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God is Not Here: A Soldier's Struggle with Torture, Trauma, and the Moral Injuries of War Paperback – 14 June 2016

4.6 out of 5 stars 29 ratings

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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 1681771438
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ *Norton agency titles; 1st edition (14 June 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9781681771434
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1681771434
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.24 x 2.03 x 22.86 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 29 ratings

Product description


God is Not Here is an honest, gritty and unflinching look at the war in Iraq and its impact on the human spirit. The writing is crisp and the story is gut wrenching. One of the best Iraq books I've ever read.--Kevin Maurer, co-author of 'No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden'

God is Not Here sharply details the thorny tensions of our new wars, and how American forces have been thrust into vexing, unwinnable situations. Edmonds reveals how these experiences exacted a ruinous toll on him. It is a story of moral injury--and betrayal--and shows that our service members deserve clear and serious leadership. Without it, they'll have to fight another wrenching battle when they return home.--Joshua E. S. Phillips, author of 'None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture'

God Is Not Here is a courageous book by a thoughtful warrior whose personal story shows us the terrible moral and human costs of torture, not just to those who are tortured, but to the torturers.--Scott Cooper, National Security Outreach Director, Human Rights First

'I will write my way through this, ' [Edwards says] and he does, with a precision that might help others who remain bombarded.

A powerful and courageous story of a soldier's fight against a policy that ran counter to his own moral code. As a young captain, Bill Edmonds was idealistic, excited to do his part in the war on terror. But his embed with Iraqi intelligence forces didn't go as planned. The unit's interrogation practices were brutal. But when he raised concerns about the tactics to commanders, he was brushed aside. In one of the best books written about the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, Edmonds provides a compelling glimpse into this dark world where the ends justify the means, and his own heartbreaking struggle to maintain his sanity in the face of immoral behavior.--Mitch Weiss, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist and author of 'Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War' and 'No Way Out: A Story of Valor in the Mountains of Afghanistan'

A raw portrayal of Faulkner's human heart in conflict with itself. Part confession and part treatise, I was engrossed by Edmonds' ongoing conversations with Saedi, his Iraqi counterpart who serves as both his good and bad angel. It is commendable that Edmonds even attempts to reconcile right and wrong in his impossible role, but it is also the source of the tragedy.--Brian Castner, author of 'The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows'

An important account of how torture is ineffective and can deeply harm those who merely witness it. A must-read for anyone who cares about America's future and the welfare of U.S. service members.--Lieutenant Colonel Douglas A. Pryer, author of 'The Fight for the High Ground'

An intense wartime and post-war memoir. This blunt, taut account, based on Edmonds's journals, addresses the profound ramifications Edmonds's work in the war have had on his emotional well-being. The chapters effectively flash back and forth.

A wrenchingly honest account of a soldier's inner conflicts in a morally ambiguous war. Working with an Iraqi officer interrogating Iraqi terror suspects, Bill Edmonds got what most U.S. soldiers did not: a view of the Iraq war through Iraqi and not American eyes. That perspective gives a painful but illuminating and necessary lesson on the true nature of America's conflicts in our era.--Arnold R. Isaacs, author of 'Without Honor: Defeat in Vietnam and Cambodia' and 'Vietnam Shadows: The War, Its Ghosts, and Its Legacy'

"War is rife with good people feeling shame or guilt for what they did. Scientists are calling it moral injury. Edmonds spent years writing as therapy to treat those wounds. This book is the result. 'By sheer force of will I revised myself. Now I am able to explain myself to myself.' Deep and profound.--Gregg Zoroya

A truly remarkable memoir. With searing candor and profound soul-searching, Edmonds opens our eyes to the horrible moral ambiguities that he faced. He has no pat answers about living in a space between complicity and moral protest of torture, but the protest that does cry out is that he has lived too long with his own moral anguish. As a nation we must stop distancing ourselves from the Americans who fight on our behalf and start holding ourselves accountable to help them heal.--Nancy Sherman, author of 'Afterwar: Healing the Moral Wounds of our Soldiers'

Captures an essential lesson about the war in Iraq. Searing and often brutal. As Edmonds' account so telling demonstrates, much more remains to be done.

You know Bill Edmonds is on to something from the very beginning of the book, which I think is one of the best to come out of the Iraq war. There are lines that stay with me.--Thomas Ricks, 'New York Times' bestselling author, from the Foreword

About the Author

Lieutenant Colonel Bill Russell Edmonds is a decorated counterterrorism and counterinsurgency expert who has served in various positions throughout the Special Operations community and with other U.S. government agencies. With more than twenty years of service, Bill is a native of Southern California and currently lives in Germany with his wife and two daughters.

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J. B. Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars A saga of moral wounding and recovery that a morally wounded nation needs to hear
Reviewed in the United States on 3 June 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars Deep and Thought Provoking
Reviewed in the United States on 9 May 2015
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11 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars it provides a good read on the effects of "conventional FOB mentality" as ...
Reviewed in the United States on 18 May 2015
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4 people found this helpful
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David Snodgrass
5.0 out of 5 stars The formatting of the narrative of counting down days between time left in Iraq and eventually having a personal meltdown in Ger
Reviewed in the United States on 31 August 2015
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2 people found this helpful
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Veronica A. Standeven
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read
Reviewed in the United States on 25 February 2017
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