The Only Thing Worth Dying For

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The author's award-winning debut book.

official website

Learn more about the author and his other works.

Eric Blehm is a bestselling author and award-winning journalist. Winner of the Barnes & Noble Discover Award (2006) for The Last Season, a gripping account of the disappearance of legendary National Park Service ranger Randy Morgenson, Blehm has distinguished himself as one of America’s most important new non-fiction writers. In 2009, The Last Season was named by Outside magazine as one of the ten “greatest adventure biographies ever written.” Blehm’s latest book, The Only Thing Worth Dying For (HarperCollins, January 2010), has been hailed by former congressman Charlie Wilson, of Charlie Wilson’s War, as a “must read” among books about the current war in Afghanistan.

In 1999, Blehm broke ground as the first journalist to accompany and keep pace with an elite Army Ranger unit on a training mission. His access into the Special Operations community and reportage set an important milestone for American war journalism two years before reporters began to gain widespread embedded status with the U.S. military in the War Against Terror. His coverage of the Ranger training, along with a reputation for following stories to remote and/or risky environments—snowboarding the rugged mountains of Iran, stalking native golden trout through California’s High Sierra backcountry, retracing lost miners’ routes in the deserts of Death Valley, jumping out of planes in New Zealand—led Blehm to the previously untold story of an elite team of eleven Green Berets who operated in the hinterland of Taliban-held Afghanistan just weeks after 9/11.

The Only Thing Worth Dying For is the fruit of three-plus years of investigation into the first Special Forces mission in the south of Afghanistan and the ensuing battles, which resulted in the fall of the Taliban and the rise of Hamid Karzai. By winning the trust of men from ODA 574, the Green Beret team tasked with the mission, Blehm has been able to reveal in extraordinary detail how these resourceful U.S. soldiers managed to foment a rebellion among the Pashtun and forge a new Afghanistan from behind enemy lines. It is telling of Blehm’s ethic that he met and received the blessing of family members of the men on the team who were killed in action before embarking upon the telling of this story.

In addition to writing books and articles that take readers into the depths of fascinating subcultures, Blehm is a recognized voice in the search-and-rescue community for his detailed reporting of the Morgenson investigation—one of the most extensive search-and-rescue operations in National Park Service history. He is also widely known for his participatory coverage of outdoor sports and topics in the realm of adventure travel. He has contributed to GQ, Outside, Men’s Journal, Backpacker, Climbing, Couloir, Hemispheres, and the Los Angeles Times. Eric Blehm lives in Southern California with his wife and two children.