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The Things They Cannot Say:

Stories Soldiers Won’t Tell You about What They’ve Seen, Done, or Failed to Do in War

  • Read by: Donald Corren
  • Runtime: 7.8 Hours
  • Recording: Unabridged
  • Release date: 1.22.2013
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio
  • Genre: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
  • 7.75 hrs1/22/2013Unabridged
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-4708-4229-1
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An important look at the unspoken and unknown truths of war and its impact, told through the personal stories of those who have been there

In The Things They Cannot Say, eleven soldiers and marines display a rare courage that transcends battlefield heroics—they share the truth about their wars. For each of them it means something different: one struggles to recover from a head injury he believes has stolen his ability to love, another attempts to make amends for the killing of an innocent man, while yet another finds respect for the enemy fighter who tried to kill him.

Award-winning journalist and author Kevin Sites asks the difficult questions of these combatants, many of whom he first met while in Afghanistan and Iraq and others he sought out from different wars: What is it like to kill? What is it like to be under fire? How do you know what’s right? What can you never forget?

Sites compiles the accounts of soldiers, marines, and their families and friends and also shares the unsettling narrative of his own failures during war—including complicity in a murder—and the redemptive powers of storytelling in arresting a spiraling path of self-destruction.

He learns that war both gives and takes from those most intimately involved in it. Some struggle in perpetual disequilibrium, while others find balance, usually with the help of communities who have learned to listen, without judgment, to the real stories of the men and women it has sent to fight its battles.

Editorial Reviews

“Brilliant…An unprecedented view into the heart, mind, and soul of American warriors from every generation.”

Sean Parnell, New York Times bestselling author of Outlaw Platoon

“Whether stationed in sultry jungles, urban streets, or rugged mountains, soldiers are asked to endure intense physical and mental traumas, and while common threads weave throughout these stories, each is unique…But these gripping stories do not equal ‘an indictment against hope’; they are evidence of a profound desire to heal.”

Publishers Weekly

“A grim, often horrifying portrait of the trauma of modern warfare, which, inevitably, leaves scars, seen and unseen, on participants…This is tough stuff, as many of the experiences recounted here are graphic, cruel, and bloody, but they offer an intimate look at the costs of war on a personal, elemental level.”

Booklist

“Veterans from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan—including Sites himself as a war correspondent—tell their tales of the struggle to survive on and after the battlefield…An important book for warriors and the communities that send them to war.”

Kirkus Reviews

Author Biography

Kevin Sites has spent the past seven years covering global war and disasters for several national networks, including NBC, ABC, and CNN, and has helped pioneer solo journalism, traveling to and reporting from some of the world’s most dangerous places. His numerous awards include the 2006 Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism and the 2005 Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism for his war reporting. When not on assignment, he makes his home in southern California.

Reader Biography

Donald Corren is a stage, television, and voice actor whose work has been featured on and off Broadway, in regional theaters, behind animated characters, and on television for the past three decades. Trained in the theater division at Juilliard, he is also a writer whose credits include the original Martha Stewart Living television series and the medals ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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