Making War By the Book

Quick — name the five most important, influential, and best known books on the Afghan War. Okay, name three. Okay, I'll settle for two. How about one?

While the American war in Vietnam raged, publishers churned out books whose titles still resonate. In 1967 alone, classics like Mary McCarthy's Vietnam, Howard Zinn's Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal, Thich Nhat Hanh's Vietnam: Lotus in a Sea of Fire, not to mention Norman Mailer's Why Are We in Vietnam: A Novel all hit the shelves.

In fact, between 1962 and 1970, as American involvement in the conflict accelerated and peaked, some 9,430 books were written about the Vietnam War. From 2002 to 2010, less than half as many — 4,221 texts of all types — have been written about the Afghan War... 

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Tags: afghanistan, books on war, counterinsurgency, us military, vietnam, war literature

    • Nick Turse
    • Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian, essayist, and the associate editor of The Nation Institute's TomDispatch. He is the author of The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives and the editor of The Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan. Turse was the recipient of a...

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