In the late 1990s amidst Israel’s continuing war in Lebanon, soldiers fought and died on a small hilltop known as the Pumpkin. The casualties in military lingo were known as flowers. In his new book, Pumpkinflowers, Matti Friedman recreates his and others’ experience at that remote outpost, and in doing so casts light not only on the Israeli experience in Lebanon but on the conflicts the United States has since confronted in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. New America’s Douglas Ollivant, who served as Director for Iraq at the National Security Council during both the Bush and Obama administrations, wrote of Pumpkinflowers, “Iraq veterans finally have their book; a manuscript that really deals with the whole of the Iraq experience.”
New America welcomes Matti Friedman and Douglas Ollivant for a discussion of the book and its broader lessons for America’s wars in Iraq and beyond. Matti Friedman has reported from Lebanon to Morocco, Cairo, Moscow and Washington, D.C., and from conflicts in Israel and the Caucasus. He has been a correspondent for the Associated Press, and his writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Tablet Magazine, and elsewhere. He grew up in Toronto and lives in Jerusalem. His first book, The Aleppo Codex won the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize and the ALA's Sophie Brody Medal, among other honors.
Follow the discussion online using #Pumpkinflowers and following @NewAmericaISP.
Copies of the book will be on sale for check or credit.
Matti Friedman @MattiFriedman
Author, Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story
Douglas Ollivant @DouglasOllivant
Senior ASU Future of War Fellow, New America