Nathaniel Fick

Nathaniel Fick, a former captain in the US Marines and a veteran of the 2003 campaign to overthrow Suddam Hussein, turned to writing after leaving the military.

In his book, One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer, Nathaniel details his arduous training and delivers a frank account of the invasion of Iraq. He also sheds light on the role of books in his unit while advancing on Baghdad.

“Almost every Marine carries a book in his equipment, and books and coffee are totally communal in the Marines,” he said. “For instance, I had Seven Pillars of Wisdom by TE Lawrence and that was read by almost everyone in the platoon. Gates of Fire by Stephen Pressfield was also very popular.

“My platoon was passing around a copy of Paul Johnson's History of the American People - an admittedly ambitious choice at almost 1,000 pages. Most people read paperbacks, mainly because they have to carry them around. They definitely get shared, as do magazines, food, and nearly everything else. The military, staunch defender of our capitalist system, is essentially a socialist society.”

Read our interview with Nathaniel Fick