'Combines elements of In Cold Blood and Black Hawk Down with Apocalypse Now as it builds towards its terrible climax...Extraordinary' New York Times Iraq's 'Triangle of Death', 2005. A platoon of young soldiers from a U.S. regiment known as 'the Black Heart Brigade' is deployed to a lawless and hyperviolent area just south of Baghdad. Almost immediately, the attacks begin: every day another roadside bomb, another colleague blown to pieces. As the daily violence chips away, and chips away at their sanity, the thirty-five young men of 1st Platoon, Bravo Company descend into a tailspin of poor discipline, substance abuse, and brutality – with tragic results. Black Hearts is a timeless true story of how modern warfare can make or break a man's character. Told with severe compassion, balanced judgement and the magnetic pace of a thriller, it looks set to become one of the defining books about the Iraq War. 'Black Hearts is the obverse of Band of Brothers, a story not of combat unity but of disharmony and disarray' Chicago Sun-Times 'A riveting picture of life outside the wire in Iraq, where "you tell a guy to go acoss a bridge, and within five minutes he's dead."'Kirkus Reviews (starred)
This is the story of a small group of soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division’s fabled 502nd Infantry Regiment--a unit known as “the Black Heart Brigade.” Deployed in late 2005 to Iraq’s so-called Triangle of Death, a veritable meat grinder just south of Baghdad, the Black Hearts found themselves in arguably the country’s most dangerous location at its most dangerous time. Hit by near-daily mortars, gunfire, and roadside bomb attacks, suffering from a particularly heavy death toll, and enduring a chronic breakdown in leadership, members of one Black Heart platoon--1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion--descended, over their year-long tour of duty, into a tailspin of poor discipline, substance abuse, and brutality. Four 1st Platoon soldiers would perpetrate one of the most heinous war crimes U.S. forces have committed during the Iraq War--the rape of a fourteen-year-old Iraqi girl and the cold-blooded execution of her and her family. Three other 1st Platoon soldiers would be overrun at a remote outpost--one killed immediately and two taken from the scene, their mutilated corpses found days later booby-trapped with explosives. Black Hearts is an unflinching account of the epic, tragic deployment of 1st Platoon. Drawing on hundreds of hours of in-depth interviews with Black Heart soldiers and first-hand reporting from the Triangle of Death, Black Hearts is a timeless story about men in combat and the fragiity of character in the savage crucible of warfare. But it is also a timely warning of new dangers emerging in the way American soldiers are led on the battlefields of the twenty-first century. From the Hardcover edition.