One for the Road: Imperial Grunts

I mention this book simply because the New York
Times review
I read about it peaked my interest. David Lipsky is critical of Robert Kaplan’s
Imperial Grunts,
but other reviews praise his account of traveling with Army Special Forces in Afganistan and the Phillippines. Readers
are going to have varied opinions on the details layed out in this 450-page monster, but I wanted to mention it
specifically because of the language used by Lipsky in his review, in which he claims Kaplan’s book is part of a a new
genre of what he calls anti-travel books: “They make you want to cancel airline reservations and change the locks.” If
you’re interested in learning more about Lipsky’s perspective on this, read his

, or get a copy of Kaplan’s book and judge for yourself. You could also start with this
expanded excerpt that appeared in The
in October. In the book, veteran correspondant Kaplan (who insists he is a traveler, not a journalist)
travels to seven nations, including Yemen, Colombia and Iraq, to provide an insider account of how US military missions
go down on the ground.