C.J. Chivers, The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq

C.J. Chivers, The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq

More than 2 million Americans have served in Afghanistan or Iraq since September 11, 2001, and C.J. Chivers has reported from both wars from their beginnings. The Fighters vividly conveys the physical and emotional experience of war as lived by six combatants: a fighter pilot, a medic, a scout helicopter pilot, a grunt, an infantry officer, and a Special Forces sergeant. Chivers captures their commitment and sense of purpose, their courage and ultimately their sacrifice, confusion and moral frustration as new enemies arise, and invasions that give way to counterinsurgency duties for which they often were not prepared.

The Fighters is a portrait of modern warfare that parts from slogans. It does for these troops what Stephen Ambrose did for the G.I.s of WWII and what Michael Herr did for the grunts in Vietnam. The Fighters presents a human side of the long arc of two wars, told with the empathy and understanding of an author who is himself an infantry veteran.

C.J. Chivers is a senior writer for The New York Times and a writer-at-large for The New York Times Magazine. His magazine story The Fighter won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing. In 2009 he was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting for coverage from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Chivers served as an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps in the Persian Gulf War and on peacekeeping duty during the Los Angeles riots. He is also the author of The Gun.

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