Volunteers by Jerad W. Alexander audiobook

Volunteers: Growing Up in the Forever War

By Jerad W. Alexander
Read by Jerad W. Alexander

Algonquin Books 9781616209964
8.68 Hours 1
Format : CD (In Stock)
  • Regular Price: $41.99

    Special Price $27.29

    Available on 11/09/2021

    ISBN: 9781665110976

  • Regular Price: $41.99

    Special Price $27.29

    Available on 11/09/2021

    ISBN: 9781665110983

In this provocative, impassioned memoir, Jerad W. Alexander reveals what it was like to be raised on war, vividly recreating the masculine fantasies of American heroism and patriotism that animated his childhood—and at the same time brilliantly dismantling those myths.   To many outsiders, joining the military can be a path out of a difficult life, a chance to acquire vocational training, a college scholarship, a patriotic career. But to those, like Alexander, whose parents, stepfather, and grandparents served, and who grew up on American military bases around the world, enlisting was a way of life. The only way. Young Jerad’s obsession with all things military—from guns to war games to the trappings of uniforms, medals, and the movies and books of Vietnam—was bottomless, and as soon as he was able, he joined the US Marines. Only then, on the ground in Iraq, part of the same war his parents had fought before him—a war we are still embroiled in today, years later—did he begin to question all that he had taken on faith. With courage and raw power, Alexander brings to the fore vital questions: Is America in fact exceptional? Are the “bad guys” actually easy to identify? And most important, are our causes always just? This powerful debut joins the canon of essential war literature—books like Anthony Swofford’s Jarhead or Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried—helping readers understand the violent and self-replicating mythology of American patriotism, from the eloquent perspective of an enlisted man—not some elite warrior, but a simple volunteer.

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Summary

Summary

In this provocative, impassioned memoir, Jerad W. Alexander reveals what it was like to be raised on war, vividly recreating the masculine fantasies of American heroism and patriotism that animated his childhood—and at the same time brilliantly dismantling those myths.
 
To many outsiders, joining the military can be a path out of a difficult life, a chance to acquire vocational training, a college scholarship, a patriotic career. But to those, like Alexander, whose parents, stepfather, and grandparents served, and who grew up on American military bases around the world, enlisting was a way of life. The only way. Young Jerad’s obsession with all things military—from guns to war games to the trappings of uniforms, medals, and the movies and books of Vietnam—was bottomless, and as soon as he was able, he joined the US Marines. Only then, on the ground in Iraq, part of the same war his parents had fought before him—a war we are still embroiled in today, years later—did he begin to question all that he had taken on faith.

With courage and raw power, Alexander brings to the fore vital questions: Is America in fact exceptional? Are the “bad guys” actually easy to identify? And most important, are our causes always just?

This powerful debut joins the canon of essential war literature—books like Anthony Swofford’s Jarhead or Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried—helping readers understand the violent and self-replicating mythology of American patriotism, from the eloquent perspective of an enlisted man—not some elite warrior, but a simple volunteer.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Riveting and morally complex, Volunteers is not only an insider’s account of war. It takes you inside the increasingly closed culture that creates our warriors. In the case of Jerad W. Alexander, that culture has also created a writer of remarkable talent.” —Elliot Ackerman, author of the National Book Award finalist Dark at the Crossing “A beautiful and powerfully affecting portrait of a boyhood in a military family, in which contrasting and ever more complex views of America, of war, and of what it means to be a soldier lead to the decision to join the military and serve in Iraq. In that way, it’s also a portrait of the stories we tell ourselves, and how those stories fare when our children grow up and try to live them.”  —Phil Klay, author of Redeployment (winner of the National Book Award) and Missionaries “With this work, Jerad W. Alexander has staked his claim as one of the most necessary voices while contributing to a necessary and overdue examination of our military culture and what it means to be an American. An absolute triumph.” —Jared Yates Sexton, author of American Rule: How a Nation Conquered the World but Failed Its People “What sets apart Volunteers from other literary treatments of modern conflict is that it understands war is not a destination but a state of being. 'The war is everywhere,' Jerad W. Alexander writes in this beautiful, dark chronicle of an American life and lineage shaped by empire. This testament to moral and physical courage deserves all the accolades about to come its way and more. Volunteers is exceptional.” —Matt Gallagher, author of Youngblood and Empire City  “A reckoning of American identity, masculinity, and exceptionalism that dissects the U.S. military ethos, while capturing the popular culture that shaped a generation of service members. An eloquent and compelling memoir, written in the language of candor, humor, and grim realism.” —Dewaine Farria, author of Revolutions of All ColorsVolunteers is a compelling twofer. In it, Jerad Alexander recounts his coming of age in an environment that glamorized war and his own subsequent encounter with the singularly unglamorous reality of combat. Vivid, intimate, and moving, Volunteers belongs on the very top shelf of ‘forever war’ memoirs.”  —Andrew Bacevich, author of After the Apocalypse: America's Role in a World Transformed

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Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Jerad W. Alexander

Author Bio: Jerad W. Alexander

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Details

Details

Available Formats : CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography
Runtime: 8.68
Audience: Adult
Language: English