On Books on War

I’ve said on here multiple times that Lone Survivor is easily the best book I’ve ever read. At this point it’s actually the only war book I’ve read, although I’ve acquired several over the last few months. The thing is that I don’t expect any of them to read like a novel, which might be a turn off for some and obvious to others.

But these books are important. Not because of the cliche that if we don’t learn from history we’re bound to repeat it. As true as that statement might be, I can’t foresee a future on earth in which wars are not taking place. To me, it’s a part of the human condition. It’s an unfortunate truth.

But these books are important because they show us a side of what it means to be human that we just don’t get to see firsthand. Most people will only see pictures and reports of war. They’ll never be on the front lines with a rifle. But books on war put a face and a story to it. We see more than the news reports and the images and the aftereffects of war. We get a glimpse into the minds of the men and women who volunteer (mostly) to partake in the ugliest of human interaction. We get to learn about them, and about what happens to them between the time they first deploy to the time they return home.

To me, books on war are not for the oblivious or close-minded. They’re not written for those who go days, weeks, or months at a time without at least thinking of the men and women at war in the world and why they’re usually far from home. Books on war are important to people who may never experience it firsthand, but who truly appreciate and support those who do. Not because they have to or because there’s some feeling of guilt for what militaries have to do, but because supporting one’s military members is right. Even if they disagree with things they have to do.

Books on war are important to me because I know fellow Americans are putting their lives at risk every single day, and I think there’s a lot I can learn from them.

What’s your opinion on these books?