In the Company of Soldiers

From Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author Rick Atkinson comes an eyewitness account of the war against Iraq and a vivid portrait of a remarkable group of soldiers For soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division, the road to Baghdad began with a midnight flight out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in late February 2003. For Rick Atkinson, who would spend nearly two months covering the division for The Washington Post, the war in Iraq provided a unique opportunity to observe today's U.S. Army in combat. Now, in this extraordinary account of his odyssey with the 101st, Atkinson presents an intimate and revealing portrait of the soldiers who fight the expeditionary wars that have become the hallmark of our age. At the center of Atkinson's drama stands the compelling figure of Major General David H. Petraeus, described by one comrade as "the most competitive man on the planet." Atkinson spent virtually all day every day at Petraeus's elbow in Iraq, where he had an unobstructed view of the stresses, anxieties, and large joys of commanding 17,000 soldiers in combat. Atkinson watches Petraeus wrestle with innumerable tactical conundrums and direct several intense firefights; he watches him teach, goad, and lead his troops and his subordinate commanders. And all around Petraeus, we see the men and women of a storied division grapple with the challenges of waging war in an unspeakably harsh environment. With the eye of a master storyteller, the premier military historian of his generation puts us right on the battlefield. In the Company of Soldiers is a compelling, utterly fresh view of the modern American soldier in action.

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By Clyde (Yokohama, Kanagawa-ken, Japan) · ★★★★☆ · February 20, 2013
In In the Company of Soldiers Rick Atkinson chronicles his experiences as an embedded reporter with the 101st Airborne Division (air assault) during the Iraq war in 2003. His book brings back the concerns and fears of that war that have become somewhat blurred by time. I didn't find this book to... ...more
By Lucas (Seattle, WA) · ★★★☆☆ · May 23, 2009
The author shadows David Petraeus during the invasion of Iraq, and after each recounted episode contrasts the competence and integrity of the soldiers with that of the Bush administration.

Lots of minutiae about somewhat random things, like discussions over whether to tape or paint helicopter blad... ...more
By Reza · ★★★☆☆ · June 11, 2010
I found the book interesting, though not as engaging as Generation Kill. I suspect in part this is due to the strategic-level perspective of much of the book. I found my interest to be greatest when he was discussing his experiences and those of the people around him. It may be that for those tha... ...more
By Christopher (Ruskin, FL) · ★★★★★ · October 09, 2014
I loved the book. I was In D company 3/502INF 101st and I can tell you it is correct in every way. From those cold nights at Campbell loading trains to the hot hell of Karbala, it is those little details that civilians see as boring that saves our lives. Moving the 101st from Ft Campbell to Kuwai... ...more
By Matt (Hinsdale, IL) · ★★★☆☆ · April 12, 2014
This is a real solid read. This book chronicles the Second Gulf war from the prep to the execution as the author spends the bulk of the book riding/flying etc. on the hip of Gen. Petraeus as He commands the US forces.

The book has a nice flow and is really focused on the leadership, and the headqu... ...more
By Ally (Center Valley, PA) · ★★★☆☆ · November 13, 2014

Based on the title, I was expecting a book detailing the grit of soldiers in battle but instead Atkinson writes about the time he spent with the 101 division leader General Patraeus and the upper commanding officers. There's more talk of logistics and strategy than men on the field. This was not... ...more
By Karen (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · August 11, 2008
This is the story of one of the embedded journalists in the early days of the Iraq war. Rick Atkinson has written about war before (he found out one of his books won the Pulitzer while he was in Iraq) so his writing is a bit more sophisticated than some of the journalists who were embedded.

The b... ...more
By Patrick (Ryan, IA) · ★★★★☆ · November 15, 2010
A very interesting account of the invasion of Iraq. The author follows the 101st Airborne lead by current Head of Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Petraeous, in the lead up and the intial faze of the war in Iraq. You meet many of the officers involved in the planning and execution of the invasion p... ...more
By James (York, UK, The United Kingdom) · ★★★☆☆ · February 24, 2011
Without doubt, Rick Atkinson is a fine war reporter. His book offers a fascinating insight into the 101st Airborne's war against terror..... or weapons of mass destruction .... or whatever this was about. If you require evidence beyond the prose then consider the author's apparently unlimited acc... ...more
By Dewayne (San Pedro, CA) · ★★★★★ · August 01, 2014
Lots of details in the logistics of moving an army into battle. The author follows General Petraeus from a close observation point as he manages his command and I as a reader had forgotten his recent fall from leadership of the CIA. The Generals close connection to his running partners must have... ...more