Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

The 10 worst memoirs of the Iraq war

One thing that strikes me about the Iraq and Afghan wars is that the best memoirs have been written by young officers, NCOs and the enlisted, while the worst have been written by senior officers and officials. Even the titles of the junior side are sharper and more memorable — One Bullet Away, House to ...

derek*b/flickr
derek*b/flickr
derek*b/flickr

One thing that strikes me about the Iraq and Afghan wars is that the best memoirs have been written by young officers, NCOs and the enlisted, while the worst have been written by senior officers and officials. Even the titles of the junior side are sharper and more memorable -- One Bullet Away, House to House, Love My Rifle More Than You.   

Here is the beginning of a list of the worst books about the Iraq war. I welcome suggestions to fill it out. Extra points given for bland or vague titles.

1. Tommy R. Franks: American Soldier
2. L. Paul Bremer III: My Year in Iraq
3. Ricardo Sanchez: Wiser in Battle
4. Janis Karpinksi: One Woman's Army
5. Nathan Sassaman: Warrior King
6. Douglas Feith: War and Decision

One thing that strikes me about the Iraq and Afghan wars is that the best memoirs have been written by young officers, NCOs and the enlisted, while the worst have been written by senior officers and officials. Even the titles of the junior side are sharper and more memorable — One Bullet Away, House to House, Love My Rifle More Than You.   

Here is the beginning of a list of the worst books about the Iraq war. I welcome suggestions to fill it out. Extra points given for bland or vague titles.

1. Tommy R. Franks: American Soldier
2. L. Paul Bremer III: My Year in Iraq
3. Ricardo Sanchez: Wiser in Battle
4. Janis Karpinksi: One Woman’s Army
5. Nathan Sassaman: Warrior King
6. Douglas Feith: War and Decision

What else?

7.
8.
9.
10.

I can’t believe how much time I wasted reading all those books.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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