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  • Published: 2 November 2009
  • ISBN: 9780099523048
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $27.99

The Forever War

Dispatches from the War on Terror

From a prize-winning New York Times war correspondent, a searing and unforgettable portrait of the battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq that tells the human story of the West's confrontation with the Islamic World.

There are already many books on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and about the War on Terror – but this is something very different. In The Forever War, award-winning New York Times correspondent Dexter Filkins does not analyse how these wars happened and why, or where they have succeeded or failed; instead, he captures with searing immediacy, the human experience – and tragedy – of war. We meet Iraqi insurgents and American soldiers, Afghan rebels and Taliban clerics. We travel to deserts and glaciers and mountaintops, to the scene of public amputations and executions, to suicide bombings and into the homes of the bombers themselves. The result is a visceral understanding of the War on the Terror, its victims, the people who fight it and the way these people feel.

  • Published: 2 November 2009
  • ISBN: 9780099523048
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $27.99

About the author

Dexter Filkins

Dexter Filkins has been foreign correspondent in Afghanistan and Iraq for the New York Times since 2000. He was a member of the Iraq bureau from 2003 to 2006, a Nieman fellow at Harvard in 2006, and is currently a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School of Government. A Pulitzer Prize finalist for his work from Afghanistan in 2002, he has received numerous awards, including the George Polk awards for his coverage of the assault of Falluja in 2004, and an Overseas Press Club award.

Praise for The Forever War

Visceral, evocative and impassioned, reminiscent of the best journalism from a previous American overseas quagmire: Vietnam. It's standard practice in cases such as this to rank the book in question against Michael Herr's classic, Dispatches, and for once the comparison holds up


Filkins's compassionate and unvarnished book is a vitally important one

Daily Telegraph

The scope of his vision, the characters he encounters ... and the events he witnesses give this the feeling of The Wire for real and gone global


As broad, vivid and unbiased a portrait of Iraq as has yet been written ... a fine, compelling, brilliant book

Mail on Sunday

Outstanding... Written in taut, pared-down prose, his book roams across a desolate urban battlefield where innocent civilians are dying like flies

Daily Mail

Generally eschews historical overviews and extended analysis, and succeeds more than most recent books in making cinematically vivid and imaginatively coherent the many places of horror


Filkins is perceptive and intelligent and has an excellent ear for dialogue. He is an honest and, as much as anyone, objective reporter. There may indeed be a stack of books on the War on Terror but this is a very useful, colourful and enjoyable addition to them

Literary Review

This extraordinary account of the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is both objective and indispensible ... Filkins does not rush to condemn; his is an impeccably balanced story ... Intimately moving and harrowing ... It is so refreshing to read a book about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which is not an argument. And precisely because of its objectivity, The Forever War is indispensible: a lesson in reporting. Halberstam praised Filkins's work in Iraq as "reporting of the highest quality imaginable." This book reinforces that reputation

Glasgow Herald

Open minded and balanced but shocking in the truth it reveals, this is powerful, disturbing and hard-hitting stuff

Big Issue

A visceral, frightening book about modern war...both unnerving and mesmeric

William Leith, The Scotsman

Its collage of perspectives is startling

Jo Littler, Guardian

A fascinating but gruelling read

Samer Rahim, The Daily Telegraph

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