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David J. Morris

David Morris is a former Marine infantry officer. From 2004 to 2007 he worked as a reporter in Iraq. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Surfer’s Journal. He is the author of The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (Houghton Mifflin, 2015), which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He is an assistant professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


<i>The Hidden Girl and Other Stories</i>. By Ken Liu. Gallery/Saga, 2020. 432p. HB, $26

On the Necessity of Science Fiction

Summer 2020 | Criticism

As I write this, a deadly virus that originated in bats from central China has brought the global economy to its knees, silenced world capitals, halted air travel, and killed over two hundred thousand people. The largest economic-stimulus package in American history—three trillion dollars (in the first round), designed to bring the US economy back from the brink—is yesterday’s news. The novel coronavirus has killed more Americans in three months than were killed fighting in the Vietnam War. 

<i>Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA</i>. By Amaryllis Fox. Knopf, 2020.240. HB, $26.95.

A Most Wanted Woman

March 2, 2020 | Criticism

 Despite President Trump’s fatuous protests about the “Deep State,” we seem to be in a similar place with respect to entertainment relating to the intelligence community, and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in particular.

<i>Boys Will Be Boys: Power, Patriarchy and Toxic Masculinity<I>. By Clementine Ford. One World, 2019. 362pp. PB, $17.95.

Gender Warriors

Summer 2019 | Criticism

There are few things in American life more problematic or pratfall-prone than a privileged, straight white man like myself holding forth on the topic of feminism. The innumerable things that men know about the universe and are happy—happy?, no delighted—to tell women about even has its own word now—“mansplaining,” a term I am sure nearly everyone reading this has heard at least once in their life. I’m fortunate enough to have been accused of mansplaining twice just this week, so allow me to explain to the uninitiated how mansplaining works—mansplaining occurs when a man … 



The Stringer and the Snake-eater

June 23, 2010 | Criticism

Stanley McChrystal was born a soldier, which may have been his problem—he lacked respect for civilians, particularly the ones elected to lead the country.

Empires of the Mind

Winter 2009 | Essays

Recently, I came across a photo on the web of prisoners in Guantánamo. You know the one: shot at close range through a chain-link fence, we see a line of detainees in orange jumpsuits—hooded, hands tied, bent over and broken. They are the first crop of prisoners from the new Global War on Terror.

Entries from The New Combat Contradictionary

March 20, 2008

An Exercise in Interpretive Lexicography Relating to the Recent Hostilities An Army of One: soldiers who dump their girlfriends/boyfriends right before an overseas deployment ostensibly to spare them the pain of long-term separation. Also The Cult [...]

Trophy Town

He carries it with him everywhere, his thumb drive. Around his neck pendantlike, jangling next to his dog tags. Or floating free in his leg pocket, mixed in with his laundry chit and requisition slips, swimming in the everyday stuff but diffe [...]

The Big Suck: Notes from the Jarhead Underground

1There are places even in Fallujah where the streetsong drops away to nothing, shaded alleys devoid of sound: you step inside them and for a moment it seems like nothing outside could ever get to you. Keep your steps right and you could let the patro [...]