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The Oath

On a recent trip to the library, a book with a photo of a doctor drinking tea with bloodied hands caught my eye.  The Oath: A Surgeon Under Fire by Khassan Baiev is the story of a doctor who lived and worked under unimaginable conditions during the recent Russian-Chechnyan wars.  Doctor Baiev’s story from his childhood in Chechnya to living in asylum in the United States is interesting and educational.  I enjoyed learning about this region of the world, about the the history and culture of the Chechnyan people.  Beyond that, and on a deeper, personal level it was a real eye opener for me.  Having one brother who did two tours in Iraq, and another brother about to deploy, I appreciated the honest, straightforward depiction of war. The book gave me a new perspective about the nature of conflict, propaganda, and war-time rhetoric.  It opened my eyes to the unthinkable suffering of civilians, and soldiers alike.  It made me think twice about the term “enemy”, and rattled some of my views about conflicts our country has participated in.  It is raw, honest, graphic, educational, and well worth the time to read Dr. Baiev’s story.

Books mentioned in this post:

The Oath: A Surgeon Under Fire by Khassan Baiev

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