Uncertain Ground

Books on Tape. May 2022. 7:45 hrs. ISBN 9780593557266. $66.50. MEMOIR
Award-winning author and former U.S. Marine Klay’s (Redeployment) nonfiction debut is a thoughtful and intelligent look at America’s endless wars and the way we look at war in general. In this essay collection, written from 2019 through 2021, Klay notes that the majority of Americans are complacently insulated from the realities of military service and find it easy to look away. Those who serve are confused about the mission. How have these conflicts been going on so long, and still, the policy has not been made clear? War is chaos—it changes soldiers, and often, not for the better. Civilian losses and casualties in these foreign lands go unnoticed. There must be good reasons to go to war, but do we know what they are? Narrator Josh Casaubon provides a nuanced reading that captures shifts in tone and appropriately applies the intelligence and emotion that Klay deftly employs. Klay freely admits that answers aren’t easy and thinks that sending service people to war shouldn’t be easy, either.
VERDICT This carefully narrated and thought-provoking title brings home Klay’s central argument, that the duty of citizenship requires civilians to notice and weigh in. An important listen that is highly recommended for all public libraries.
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