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Exploring warfare through nonfiction

On Tuesday (3/1), Canisius College presents a reading and celebration for Brian Castner’s All the Ways we Kill and Die, at 7pm. Come to the Grupp Fireside Lounge at Canisius College (2001 Main St), 2nd floor Richard E. Winter Student Center, to toast this debut publication. There will be a brief talk, reading, and book signing. Free food and drink provided. You can purchase your copy from Talking Leaves Book Store.

In this nonfiction thriller Castner takes us on a manhunt for an elusive figure. When Castner, an Iraq War vet, learns that his friend and EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) brother Matt has been killed by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) in Afghanistan, he goes to console Matt’s widow, but he also begins a personal investigation. On his journey we, the readers, are introduced to maimed survivors, the collectors of intelligence and drone pilots and contractors tasked to kill. We even oversee an interview with the forensics team who gather evidence from the post-blast rubble. His investigation explores the way in which warfare has changed since Iraq. He suggests that warfare is becoming individualized even as it has become hi-tech, with our drones, bomb disposal robots, and CSI-like techniques. Technology is presented to locate, identify, and overtake the planners and bomb makers. But in a turn of events we quickly realize we are not the only hunters. The chilling lesson is that with this technology, the hunters can easily be hunted as well. We learn that the other side, from Al-Qaeda to ISIS has been seeking its own high-value targets. Castner finds himself asking if the bomb maker responsible for Matt’s demise is the same man American forces have been hunting since Iraq, known as the Engineer.

Skyhorse Publishing, along with Arcade imprint, are dedicated to publishing an extensive variety of books for readers interested in history—books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. They are committed to books on thought-provoking subjects that are sometimes overlooked.

Check out the pre-pub buzz: “In this book Brian Castner takes us through a kind of moral detective work, uncovering not only private grief, but also the broader military and social context of our country’s response to such deaths. A brilliant, moving, and troubling portrait of modern American warfare.” —Phil Klay, author of the National Book Award-winning Redeployment

Castner served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer in the US Air Force from 1999 to 2007, deploying to Iraq to command bomb disposal units in Balad and Kirkuk in 2005 and 2006. After leaving the active military, he became a military contractor, training Army and Marine Corps units prior to their tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. His writing has appeared in a number of national and regional publications, including Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy and Publisher’s Weekly.

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