Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 10:00a.m.
The St. Louis County Library Foundation’s ‘Buzz’ Westfall Favorite Author Series is pleased to present journalist and author Vanessa Gezari for a discussion and signing of her book “The Tender Soldier: A True Story of War and Sacrifice.” The event will take place at Library Headquarters (1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.) on Wednesday, August 14 at 7:00 p.m. The program is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.
On the day Barack Obama was elected president, a small group of American civilians took their optimism and experience to Afghanistan, then considered America’s “good war.” They were part of the Pentagon’s controversial attempt to bring social science to the battlefield, a program, called the Human Terrain System, driven by the notion that you can’t win a war if you don’t understand the enemy and his culture. The field team in Afghanistan that day included an intrepid Texas blonde, a former bodyguard for Afghan president Hamid Karzai, and an ex-military intelligence sergeant who had come to Afghanistan to make peace with his troubled past.
In this tale of moral suspense, Gezari follows these idealists from the hope that brought them to Afghanistan through the events of the fateful day when one is gravely wounded, an Afghan is dead, and a proponent of cross-cultural engagement is charged with murder. Through it all, these brave Americans ended up showing the world just how determined they were to get things right, how hard it was to understand a place like Afghanistan and why all future wars will involve this strange mix of fighting and listening.
Gezari is the only journalist to have gained access to the lives of people inside the troubled Human Terrain System, including the brilliant, ambitious figures who conceived it. “The Tender Soldier” is the first account of this little-known mission. It is a true story of war and sacrifice that will upend ideas about what really went wrong in the war.
Vanessa Gezari teaches narrative nonfiction and war reporting at the University of Michigan. She has written for The Washington Post, The New Republic, and Slate.
The program with Vanessa Gezari is a St. Louis County Library ‘Buzz’ Westfall Favorite Author Series presentation. The Westfall series features authors of politics, current issues, history, and sports. The series is co-sponsored by Jack Dubinsky and Sons; McMahon Berger; Sachs Properties; Brown Smith Wallace LLC; Royal Banks of Missouri; St. Louis Business Journal; Midwest Library Service; The Booksource; Ivey-Selkirk Auctioneers; S.M. Wilson & Co.; Arthur J. Gallagher and Co.; and Stifel, Nicolaus.
The event is presented by Maryville University.
Program sites are accessible. Upon two weeks notice, accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities. Contact St. Louis County Library by phone 314-994-3300 or visit www.slcl.org.