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Pulling readers into the captivating immediacy of a conflict that cans shift from drudgery to devastation at any moment, Youngblood provides a startling new dimension to both the moral complexity of war and its psychological toll.
“A brilliant and daring novel. Gallagher’s prose is sharp, energetic and witty, his characters are fiercely alive, and the cracked vision of America he creates is a monstrous thing of beauty.” —Phil Klay, award-winning author of Redeployment
The author of the “urgent and deeply moving” (The New York Times) Youngblood returns with this bold and provocative novel following a group of super-powered soldiers and civilians as they navigate an imperial America on the precipice of a major upheaval—for fans of The Fortress of Solitude and The Plot Against America.
Thirty years after its great triumph in Vietnam, the United States has again become mired in an endless foreign war overseas. Stories of super soldiers known as the Volunteers tuck in little American boys and girls every night. Yet domestic politics are aflame. Violent protests erupt throughout the nation; an ex-military watchdog group clashes with police while radical terrorists threaten to expose government experiments within the veteran rehabilitation colonies.
Halfway between war and peace, the Volunteers find themselves waiting for orders in the vast American city-state, Empire City. There they encounter a small group of civilians who know the truth about their powers, including Sebastian Rios, a young bureaucrat wrestling with survivor guilt, and Mia Tucker, a wounded army pilot-turned-Wall Street banker. Meanwhile, Jean-Jacques Saint-Preux, a Haitian-American Volunteer from the International Legion, decides he’ll do whatever it takes to return to the front lines.
Through it all, a controversial retired general emerges as a frontrunner in the presidential campaign, promising to save the country from itself. Her election would mean unprecedented military control over the country, with promises of security and stability—but at what cost?
Featuring Gallagher’s “vital” (The Washington Post), “evocative” (The Wall Street Journal) prose, Empire City is a rousing vision of an alternate—yet all too familiar—America on the brink.
These stories aren't pretty and they aren't for the faint of heart. They are realistic, haunting and shocking. And they are all unforgettable. Television reports, movies, newspapers and blogs about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have offered images of the fighting there. But this collection offers voices -- powerful voices, telling the kind of truth that only fiction can offer.
What makes the collection so remarkable is that all of these stories are written by those who were there, or waited for them at home. The anthology, which features a Foreword by National Book Award winner Colum McCann, includes the best voices of the wars' generation: award-winning author Phil Klay's "Redeployment" Brian Turner, whose poem "Hurt Locker" was the movie's inspiration; Colby Buzzell, whose book My War resonates with countless veterans; Siobhan Fallon, whose book You Know When the Men Are Gone echoes the joy and pain of the spouses left behind; Matt Gallagher, whose book Kaboom captures the hilarity and horror of the modern military experience; and ten others.
Iraq, late 2007. Lieutenant Matt Gallagher arrives just as US policy shifts from lethal operations to counter-insurgency. He encounters a world where nothing is as it seems. Friends are enemies, reconciliation is war, roads are bombs and silence is deadly. Nothing left to do except 'embrace the suck'...
...and blog about it. Matt Gallagher's response was to write an on-line journal (called Kaboom) which quickly went viral. Read by thousands of soldiers who recognised its unflinchingly honest portrayal of the real war, as well as high-ranking Pentagon officials and interested parties around the world, Kaboom was shut down by the US Army in June 2008. Now you can read the whole story, based on that brilliant, acerbic, banned blog. Kaboom paints a shockingly original and uncompromising portrait of a savage war the world is still struggling to understand.