cover of KABOOM

Embracing the Suck
In a Savage Little War

by Matt Gallagher

Published by Da Capo Press
ISBN: 9780306819674
ISBN-10: 0306819678
Where to buy KABOOM

When Lieutenant Matt Gallagher first arrived in Iraq in 2007, it was all too surreal. In the midst of a shift in U.S. policy from lethal operations to counterinsurgency, he encountered a world where nothing was as it appeared. Friends were enemies, reconciliation was war, roads were bombs, and silence was deadly. But it was all too real, and there was nothing left to do except learn to “embrace the suck.”

And write about it.

Matt Gallagher started a blog that quickly became a popular hit. Read by thousands of soldiers who found in it their war, the real war, the blog covered everything from grim stories about Bon Jovi cassettes mistaken for IEDs to the daily experiences of the Gravediggers—the code name for members of Gallagher’s platoon.

When it was shut down in June 2008 by the U.S. Army, questions were raised in the halls of Congress and even a few eyebrows were raised at the Pentagon.

Based on Matt Gallagher’s blog, Kaboom provides “raw and insightful snapshots of a conflict many Americans have lost interest in” (Washington Post) and is “at turns hilarious, maddening and terrifying.”

And what terrified Matt most were not the terrorists, but the management—and mangers—of the counterinsurgency.

Kaboom resonates with ironic detachment from—and intimate yet timeless insight into—a war Americans are still trying to understand.

Matt Gallagher’s extraordinary literary style, graceful narrative and penetrating wit captures the voice of a generation of soldiers, the quirkiness of military life, and the soul of a war.