Inside the List: Sebastian Junger's War

May 27th, 2010

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Inside the List

By JENNIFER SCHUESSLER

SHOOTING WAR: Sebastian Junger’s first book, “The Perfect Storm,” spent 189 weeks on the hardcover and paperback best-seller lists and was made into a Holly­wood blockbuster.

With “War,” new at No. 3 on the hardcover non­fiction list, Junger took the movie­making part into his own hands. In addition to his notebooks, he took a video camera along during the five months he spent embedded with a company of American soldiers in the Korangal Valley of Afghanistan, shooting footage that became the documentary “Restrepo.” (The film, made in collaboration with the British photographer Tim Hetherington, won a grand jury prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.) The camera ended up making Junger’s job easier, or at least less nerve-racking. “I think if your house is burning down and you had your child in your arms you wouldn’t be thinking of yourself,” Junger told Entertainment Weekly. “The camera was like my baby. It was the thing I was supposed to take care of. My job was to get video. Once I was caught without my video camera in a fire fight, all I could think about was my safety. I had no role. So it really did make a difference. And I’m pretty sure that it works the same way with weapons.”

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