The Deserter's Tale

The Deserter's Tale

The Story of An Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away From the War in Iraq

Book - 2007
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In the first ever memoir from a young soldier who deserted from the war in Iraq, Joshua Key offers a vivid and damning indictment of what we are doing there and how the war itself is being waged. Key, a young husband and father from a conservative background, enlisted in the Army in 2002 to get training as a welder and lift his family out of poverty. A year later, Key was sent to Ramadi where he found himself participating in a war that was not the campaign against terrorists and evildoers he had expected. He saw Iraqi civilians beaten, shot, and killed for little or no provocation. Nearly ever other night, he participated in raids on homes that found only terrified families and no evidence of terrorist activity. On leave, Key knew he could not return so he took his family underground, finally seeking asylum in Canada. The Deserter's Tale is the story of a patriotic family man who went to war believing unquestioningly in his government's commitment to integrity and justice, and how what he saw in Iraq transformed him into someone who could no longer serve his country.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press : Distributed by Publishers Group West, c2007.
Edition: 1st. ed.
ISBN: 9780871139542
0871139545
Branch Call Number: B KEY JOSHUA
Characteristics: 237 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Hill, Lawrence 1957-

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j
jpward
Dec 31, 2013

Many military errors as will be evident to anyone who has served in the military or been in combat. My final impression was this book was an attempted justification for someone who wanted a free meal from the American Military and then decided to desert. Compared to other writings on the Iraq war this book just doesn't ring true. His claims of regularly beating or killing Iraqi civilians are ridiculous when you consider that American snipers fighting in this conflict are required to DOCUMENT each "kill" they make and be able to justify it within the rules of engagement. The idea that regular infantry can arbitrarily murder children without repercussions is difficult if not impossible to accept. Don't waste your time reading it.

m
Mercius
Feb 07, 2011

I was greatly moved by this book. The author presents a horrific tale of his time in the US Army and in Iraq. Being so moved, I continued reading everything I could on the subject. Now, I feel betrayed. I can't help but feel this book is not all true.

There's lots of blood and guts and really awful story about his time in Iraq, but many elements of the novel feel exaggerated, embellished, or just wrong ("gunnery sergeant" is a Marine rank, not a US Army rank, and there is no such thing as an "M-16 Grenade launcher") - mistakes like thing really make me question the author's credibility.

This book is clearly anti-military, and seems to play into every anti-military stereotype out there. But there are factual mistakes that one would not expect from someone who had served in the military that really make me question how much of this is really true.

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m
Mercius
Mar 04, 2011

Violence: This title contains Violence.

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