"A fascinating ground level account of the effect of absurd and inappropriate Washington strategies on Afghans and on American soldiers."--Abdulkader Sinno, author of Organizations at War in Afghanistan & Beyond
Award-winning journalist Douglas A. Wissing's poignant and eye-opening journey across insurgency-wracked Afghanistan casts an unyielding spotlight on greed, dysfunction, and predictable disaster while celebrating the everyday courage and wisdom of frontline soldiers, idealistic humanitarians, and resilient Afghans. As Wissing hauls a hundred pounds of body armor and pack across the Afghan warzone in search of the ground truth, US officials frantically spin a spurious victory narrative, American soldiers try to keep their body parts together, and Afghans try to stay positive and strain to figure out their next move after the US eventually leaves. As one technocrat confided to Wissing, "I am hopeless--but optimistic."
Along with a deep inquiry into the 21st-century American way of war and an unforgettable glimpse of the enduring culture and legacy of Afghanistan, Hopeless but Optimistic
includes the real stuff of life: the austere grandeur of Afghanistan and its remarkable people; warzone dining, defecation, and sex; as well as the remarkable shopping opportunities for men whose job is to kill.Silver Medal, War & Military, Foreword Indies Awards Silver Medal, Current Events, Independent Publisher Book Awards
"A scathing dispatch from an embedded journalist in Afghanistan . . . Pungent, embittered, eye-opening observations of a conflict involving lessons still unlearned."--Kirkus Reviews
"Here we confront in granular detail the waste and folly that is America's war in Afghanistan."--Andrew J. Bacevich, author of The Age of Illusions