This book is not about battle or secret ops, it is not the best read for the basic war story junkies or those who want to understand the soldier's life in the field. But it is devastatingly mindshaking if you are beyond that stage. If you have personal experience or have read all the stories and have followed the polical debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iraq and Afghanistan, you will find shapters which provide a profoundly deeper insight into these conflicts. Especially the chapters on Gaza rocked my mind. Having followed the Middle East conflict for decades, I found new insights into for example what brings youngsters to throw stones at Israeli tanks. How can the parents allow this or drive their kids into such actions? For decades has that question been on my mind. The basic reason for what they are doing, desperate actions which can be seen on TV screens regularly, may be obvious. But the actual driving force as Beaumont finds out, is something that has less to do with the direct reason of fighting the IDF. For anyone having the slightest hint of a rough childhood, the book also gives insights on how easy it is to slip dangerously into an abyss of violence and dangerous behaviour.
This book should be a read for those wishing deeper insights into any urban problem areas, rough neighborhood issues and teenage violence and crime.
The wars described erase barriers, control mechanisms and civil opportunities. That is specific to wars. But what happens after the barriers are dow, regardless if the reason is war, hopeless poverty or any other reason, is something that has to to with what happens in the human mind. And these effects are, as Beaumont hints at, are universal.