Alpha: Eddie Gallagher and the War for the Soul of the Navy SEALs
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About the book
An “infuriating, fast-paced” (The Washington Post) account of the Navy SEALs of Alpha platoon, the startling accusations against their chief, Eddie Gallagher, and the courtroom battle that exposed the dark underbelly of America’s special forces—from a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter
WINNER OF THE COLORADO BOOK AWARD • “Nearly impossible to put down.”—Jon Krakauer, New York Times bestselling author of Where Men Win Glory and Into the Wild
In this “brilliantly written” (The New York Times Book Review) and startling account, Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times correspondent David Philipps reveals a powerful moral crucible, one that would define the American military during the years of combat that became known as “the forever war.”
When the Navy SEALs of Alpha platoon returned from their 2017 deployment to Iraq, a group of them reported their chief, Eddie Gallagher, for war crimes, alleging that he’d stabbed a prisoner in cold blood and taken lethal sniper shots at unarmed civilians. The story of Alpha’s war, both in Iraq and in the shocking trial that followed the men’s accusations, would complicate the SEALs’ post-9/11 hero narrative, turning brothers-in-arms against one another and bringing into stark relief the choice that elite soldiers face between loyalty to their unit and to their country.
One of the great stories written about American special forces, Alpha is by turns a battlefield drama, a courtroom thriller, and a compelling examination of how soldiers define themselves and live with the decisions in the heat of combat.–from publisher
About the author
David Philipps is an award-winning national correspondent for The New York Times, where he writes about the military. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Seattle Times, among other publications. His military coverage won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, and he was twice named a Pulitzer finalist, for local reporting and for breaking news. His coverage of the violence at Fort Carson in the Colorado Springs Gazette won the Livingston Award, and his book Lethal Warriors won honorable mention for the J. Anthony Lukas Prize. He lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his family.
About the moderator
Professor Claire Finkelstein is the Algernon Biddle Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania and a distinguished research fellow at the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) as well as a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI). She is the Founder and Faculty Director of Penn’s Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law. An expert in the law of armed conflict, military ethics, and national security law, she is a co-editor (with Jens David Ohlin) of The Oxford Series in Ethics, National Security, and the Rule of Law and a well-published author in the areas of national security and democratic governance. Professor Finkelstein is a frequent radio, broadcast, and print commentator.