FDL Book Salon Welcomes Robert M. Farley, Grounded: The Case for Abolishing the United States Air Force

By: Saturday March 15, 2014 1:59 pm

It’s been a rough couple of years for the U.S. Air Force. The flying branch has squandered billions of dollars on gold-plated aircraft and other weapons it doesn’t need. It has mishandled nuclear weapons. Airmen in the nuclear force have been caught cheating on exams. And then there are the numerous sex scandals.

At the same time, the Air Force has struggled to remain relevant during the course of two land-centric wars.

 

FDL Book Salon Welcomes David Axe, Army of God: Joseph Kony’s War in Central Africa

By: Saturday May 11, 2013 1:59 pm

I finished Army of God while standing outside a DC metro station, after exiting for my final stop — it’s a gripping book, one filled with striking images that hammer home the visceral, immersive terror of the Lord’s Resistance Army’s (LRA) raids on Congolese villages. It also raises, for progressives committed to resolving the humanitarian monstrosity that is the ongoing violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), difficult questions about just what kinds of government intervention and non-state activism might make a real difference.

FDL Movie Night: Restrepo

By: Monday May 16, 2011 5:00 pm

The Academy-Award nominated, Sundance Grand Jury-winning Restrepo is a story of war, loss, tragedy and bravery which resonates even more loudly with the death of co-director Tim Hetherington, who was killed during a mortar attack in Libya while reporting there. Hetherington had been scheduled as our guest for tonight. His death is a great loss to his family and friends, and to journalism. We are honored to have author David Axe (War is Boring) with us tonight in his stead. Axe has spent much time on the battlefields in Afghanistan, and he’s been here before– hosting an FDL Book Salon with Hetherington’s co-director Sebastian Junger. Tonight we’ll discuss the film, the war in Afghanistan, and being an embedded journalist.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Ted Rall, The Anti-American Manifesto

By: Sunday October 24, 2010 1:58 pm

As a cartoonist, columnist, radio host, TV guest and graphic novelist, Ted Rall has always been hard to categorize. Rall is liberal and an environmentalist, to be sure, but he’s a peculiar brand of both. He’s not scared of guns or all gun owners and he’s got a strong law-and-order streak. He seems to dismiss popular “peak oil” theories that anticipate a rapid and disastrous fall-off in petroleum production. He’s equally critical of Democrats and Republicans.

Rall is most notorious for his U.S. political commentary. A 2004 cartoon criticizing football player-turned-soldier Pat Tillman, who was killed by “friendly” fire in Afghanistan, is easily Rall’s most famous work. But arguably Rall’s most unique and important work has grown out of his infrequent jaunts through foreign conflict zones, particularly in Central Asia. A trip to Afghanistan in 2001 produced the graphic novel To Afghanistan and Back, one of the best and most prescient books on the now decade-old war. For all that, Rall’s most eloquent work isn’t political at all. His memoir The Year of Loving Dangerously recounts his turbulent but passionate youth.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Sebastian Junger, War

By: Saturday June 19, 2010 2:00 pm

In 2007 and 2008 Junger and his photographer Tim Hetherington spent several months living with a platoon of U.S. Army paratroopers in eastern Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. At one point during a spike in the fighting, the 30 young men of Junger’s Second Platoon — part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade based in Italy — accounted for around a third of all the combat experienced by the 160,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan. Half of the platoon fell dead or wounded. Others suffered psychological injuries.

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