News and Reviews:

Reviews of Guys Like Me


“The greatest of all myths about wars is that they come to an end. This deeply personal, very human book shows how ten, twenty, thirty, sixty years later their hurts and scars live on in those who fought them. Michael Messner has brought on stage some eloquent survivors whom our politicians should listen to before they dare even consider sending young men and women out to fight yet again.”

--Adam Hochschild, author of To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918


"With Guys Like Me, Michael Messner delivers an eloquent, passionate, and moving account of how war has sometimes moved veterans towards peace. Messner’s interviewees give us hope that humanity might yet one day listen to the soldiers who have gone to war, the ones who tell us, again and again, that war’s devastation is never worth it."

--Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Sympathizer


“There is a revelation on every page of Guys Like Me. The journey any man takes to transform his sense of his own manliness isn’t direct or simple. And, as Michael Messner shows us in these five engaging life histories, each gendered journey will have added twists and turns when distorted by militarism. A truly humane book." 

--Cynthia Enloe, author of The Big Push:  Exposing and Challenging Persistent Patriarchy


"Michael Messner is our new Studs Terkel. His five men speak with extraordinary eloquence about the psychic wounds they suffered in war, and the moral odysseys they undertook to break the silence that surrounds the human cost of war in the United States. Each man fought in a different war, but each tells a common story of exploitation by their own government and a descent into numbness, followed by redemption.  These men form an intergenerational chain reflecting with honesty and courage on masculinity and war. Messner describes and analyzes their experiences with warmth and insight. Essential reading for those seeking to understand military veterans." 

 --Hugh Gusterson, author of Drone: Remote Control Warfare


“Military veterans are putatively honored in this military-minded country. However, writes Messner, ‘the voices of actual veterans who have fought our wars are mostly under the radar.’ That is especially true, he adds, of veterans who have returned from war and now advocate peace—and resistance to war…Messner's narrative points the way for other activists seeking to build popular opposition movements.”

--Kirkus Reviews

"Guys Like Me is well written; Messner does a fine job of telling the men’s stories, conveying the complexity of their struggles by sharing their words and providing vivid details about their lives. What we see are real people, confused and lost at times, trying to reclaim their humanity and repair the damage caused by participating in organized violence."

--Gender & Society