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Ghosts of War : The True Story of a 19-Year-Old GI
by Ryan Smithson


Overview -

Ryan Smithson joined the Army Reserve when he was seventeen. Two years later, he was deployed to Iraq as an Army engineer. In this extraordinary and harrowing memoir, readers march along one GI's tour of duty. It will change the way you feel about what it means to be an American.  Read more...


 
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More About Ghosts of War by Ryan Smithson
 
 
 
Overview

Ryan Smithson joined the Army Reserve when he was seventeen. Two years later, he was deployed to Iraq as an Army engineer. In this extraordinary and harrowing memoir, readers march along one GI's tour of duty. It will change the way you feel about what it means to be an American.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780061664687
  • ISBN-10: 0061664685
  • Publisher: Collins Publishers
  • Publish Date: May 2009
  • Page Count: 321
  • Reading Level: Ages 14-UP


Related Categories

Books > > History - Military & Wars
Books > > Social Topics - General (see also headings under Family)

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 59.
  • Review Date: 2009-05-25
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this raw and powerful memoir, veteran Smithson recounts his time as an army engineer in Iraq. As a student in suburban Albany, he joins the army after 9/11. While in Iraq, he's shot at and faces mortar attack, but he spends more time on responsibilities like methodical cleanups of roadside bomb craters—work that's as vital, if not as sexy, as actual combat. Smithson's interactions with Iraqi children and families, as much as with his fellow soldiers, drive the story. Military biography clichés—from the indoctrination of boot camp (“they break us down, build us up, break us down again, and then build us back up”) to resentment of officers among the enlisted—abound because they're no doubt true. But the real meat of the book is in Smithson's dealings with American noncombatants, from the little boy who sends care packages to the pilot who insists on upgrading him to first class and his wife and parents. Smithson avoids writing either prowar propaganda or an antimilitary polemic, providing instead a fascinating, often humorous—and occasionally devastating—account of the motivations and life of a contemporary soldier. Ages 14–up. (May)

 
BAM Customer Reviews