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By Barry Zworestine

The Many Faces of War is a well-researched, creative, historical, mythological and academic look at war, in the cold and often harsh light of trauma, damaged brains, mythology and a very broad sweep of literature. It cast a light on the shadows lurking in dark, hidden and often unspoken corners of our minds, souls, our faces and the timeless and historical territory of the battlefield.

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U.S. Army photo, colorized by Jared Enos and shared under CC 2.0 license.

In the fall of 1917, draftees from around the country came together at Camp Greene, North Carolina to form the newly activated 4th Division. These men went on to fight in the trenches of France for the remainder of the First World War. At the time, they were fighting for their country and each other. What they did not know was that they were the founders of an organization whose lineage would span several more wars, and would continue to serve the country 100 years later.

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U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brittany E. Jones

The face of the man who wanted to kill me wasn’t immediately visible — the photo of him required close examination. My company commander took the picture while deployed to Iraq in 2005. On a noontime reconnaissance mission, he’d captured a million-dollar snapshot: a man in a ghillie suit emplacing an IED at midday. Except my commander didn’t notice; he only realized it when he returned to his outpost and reviewed the images. Under camouflage netting, in 100-degree-plus heat, a man lay perfectly still, as if staring down the camera — singularly focused. My commander’s unit never caught the man in the ghillie suit. I’ve never forgotten the image.

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U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Amanda Davis

As the old adage goes, The pen is mightier than the sword. “Selling War: A Critical Look at the Military PR’s Machine,” a new book by Steven J. Alvarez, is if nothing else a somber reminder that in modern conflict, the pen must be wielded with the sword.

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Photo by Ashley Gilbertson / VII Photo

Ashley Gilbertson, Bedrooms of the Fallen (University of Chicago Press, 2014)

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