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When Reagan Sent In the Marines

The Invasion of Lebanon

Patrick J. Sloyan

Thomas Dunne Books

When Reagan Sent In the Marines Download image

ISBN10: 1250113911
ISBN13: 9781250113917


240 Pages



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On October 23, 1983, a truck bomb destroyed the U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut. 241 Americans were killed in the worst terrorist attack [the] nation would suffer until 9/11, [with] repercussions still [being felt] today.

When Reagan Sent In the Marines tells why the Marines were there, how their mission became confused and compromised, and how President Ronald Reagan used another misguided military venture to distract America from the attack and his many mistakes leading up to it.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Patrick J. Sloyan uses his own contemporaneous reporting, his close relationships with the Marines in Beirut, recently declassified documents, and interviews with key players, including Reagan’s top advisers, to shine a new light on the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and Reagan’s doomed ceasefire in Beirut. Sloyan draws on interviews with key players to explore the actions of Kissinger and Haig, while revealing the courage of Marine Colonel Timothy Geraghty, who foresaw the disaster in Beirut, but whom Reagan would later blame for it.

More than thirty-five years later, America continues to wrestle with Lebanon, the Marines with the legacy of the Beirut bombing, and all of us with the threat of Mideast terror that the attack furthered. When Reagan Sent In The Marines is about a historical moment, but one that remains all too present today.


Praise for When Reagan Sent In the Marines

"In this formidable narrative, the prize-winning and super honest reporter, Patrick Sloyan, adds the depth of a scholar's context to produce a gripping reminder of why we should never forget history. He makes readers feel like they were eye witnesses."—Ralph Nader

"Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sloyan succinctly chronicles the decades of hostility toward the American government before the suicide truck bombing, with much of that ill will related to U.S. support of Israel . . . The Beirut attacks proved not to be an isolated incident; they inspired Osama bin Laden to spread the word that terrorism against the U.S. was effective, a message that reached its horrible apotheosis on 9/11. Sloyan portrays the president at the time, Ronald Reagan, as an uninformed chief executive who shared the viewpoints of his hawkish military and civilian aides."Kirkus Reviews

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About the author

Patrick J. Sloyan

PATRICK J. SLOYAN was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who had covered national and international affairs since 1960. He was awarded journalism's most distinguished prizes for domestic and foreign reporting, including the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting and Spot News Reporting, the George Polk Award for War Reporting, the American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for Deadline Writing, and the Raymond Clapper Award for Investigative Reporting. Sloyan wrote for Rolling Stone, The New Republic, The Nation, and The London Guardian. He died in 2019 after completing When Reagan Sent In the Marines.


Patrick J. Sloyan

Read author obituary at Washington Post