When the U.S. Marines, or "jarheads", were sent to Saudi Arabia in 1990 for the first Gulf War, Anthony Swofford was there. He lived in sand for six months; he was punished by boredom and fear; he considered suicide, pulled a gun on a fellow marine, and was targeted by both enemy and friendly fire. As engagement with the Iraqis drew near, he was forced to consider what it means to be an American, a soldier, a son of a soldier, and a man.
"This book offers...the casual reader, an unflinching portrayal of the loneliness and brutality of modern warfare and sophisticated analyses of, and visceral reactions to, its politics." ( Publishers Weekly)