This is an up-close and personal account of the first days of the Iraq invasion in 2003. Wright, a journalist at Rolling Stone Magazine, gets a spot aka "embedded" with the First Recon Marine Battalion. He bargains his satellite phone and ends up with Bravo Company Second Platoon instead of the supply platoon. We get a slice of what the lives of these Marines was like. Used as bait and diversion, these highly trained, elite platoon mostly composed by late teenagers and mid twenty young men with some but not most schooling. This one view of life in the trenches in this case in a Humvee. Not very different I guess from accounts of young men in past wars but always fascinating to me. These young men are conditioned and trained to react a certain way, to leave their brains at the door but the human brain is a wicked thing it doesn't always do what it's told. Like under past wars, far away leaders play with these young men like pieces of a chess game. Most are not unaware of this but all believe in the Corp, in the ties that bind these men into one unit. Wright succeeded in making these young men human not killing machines. Of course, he has the privilege of insight now and can insert some commentary and view points for the reader about what was really going on but for these young men and this journalist living through the beginning of the invasion in late March, early April 2003, nothing made sense but still they carried on. I liked it. More a 3 1/2 stars then 3 stars. Not sure I want to watch the mini-series based on the book, I don't think it would live up the film I made up for myself as I read the book. In the same frame of mind, I have Tim Cook's At the Sharp End : Canadians Fighting The Great War 1914-1916 volume 1 in my to read pile for 2009.