Author Event: Jerad W. Alexander

In partnership with the Southern Independent Bookseller Alliance, Page 158 Books is excited to present Reader, Meet Writer, a virtual event series featuring Southern authors hosted by national bestselling author Wiley Cash. Space is limited, so RSVP is required. Check out the rest of the tour on our website. Sign up here

In this provocative, impassioned memoir, Jerad W. Alexander reveals what it was like to be raised on war, vividly recreating the masculine fantasies of American heroism and patriotism that animated his childhood—and at the same time brilliantly dismantling those myths.
 
To many outsiders, joining the military can be a path out of a difficult life, a chance to acquire vocational training, a college scholarship, a patriotic career. But to those, like Alexander, whose parents, stepfather, and grandparents served, and who grew up on American military bases around the world, enlisting was a way of life. The only way. Young Jerad’s obsession with all things military—from guns to war games to the trappings of uniforms, medals, and the movies and books of Vietnam—was bottomless, and as soon as he was able, he joined the US Marines. Only then, on the ground in Iraq, part of the same war his parents had fought before him—a war we are still embroiled in today, years later—did he begin to question all that he had taken on faith.

With courage and raw power, Alexander brings to the fore vital questions: Is America in fact exceptional? Are the “bad guys” actually easy to identify? And most important, are our causes always just?

This powerful debut joins the canon of essential war literature—books like Anthony Swofford’s Jarhead or Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried—helping readers understand the violent and self-replicating mythology of American patriotism, from the eloquent perspective of an enlisted man—not some elite warrior, but a simple volunteer.

Jerad W. Alexander has written for EsquireRolling StoneThe NationNarratively, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in Literary Reportage from the New York University Arthur L. Carter School of Journalism. From 1998 to 2006, he served as a U.S. Marine, deploying to the Mediterranean, East Africa, and Iraq. He grew up on military bases, from the east coast of the United States to Japan. He currently lives in New York City, but calls Atlanta home.

Our event provides a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules may be expelled from the event without a refund at the discretion of the organizers.

Event Type: 
Event date: 
Thursday, November 11, 2021 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
415 S Brooks Street
Suite B
Wake Forest, NC 27587
Volunteers: Growing Up in the Forever War Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616209964
Availability: In Warehouse, Usually Ships to Store in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - November 9th, 2021