All the Ways We Kill and Die: A Portrait of Modern War (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Castner, a former Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) officer who served three tours of duty in Iraq, has written a book that brings readers backstage, intimately unveiling modern warfare in a way that is completely fresh. By asking the question "Who is the man who killed my friend?" Castner becomes a detective searching for the man who built the bomb that killed his EOD-brother.

— From Kalani


The search for a friend's killer is a riveting lesson in the way war has changed.

The EOD--explosive ordnance disposal--community is tight-knit, and when one of their own is hurt, an alarm goes out. When Brian Castner, an Iraq War vet, learns that his friend and EOD brother Matt has been killed by an IED in Afghanistan, he goes to console Matt's widow, but he also begins a personal investigation. Is the bomb maker who killed Matt the same man American forces have been hunting since Iraq, known as the Engineer?

In this nonfiction thriller Castner takes us inside the manhunt for this elusive figure, meeting maimed survivors, interviewing the forensics teams who gather post-blast evidence, the wonks who collect intelligence, the drone pilots and contractors tasked to kill. His investigation reveals how warfare has changed since Iraq, becoming individualized even as it has become hi-tech, with our drones, bomb disposal robots, and CSI-like techniques. As we use technology to identify, locate, and take out the planners and bomb makers, the chilling lesson is that the hunters are also being hunted, and the other side--from Al-Qaeda to ISIS-- has been selecting its own high-value targets.

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About the Author

Brian Castner is the author of the acclaimed memoir The Long Walk. An EOD officer in the Air Force who commanded bomb disposal units in Iraq and subsequently trained soldiers prior to their tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he is now a writer and journalist. His stories have appeared in VICE News, the New York Times, the Daily Beast, Wired, Outside, Foreign Policy, and the Los Angeles Review of Books and on NPR. He lives with his family in Buffalo, New York.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781628726541
ISBN-10: 1628726547
Publisher: Arcade Publishing
Publication Date: March 1st, 2016
Pages: 356
Language: English