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About Elliot Ackerman
ELLIOT ACKERMAN is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels 2034, Red Dress In Black and White, Waiting for Eden, Dark at the Crossing, and Green on Blue, as well as the memoir Places and Names: On War, Revolution and Returning. His books have been nominated for the National Book Award, the Andrew Carnegie Medal in both fiction and nonfiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize among others. He is both a former White House Fellow and Marine, and served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. He divides his time between New York City and Washington, D.C.
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Titles By Elliot Ackerman
“Consider this another vaccine against disaster. Fortunately, this dose won't cause a temporary fever—and it happens to be a rippingly good read.” —Wired
“This crisply written and well-paced book reads like an all-caps warning for a world shackled to the machines we carry in our pockets and place on our laps . . ." —The Washington Post
From two former military officers and award-winning authors, a chillingly authentic geopolitical thriller that imagines a naval clash between the US and China in the South China Sea in 2034—and the path from there to a nightmarish global conflagration.
On March 12, 2034, US Navy Commodore Sarah Hunt is on the bridge of her flagship, the guided missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones, conducting a routine freedom of navigation patrol in the South China Sea when her ship detects an unflagged trawler in clear distress, smoke billowing from its bridge. On that same day, US Marine aviator Major Chris "Wedge" Mitchell is flying an F35E Lightning over the Strait of Hormuz, testing a new stealth technology as he flirts with Iranian airspace. By the end of that day, Wedge will be an Iranian prisoner, and Sarah Hunt's destroyer will lie at the bottom of the sea, sunk by the Chinese Navy. Iran and China have clearly coordinated their moves, which involve the use of powerful new forms of cyber weaponry that render US ships and planes defenseless. In a single day, America's faith in its military's strategic pre-eminence is in tatters. A new, terrifying era is at hand.
So begins a disturbingly plausible work of speculative fiction, co-authored by an award-winning novelist and decorated Marine veteran and the former commander of NATO, a legendary admiral who has spent much of his career strategically outmaneuvering America's most tenacious adversaries. Written with a powerful blend of geopolitical sophistication and human empathy, 2034 takes us inside the minds of a global cast of characters--Americans, Chinese, Iranians, Russians, Indians--as a series of arrogant miscalculations on all sides leads the world into an intensifying international storm. In the end, China and the United States will have paid a staggering cost, one that forever alters the global balance of power.
Everything in 2034 is an imaginative extrapolation from present-day facts on the ground combined with the authors' years working at the highest and most classified levels of national security. Sometimes it takes a brilliant work of fiction to illuminate the most dire of warnings: 2034 is all too close at hand, and this cautionary tale presents the reader a dark yet possible future that we must do all we can to avoid.
Elliot Ackerman left the American military ten years ago, but his time in Afghanistan and Iraq with the Marines and later as a CIA paramilitary officer marked him indelibly. When the Taliban began to close in on Kabul in August 2021 and the Afghan regime began its death spiral, he found himself pulled back into the conflict. Afghan nationals who had worked closely with the American military and intelligence communities for years now faced brutal reprisal and sought frantically to flee the country with their families. The official US government evacuation effort was a bureaucratic failure that led to a humanitarian catastrophe. With former colleagues and friends protecting the airport in Kabul, Ackerman joined an impromptu effort by a group of journalists and other veterans to arrange flights and negotiate with both Taliban and American forces to secure the safe evacuation of hundreds. These were desperate measures taken during a desperate end to America's longest war. For Ackerman, it also became a chance to reconcile his past with his present.
The Fifth Act is an astonishing human document that brings the weight of twenty years of war to bear on a single week, the week the war ended. Using the dramatic rescue efforts in Kabul as his lattice, Ackerman weaves a personal history of the war's long progression, beginning with the initial invasion in the months after 9/11. It is a play in five acts, the fifth act being the story’s tragic denouement, a prelude to Afghanistan's dark future. Any reader who wants to understand what went wrong with the war’s trajectory will find a trenchant account here. But The Fifth Act also brings readers into close contact with a remarkable group of characters, American and Afghan, who fought the war with courage and dedication, and at great personal cost. Ackerman's story is a first draft of history that feels like a timeless classic.
“Lyrical . . . A thoughtful perspective on America’s role overseas.” —Washington Post
From a decorated Marine war veteran and National Book Award finalist, an astonishing reckoning with the nature of combat and the human cost of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.
“War hath determined us.” —John Milton, Paradise Lost
Toward the beginning of Places and Names, Elliot Ackerman sits in a refugee camp in southern Turkey, across the table from a man named Abu Hassar, who fought for al-Qaeda in Iraq and whose connections to the Islamic State are murky. At first, Ackerman pretends to have been a journalist during the Iraq War, but after establishing a rapport with Abu Hassar, he takes a risk by revealing to him that in fact he was a Marine special operation officer. Ackerman then draws the shape of the Euphrates River on a large piece of paper, and his one-time adversary quickly joins him in the game of filling in the map with the names and dates of places where they saw fighting during the war. They had shadowed each other for some time, it turned out, a realization that brought them to a strange kind of intimacy.
The rest of Elliot Ackerman's extraordinary memoir is in a way an answer to the question of why he came to that refugee camp, and what he hoped to find there. By moving back and forth between his recent experiences on the ground as a journalist in Syria and its environs and his deeper past in Iraq and Afghanistan, he creates a work of remarkable atmospheric pressurization. Ackerman shares vivid and powerful stories of his own experiences in combat, culminating in the events of the Second Battle of Fallujah, the most intense urban combat for the Marines since Hue in Vietnam, where Ackerman's actions leading a rifle platoon saw him awarded the Silver Star. He weaves these stories into the latticework of a masterful larger reckoning with contemporary geopolitics through his vantage as a journalist in Istanbul and with the human extremes of both bravery and horror.
At once an intensely personal story about the terrible lure of combat and a brilliant meditation on the larger meaning of the past two decades of strife for America, the region, and the world, Places and Names bids fair to take its place among our greatest books about modern war.
Aziz and his older brother Ali are coming of age in a village amid the pine forests and endless mountains of eastern Afghanistan. They are poor, but inside their mud-walled home, the family has stability, love, and routine. One day a convoy of armed men arrives in their village and their world crumbles. The boys survive and make their way to a small city, where they gradually begin to piece together their lives. But when US forces invade the country, militants strike back. A bomb explodes in the market, and Ali is brutally injured.
To save his brother, Aziz must join the Special Lashkar, a US-funded militia. As he rises through the ranks, Aziz becomes mired in the dark underpinnings of his country’s war, witnessing clashes between rival Afghan groups—what US soldiers call “green on green” attacks—and those on US forces by Afghan soldiers, violence known as “green on blue.” Trapped in a conflict both savage and contrived, Aziz struggles to understand his place. Will he embrace the brutality of war or leave it behind, and risk placing his brother—and a young woman he has come to love—in jeopardy?
Green on Blue has broken new ground in the literature of our most recent wars, accomplishing an astonishing feat of empathy and imagination. Writing from the Afghan perspective, “Elliot Ackerman has done something brave as a writer and even braver as a soldier: He has touched, for real, the culture and soul of his enemy” (The New York Times Book Review).
“Transports readers into a world few Americans know” —Washington Post
A timely new novel of stunning humanity and tension: a contemporary love story set on the Turkish border with Syria.
Haris Abadi is a man in search of a cause. An Arab American with a conflicted past, he is now in Turkey, attempting to cross into Syria and join the fight against Bashar al-Assad's regime. But he is robbed before he can make it, and is taken in by Amir, a charismatic Syrian refugee and former revolutionary, and Amir's wife, Daphne, a sophisticated beauty haunted by grief. As it becomes clear that Daphne is also desperate to return to Syria, Haris's choices become ever more wrenching: Whose side is he really on? Is he a true radical or simply an idealist? And will he be able to bring meaning to a life of increasing frustration and helplessness? Told with compassion and a deft hand, Dark at the Crossing is an exploration of loss, of second chances, and of why we choose to believe--a trenchantly observed novel of raw urgency and power.
“Promises to be one of the most essential books of 2017” —Esquire
Eden lies in a hospital bed, unable to move or speak. His wife Mary spends every day on the sofa in his room. We see them through the eyes of Eden’s best friend, a fellow Marine who didn’t make it back home—and who must relive the secrets held between all three of them as he waits for Eden to finally, mercifully die and join him in whatever comes after.
A breathtakingly spare and shattering novel that explores the unseen aftereffects—and unacknowledged casualties—of war, Waiting for Eden is a piercingly insightful, deeply felt meditation on loyalty, friendship, betrayal, and love.
“The Tim O’Brien of our era.” —Vogue
“Devastating.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Haunting. . . . Daring.” —The Boston Globe
Catherine has been married for many years to Murat, an influential Turkish real estate developer, and they have a young son together, William. But when she decides to leave her marriage and return home to the United States with William and her photographer lover, Murat determines to take a stand. He enlists the help of an American diplomat to prevent his wife and child from leaving the country--but, by inviting this scrutiny into their private lives, Murat becomes only further enmeshed in a web of deception and corruption. As the hidden architecture of these relationships is gradually exposed, we learn the true nature of a cast of struggling artists, wealthy businessmen, expats, spies, a child pulled in different directions by his parents, and, ultimately, a society in crisis. Riveting and unforgettably perceptive, Red Dress in Black and White is a novel of personal and political intrigue that casts light into the shadowy corners of a nation on the brink.
“Why do some forms of violence—the beheading of journalists by the Islamic State, a bombing in Ankara, or the attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando—make us feel so threatened, while other forms—the 372 separate mass shootings in America in 2015 or the 4,219 Syrians killed that same September—do little to challenge our sense of safety?”
From his base in Istanbul, Elliot Ackerman has written letters and essays that explore how global and seemingly remote issues like terrorism, US foreign policy, and other geopolitical forces play out and wreak distress upon the quotidian lives of civilians. Here assembled into a haunting piece, the fragments of a year’s notes open a window into life under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s oppressive and nationalistic right-wing regime, the civil war in Syria, and the disintegration of the old order in the Middle-East.
Exposing how a pervasive rhetoric of fear can shape a society and written with intimacy and a tremendous amount of compassion, this is an astute political commentary and first-person travel narrative par excellence.
An ebook short.
comment l’appeler, sauf elle : c’est son mari, et il est toujours en vie. Leur fille, qu’Eden n’a pas eu le temps de connaître, grandit dans cet hôpital où Mary attend avec patience et détermination un changement. Un jour, en son absence, Eden semble trouver un moyen de reprendre contact avec
le monde extérieur. Dès lors, c’est Mary seule qui aura la responsabilité d’interpréter ces signaux et de prendre des décisions, ramenée tout d’un coup face à certaines vérités troublantes sur leur mariage.
Pagina dopo pagina, scopriamo a chi appartiene la voce narrante, quella di un commilitone di Eden che era presente nel momento dell’attentato e che ha avuto un destino diverso dall’amico ferito: vite che si incrociano e poi si separano, ma non per questo restano distanti. Perché ogni distanza può essere azzerata dall’amore. In ogni condizione.
Mentre Eden lotta per la vita, il suo compagno ripercorre i momenti più terribili, i segreti, le battaglie, i sentimenti che li hanno portati a condividere il presente.
Aspettando il cielo è un romanzo toccante, che esplora i traumi meno visibili della guerra, interrogandosi sui valori della lealtà e dell’amicizia, sul tradimento e sull’amore.
«Il buio al crocevia si prepara ad essere uno dei libri fondamentali del 2017.»
«Il buio al crocevia non è solo una riflessione sul rimorso, il tradimento, l'amore e la perdita, ma è anche un viaggio che ci riporta al bellissimo e dilaniato mondo in cui viviamo.»
«Ackerman scrive con empatia, cognizione di causa, e una grande integrità morale.»
È notte quando Haris Abadi si ritrova all’improvviso disteso per terra, a respirare polvere e fango, mentre mani sconosciute gli sfilano di tasca tutto, soldi, cartina, passaporto. Cittadino americano di origine irachena, con alle spalle una triste storia famigliare, Haris si trova in Turchia per attraversare il confine siriano e unirsi alla lotta contro il regime di Bashar al-Assad. Derubato di tutto, si vede quasi costretto a rinunciare all’impresa quando incontra Amir, un rifugiato siriano ed ex rivoluzionario che gli offre ospitalità e aiuto. Amir è sposato con Daphne, una donna di grande fascino ma incapace di nascondere come vorrebbe le sue inquietudini. Haris capisce subito che anche Daphne desidera disperatamente raggiungere la Siria. Ma questa consapevolezza porterà con sé nuovi, angoscianti dubbi: da che parte vuole davvero schierarsi, quella donna? Sarà possibile per entrambi ridare senso a una vita così sofferta?
Scritto con grande partecipazione e la consapevolezza di chi conosce profondamente il conflitto che racconta, Il buio al crocevia è un viaggio tra miserie umane e inattese opportunità, nel cuore oscuro di una guerra dove l’amore e l’orrore sembrano sorgere dalla stessa radice.