PositiveThe Washington PostAckerman builds on the coming-of-age images of training, combat and homecoming in the military memoirs of writers such as Benjamin Busch, Brian Castner, Adrian Bonenberger and Brian Turner. Fans of Ackerman’s nonfiction will recognize some previously published pieces in Places and Names. He refrains from delving deeply into his emotions and instead hints at them through the stories of friends ... Ackerman’s tone suggests his deep feeling beneath the surface ... Many veterans will viscerally feel this pull, along with nostalgia for the places where they came of age. Even after leaving the military, the desire for a sense of purpose under intense circumstances often persists ... ends with a searing and beautiful chapter — not included in Ackerman’s original draft — that details his thoughts amid the blood, sweat and adrenaline of the Battle of Fallujah.
RaveThe Washington Post... a raw, powerful reckoning ... Bhagwati presents a unique, unvarnished exploration of the racism and homophobia that some military women endure ... probe[s] the complex truths of [her] individual military experience...shows us how the challenges [she] confronted during [her] service helped [her] discover a fresh purpose after deployment ... As our veterans rebuild their lives in a society that often glosses over their experience, Unbecoming capture[s] their humanity as contemplative, concerned Americans — not just as heroes or victims.