Tag Archives: war

Thursday 08/24 2017
Eastman Was Here: On Satirizing Masculinity

Eastman Was Here follows Alan Eastman, a washed up author who turns to Saigon for the swan song that will save his career and his marriage. Set in the immediate aftermath of the Vietnam War, the book highlights the type of authors who have cast a spell on us at some point—manly men boasting manly emotions, who dissolve their Pain in drugs, women and prose. These are writers descended from Hemingway’s poisonous line, but with a more urbane spin, like Roth, Updike, Irving, Mailer and their peers. You know, the stereotypical novelists who were the accolade-winning dicks in the American post-war literary scene.

We’ve all been suffering in their long, dark shadows ever since.”

Read the rest of my essay in Paste Magazine

Tuesday 05/16 2017
The New Battle Front Is Personal: The ISIS Hostage and the New War Journalism

“Puk Damsgård’s unadorned chronicle of Danish photojournalist Daniel Rye’s capture, confinement and eventual release delivers a lesson as astringent as medicine: in the modern era of irregular warfare, battlefields are no longer demarcated by flags or trenches but by ideology and memory. Beyond bombs and drones and Kalashnikovs, wars are now fought via emotion and media, perception and pressure. The modern front is personal.”

Read the rest of my review in Paste Magazine

Tuesday 12/2 2014
Taming the Hydra

“The current state of vast swaths of the Levant resembles, from the outside, a ball of asps, strange entanglements—Iran on the side of the Iraqi government, and both in bed with the U.S., say—baring fangs and discouraging untangling. And it is here where author Patrick Cockburn comes into play, drawing and pinning the various venomous heads and revealing, with terrible clarity, that what seems a ball of snakes is … in reality … a hydra.

Although in possession of many heads—which, coincidentally, famously sprout, two anew, from the stump of its neck when guillotined, a bizarre, extremely sadistic sexual life analogous to the jihadis’ own, reproduction via decapitation—the hydra comes as just one beast; so, too, can the Islamic State and other related jihadi militias be considered a reflection of Sunni Muslim extremism.”

Read the rest of my review of Patrick Cockburn’s The Jihadis Return at Paste