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Publisher's Summary

The story of one of the Afghanistan war's most decorated units and their 15-month ordeal, culminating in the Battle of Wanat, the deadliest battle of the war.

A single company of US paratroopers - calling themselves the "Chosen Few" - arrived in eastern Afghanistan in late 2007 hoping to win the hearts and minds of the remote mountain people and extend the Afghan government's reach into this wilderness. Instead, they spent the next 15 months in a desperate struggle, living under almost continuous attack, forced into a slow and grinding withdrawal, and always outnumbered by Taliban fighters descending on them from all sides.  

Month after month, rocket-propelled grenades, rockets, and machine-gun fire poured down on the isolated and exposed paratroopers as America's focus and military resources shifted to Iraq. Just weeks before the paratroopers were to go home, they faced their last - and toughest - fight. Near the village of Wanat in Nuristan province, an estimated 300 enemy fighters surrounded about 50 of the Chosen Few and others defending a partially finished combat base. Nine died and more than two dozen were wounded that day in July 2008, making it arguably the bloodiest battle of the war in Afghanistan.  

The Chosen Few would return home tempered by war. Two among them would receive the Medal of Honor. All of them would be forever changed.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Gregg Zoroya (P)2018 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now producing their own volumes, and this is one of the better ones...Well-researched...The book does an excellent job of telling the entire story of the action...As one of the most highly decorated units in Army history, these men, many of them from broken families and rough backgrounds, are worthy successors to Band of Brothers from previous generations of American fighting men." (New York Journal of Books)

"The gripping, often heartbreaking story of Chosen Company's time in the Waygal Valley...In a style reminiscent of Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers, Zoroya takes readers beyond the blood and sweat of close combat and into the hearts and minds of the soldiers themselves. The result is an intensely personal and heart-wrenching tale of courage, love, and loss...a vivid portrait of America's war in Afghanistan...brutally honest in the telling, in a way that will affect readers deeply... The Chosen Few is an exceptional book...as revealing as it is enthralling. For military readers, The Chosen Few is a 'must read'; few books are as insightful, especially with respect to the character, courage, and commitment of those fighting for the future of Afghanistan. For readers with preconceived notions of what it means to engage in the 'forever war,' this book is a necessary addition to the bookshelf." (Military Review)

"A searing account of war in Afghanistan...A remarkable story, whose telling raises myriad questions without resorting to polemics. It is unlikely that those who read it will ever utter the phrase, 'Thank you for your service,' quite the same way again...A gripping, exhaustively reported account of modern warfare...[Zoroya] cuts through the fog of war...Zoroya delivers the adrenaline of combat right to the reader's easy chair. His prose is direct and clear, and never upstages the action. He also brings the warriors to life, chronicling their trials and triumphs." (USA Today)

What members say

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  • Overall
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  • Mila
  • 2018-06-22

Wow! What an amazing group of men!

As a sister of one of the soldiers in this book, I was moved and felt I was right there in the action. I never realized the true danger he was in. I can't thank the author enough for taking the time and effort to research the events and write this book. I've always been proud of my brother and those who served. Now, I have a new found respect for them. My heartaches for the lives lost and the loved ones left behind. But I feel like I really got to know all of them in this book. I wish I could have gone to the 10-yr reunion last year. I now understand why my Dad was on cloud 9 when he and my mom accompanied my brother to the reunion. He was in awe by being in the presents of such a great group of men.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • David Ginaitis
  • CATONSVILLE, MD, United States
  • 2018-06-04

Wow

Up there with some of the best: The Outpost, House to House, Outlaw Platoon, and more. Great narrator, well written, I’ve listened to them all. Vets, if you can, we need more books like this, to remember and celebrate your sacrifices.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Tom
  • 2018-06-03

Painfully Excellent

The best effort to honor the soldiers of Chosen Company/173rd. Author did an excellent job of collecting the information and translating it. Heartbreaking heroic acts of heroism displayed by the soldiers of Chosen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • james
  • 2018-12-15

Proud of these men that have served an sacrificed so much for our great country.

Thank to all the men that served an sacrificed in these battles to defend our great country

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve Hillman MD
  • 2018-10-19

Afghanistan

An intimate look at the people who fought in the war in Afghanistan. Some gave all. The rest remain forever changed by the experience which was overwhelming both physically and emotionally.
Heroes all.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jdbeyers
  • 2018-07-18

A highly recommended read

A well presented and well researched story, showing the lives of the soldiers and the horrors of the war that they had to endure.

This is possibly the best representation of the war that I have read to date. I highly recommend this to anyone who has a passion for understanding the war in Afghanistan.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Conqueror 09
  • 2018-12-04

One of the best accounts of any conflict that I’ve ever read

This book was one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading or listening to. The details provide a vivid glimpse into the multiple decisions which must be made on tactical and strategic levels involving both combat effectiveness and geo-political implications. This is a must read for anyone who wants an unvarnished understanding of what happens at the Company level during all phases of combat planning and operations.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • R. Denton
  • 2018-12-28

Brave Troops, lifeless, boring narrating

"Read by the Author" is often a kiss of death and this one really proved it. The writing is not nearly up to the level the writer seems to think it is, and the narration is far worse. It's clearly someone who cannot distinguish between telling a story with lots of real human drama, sacrifice and pain from reading a lengthy shopping or laundry list.
I should have read about the author before selecting this. "Award winning USA Today journalist" would have told me what to expect and told me to pass on this one. This plodding story clearly does not do justice to these troops.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • STEVEN
  • 2019-05-16

outstanding<br />


I have a real understanding of the costs of war and the toll it takes on the individual.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Carey
  • 2019-05-11

Learn to pronounce words

It’s shuh nuk not chin nook. I’ve been around a few chinooks and never hear a pilot pronounce it chin nook.