct and to the point with no literary embellishments. To me, this made it real. There was very little concern with why we were in Iraq and the political situation, and I thought that was appropriate. The young Marines conducting the fight are fighting for their brothers, for each other. They are not motivated by politics. This was a story about the grunts, the foot soldiers. It was not about the colonels, the generals, and the planners back in DC.What captured me with this book was the author's ability to make me care. I cared for each and every one of the Marines. I knew them. It wasn't important that I never personally met them. They were individuals, but they were also in every Marine I have known. They were probably in every soldier, sailor, and airman, too, with whom other readers have served.My time as a rifle platoon commander was in peacetime where my concerns were about getting training time, performing mess and guard duty, and keeping my Marines out of trouble. As I read this account, I kept wondering how I would have done, how my Marines would have done, had we served in Ramadi instead of the friendly confines of Camp Lejeune. Even if the book was about the experiences of others, it was also very introspective for me.To be fair, there were a few errors of fact and mix-ups that should have been caught by the editing team, but really, I was so caught up in the action that they didn't make as much impact as they might have in another book. Overall, the editing was adequate, especially with regards to typos and the like.2/4, "The Magnificent Bastards" have a long and storied history, from their first operation off Mexico's shore to the Battle of Okinawa, from Dai Do in Vietnam (where 81 Marines and sailors lost the lives in that single battle), to Iraq and Afghanistan. After reading this book, I felt pride that these Marines and sailors were ably carrying on the torch. less
Reviews (see all)
Good interesting account of what life was like for the 2/4 Marines in Ramadi '04.
Absolutely brutal account of a Marine officer's tour of duty in Ramadi, Iraq.
The setting is novel but the narrative is diminished by cliche.
wonderful, inspiring, moving book!
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