What is it about?

Many soldiers publish books about their experiences in Afghanistan. Who are these soldiers? Why do they write? And what do they write about? These questions will be answered in this study for every military Afghanistan memoir published up to 2010 in the UK, the US, Germany, Canada, and the Netherlands.

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Why is it important?

With hunderds of thousands of soldiers who have been deployed to Afghanistan, it is important to know how they experienced their deployment. Furthermore, the study provides defence public relations departments with a model to predict when and why soldiers will write positive and negative stories. And it provides publishers insight into the differences between self-published and regularly published books.


Having written a military autobiography about my own experiences in Afghanistan (Officier in Afghanistan, Meulenhoff, 2012), I wondered how other soldiers described their deployment and who they were. And being always asked whether I wrote the book for therapeutic reasons (the answer is: no) I wanted to know whether that was indeed the most important reason for other soldier-authors (the answer was once again: no).

Dr Esmeralda Kleinreesink

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This page is a summary of: On Military Memoirs, January 2017, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/9789004330245.
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