View Full Version : We Were One

10-15-2006, 02:24 PM
We Were One: Shoulder to Shoulder With the Marines Who Took Fallujah (http://www.amazon.com/gp/explorer/0306814692/2/ref=pd_lpo_ase/102-4910846-3812140?) by Patrick O'Donnell. Buy at the link and support the SWJ and SWC...

Military historian O'Donnell (Into the Rising Sun) embedded himself in the 1st Platoon of Lima Company, 1st Marine Regiment. His book describes its training and deployment to Iraq in 2004, where the platoon patrolled, fended off guerrilla attacks and finally "fought bravely and died in the Iraq War's fiercest battle" in Fallujah. Most of the book is a detailed, blow-by-blow description of the brutal street fighting, during which nearly the entire unit became casualties. As the author portrays them, these Marines were heroes and warriors with only macho flaws, such as heavy drinking or practical joking, while their enemies are simply terrorists. Maintaining that our troops fight because they love America and their buddies, but their opponents fight because they are drug-addled, suicidal maniacs, the author forgets what every military buff knows: one cannot be a great warrior without a worthy opponent. Like many embedded reporters, O'Donnell appears to have fallen in love with his subjects, adding to the growing genre of worshipful, jingoistic battle narratives about Iraq. Though these Marines fought with great courage and the details of their battle make gripping reading, the author's uncritical cheerleading reduces their accomplishment to fantasy heroics.

Next Greatest Generation (http://www.nypost.com/seven/10152006/postopinion/postopbooks/next_greatest_generation_postopbooks_.htm) - Book review of We Were One by Gordon Cucullu in the New York Post.

With unprecedented initiative Patrick K. O'Donnell volunteered to live and fight alongside American soldiers and Marines in Iraq in order to construct a real-time, eyewitness history of the fighting. He spent months in battle with the troops, mostly with a platoon from the 3/1 Marines. After every combat action, he spent countless hours debriefing them.

O'Donnell's book focuses on the Second Battle of Fallujah. In part as commemoration, "We Were One" is scheduled to be released in the days preceding the two-year anniversary of that battle (Nov. 9), the Marine Corps birthday and Veterans Day. But the author's most important accomplishment among many is to put a human face on the troops who are fighting against some of the fiercest enemies America has ever encountered...