Company C — Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

The Jewish Week, Washington DC
An American in the IDF
by Aaron Leibel
August 11, 2005

The Washington City Paper
Israel Vibration
by Michael Lukas
August 5, 2005

“What truly sets this book apart is Watzman’s candid, and at times searing, internal debate about his role in an army whose actions he doesn’t always agree with. “After being the victims of such oppression,” he writes, pondering the similarity between Russian pogroms and Israeli incursions into the West Bank, “how could we Jews do the same to others? How could we even do anything that might be viewed that way by outsiders? It seemed to contradict the very idea of what a Jewish state should be.”

Watzman approaches these much-vexed questions with a refreshing frankness and naiveté. Readers are given full access to the internal struggle of a deeply religious, compassionate, and patriotic soldier faced with the thorny and often deadly daily interactions that define the conflict.”

Golden State Warriors
by Samuel G. Freedman
Summer 2005

The Washington Times

An American as Israeli soldier
by Sol Schindler
June 19, 2005

Publishers Weekly

Watzman, a writer and translator, served in the reserve infantry of the Israeli army, one month a year, from 1984 to 2002. On one level this thoughtful and absorbing book is a frank (and often funny) barracks-room memoir, capturing the tedium, terror and grinding discomfort of military life, with a sharp eye (and gifted memory) for details of character and place. The periodic nature of Watzman’s service gives the book a serial viewpoint into the tumultuous events of the years from before the rise of the first intifada to the re-occupation of the West Bank, always from a unique front-line perspective. We also come to know the other men in Watzman’s unit, representative of Israeli society only in their disparateness. As an observant Jew and patriot who is also vocally opposed to the West Bank and Gaza settlements, Watzman himself defies easy stereotyping, and his depiction of the motivations and opinions of his comrades and countrymen, especially as they shift over time, is likewise unclichéd, affectionate but critical.

The Washington Post

Brothers in Arms
by Michael B. Oren
June 26, 2005