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Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War

Unabridged Audio Book

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Abby Elvidge

8 Hours 55 Minutes

Brilliance Audio

June 2016

Audio Book Summary

Bestselling author Mary Roach explores the science of keeping human beings intact, awake, sane, uninfected, and uninfested in the bizarre and extreme circumstances of war.Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier’s most challenging adversaries—panic, exhaustion, heat, noise—and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. Mary Roach dodges hostile fire with the U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of U.S. Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. She visits a repurposed movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds. At Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, in east Africa, we learn how diarrhea can be a threat to national security. Roach samples caffeinated meat, sniffs an archival sample of a World War II stink bomb, and stays up all night with the crew tending the missiles on the nuclear submarine USS Tennessee. She answers questions not found in any other book on the military: Why is DARPA interested in ducks? How is a wedding gown like a bomb suit? Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks? Take a tour of duty with Roach, and you’ll never see our nation’s defenders in the same way again.

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Reviews

  • John Hayes

    Although I found the title a tad misleading (I was a 'grunt' in the Marine Corps for 20+ years!) I found the subject matter very interesting. Having listened to this book I have decided to purchase it and read it for myself. It was tough to bear the narrator's annoying sing-song voice. The content was worth it! But decide for yourself.

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