Skip to Main Content

Whistles from the Graveyard

My Time Behind the Camera on War, Rage, and Restless Youth in Afghanistan

About The Book

“The most bracingly honest, refreshing account of the Afghan war” (Sebastian Junger, New York Times bestselling author) from a Marine Corps combat cameraman and director of the documentary “masterpiece” (Military Times) Combat Obscura.

At just eighteen years old, Miles Lagoze joined the Marine Corps a decade after the war in Afghanistan began and found himself surrounded by people not unlike those he’d left behind at home—aimless youth searching for stability, community, and economic security. Deployed to Afghanistan as a combat cameraman—an active-duty videographer and photographer—Lagoze produced slick images of glory and heroism for public consumption. But his government-approved footage concealed a grim reality.

Here, Lagoze illustrates the grisly truth of the longest war in American history. As these young men and women were deployed to an unfamiliar country half a world away, they carried the scars of the fractured homeland that sent them. Lagoze shows us Marines straddling the edge of chaos. We see forces desensitized to gore and suffering by the darkest reaches of the internet, unsure of their places in an unraveling world and set further adrift by the uncertain mission to which they had been assigned abroad.

“Gonzo, ghoulish, and unforgettable” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Whistles from the Graveyard shows the parts of the Afghanistan War we were never meant to see—Afghan locals and American infantry drawn together by their fears of the ghostly, ever-present terror of the Taliban; moments of dark resignation as the devastating toll of years in war’s crossfire reveals itself between bouts of adrenaline-laced violence; and nights of reckless, drug-fueled abandon to dull the pain.

In full, vivid color, Miles Lagoze displays an often overlooked generation of young Americans we cast out into the desert, steeped in nihilism, and shipped back home with firsthand training in extremism, misanthropy, and insurrection.

About The Author

Photograph by Ciara Ní Chuirc

Miles Lagoze is the critically acclaimed director of the 2019 documentary Combat Obscura. The footage used in the documentary was obtained when Lagoze enlisted as an eighteen-year-old Combat Camera in the Marines and deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. His writing has been published by The Paris Review and RealClearPoliticsWhistles from the Graveyard is his first book.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria/One Signal Publishers (December 19, 2024)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781668000045

Browse Related Books

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images