Un-American: A Soldier’s Reckoning of Our Longest War

Bloomsbury. May 2020. 288p. ISBN 9781635573749. $28. BIOG
After graduating from West Point, Edstrom was deployed to Afghanistan and returned disillusioned, bitter, and outraged about his experience and about America’s War on Terror. Few escape his criticism in this book, which turns a critical eye toward West Point, the U.S Army, the military industrial complex, U.S. political leadership, corporate America, and Americans citizens themselves in this manifesto against what Edstrom calls “America’s unchallenged war machine.” The author finds no redeeming aspects in his service, talking candidly about the damage the army inflicted on the people of Afghanistan. In Edstrom’s view, the response after the September 11 attacks was counterproductive and did not make the world or the country safer. Edstrom’s ground-level perspective is unflinching and powerful.
VERDICT This strident critique of the American military and its place in American society and culture, combined with Edstrom’s firsthand experiences in Afghanistan, will interest readers seeking primary source accounts of the War on Terror.

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