The title storywhich begins on one of the bloodiest days in the war in Afghanistan and follows the father of one of the fallen soldiers into battle against the military establishment back homeis one of five rich, narrative pieces on war that form the heart of this thought-provoking collection. In The Killing Machines," a nineteen-year-old marine sits at a desk with a joystick and must decide whether or not to press the button that will launch an anti-tank missile thousands of miles away in Kandahar, Afghanistan. In The Last Ace," Bowden considers the faded glory of another type of air warfare through the eyes of one extraordinary retired fighter pilot. The Three Battles of Wanat also includes Bowden's incisive sports writing, think pieces, and a selection of fascinating profiles on subjects ranging from Kim Jong-un to The Wire creator David Simon. This is an essential book for fans of Bowden's writing and for anyone who enjoys first-rate narrative nonfiction.