Why Marines Fight
James Brady. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2007. 320 pp. Illus. $24.95.
Reviewed by Colonel John W. Ripley, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
With a dozen or so books already in the market about Marines, including several New York Times best sellers, James Brady has produced yet another one; and this one with the provocative title as if to answer the timeless question asked by just about anyone familiar with the Marine Corps. Brady, of course, is well qualified to both ask and explore such a question based on his personal experience as a rifle platoon commander in the latter part of the Korean War—the "killing days" when units were stalemated and casualties were greatest.
Brady takes on this task by interviewing a number of Marine combat veterans and recounting their remarkably powerful yet simple responses to his basic questions such as why do we fight, and why do we fight so well. These questions inevitably lead to the related "why did you become a Marine" or "why did you seek the Marine Corps when there were other less demanding or dangerous options."