The Bodies in Person: An Account of Civilian Casualties in American Wars

The Bodies in Person: An Account of Civilian Casualties in American Wars

by Nick McDonell

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Overview

Since the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, uncounted thousands of civilians have died in the fighting, and as a result of the destruction. These are deaths for which no one assumes responsibility, and which have been presented, historically, as fallout. No one knows their true number.
 
In The Bodies in Person, Nick McDonell introduces us to some of the civilians who died, along with the rescue workers who tried to save them, U.S. soldiers grappling with their deaths, and everyone in between. He shows us how decent Americans, inside and outside the government and military, looked away from the mounting death toll, even as they claimed to do everything in their power to prevent civilian casualties. 
 
With a novelist's eye — and hundreds of hours of recorded interviews — McDonell brings us the untold story of the innocent dead in America's ongoing wars, from leveled cities to drone operation centers to Capitol back rooms. As we follow him around the world, The Bodies in Person raises questions not only about what it means to be an American, but about the value of a life, what it means to risk one, and what is owed afterward.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780735211575
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/18/2018
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.23(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.05(d)

About the Author

Nick McDonell is a novelist and journalist. Born in New York City in 1984, he studied at Harvard and Oxford. He is the author of several books, including the novel Twelve, which was a New York Times bestseller.

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Copyright © 2018 Nick McDonell.
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Table of Contents

Maps x

I The Classy Hotel 1

II Civil Defense 7

1 Attempt to Reach Civilians Trapped in West Mosul 9

2 Correspondence (I) 21

3 Excavation of Bodies off Pepsi Road 23

4 Correspondence (II) 41

III Allies 43

5 Iraqi Special Forces and the al-Jadida Airstrike 45

6 Crazy Horse 59

7 The Afghan National Army and the Security of Outpost Shamalan, Helmand 61

8 Correspondence (III) 67

IV Operations 69

9 The Targeting and Killing of a Helmandi Combatant 71

10 Correspondence (IV) 101

V Numbers 103

11 Revelation in Pleasantville of Anticipated Civilian Casualties 105

12 The U.S. Civilian Casualty Mitigation Team 107

13 Sar Baghni and the Deadliest Civilian Casually Incident to Date 113

14 Official Spokesmen 123

15 Record Keeping in the Emergency Room of the Baghdad Teaching Hospital 127

16 Definition of the Non-Combatant Casualty Cutoff Value 133

17 Correspondence (V) 141

VI Solatia 143

18 Dirt Worship 145

19 Provision of Tents and Staples to the Bereaved 147

20 Notes on Security 155

21 Compensation for Injuries Caused by U.S. Forces 161

22 Theories 175

23 Rescue of a Child from an Islamic State Massacre 177

VII Arguments for Reform of the Non-Combatant Casualty Cutoff Value 189

24 The Morning Brief 191

25 Strikes Through History 195

26 Origins of This Account 205

27 The Unavoidable Question 213

VIII Notes, Sources, and Additional Context 221

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