Lifting the Skirt on the War Nerd

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Gary Brecher is the War Nerd–a pseudonymous columnist for the English-language Moscow-based publication, the <i>eXile</i>. (The print-edition <i>eXile</i>
<a title=”was shutdown this spring” href=”/2008-06-18/media/risk-taking-russian-newspaper-pushed-out-of-print.aspx?blogid=34″ target=”_blank”>
<font color=”#800080″>was shutdown this spring</font>
</a>, but the feisty periodical has found <a title=”a new home online” href=”” target=”_blank”>
<font color=”#800080″>a new home online</font>
</a>.) <a title=”Soft Skull” href=”” target=”_blank”>
<font color=”#800080″>Soft Skull</font>
</a> recently published a compilation of Brecher’s columns, which we <a title=”reviewed in our July-August 2008 issue” href=”” target=”_blank”>
<font color=”#800080″>reviewed in our July-August 2008 issue</font>
<p>Brecher’s eponymous <i>
<a title=”War Nerd” href=”″ target=”_blank”>
<font color=”#800080″>War Nerd</font>
</i> is a curious, in-your-face book, as <i>Utne</i> associate editor Hannah Lobel points out in her review, calling the tome a “raucous, offensive, and sometimes amusing CliffsNotes compilation of wars both well-known and ignored.” Lately, the man who produced such a volume has attracted some curiosity himself.</p>
<i>War Nerd</i> netted <a title=”Mother Jones” href=”” target=”_blank”>
<font color=”#800080″>a review in <i>Mother Jones</i>
</a> that expresses skepticism regarding Brecher’s authority, given that he makes <span lang=”EN”>”continual narrative detours,” many about how he “is overweight,</span> underpaid, and has a hard time getting a date.” Brecher offered explanation for those digressions on the public radio show <i>
<a title=”To the Best of Our Knowledge” href=”” target=”_blank”>
<font color=”#800080″>To the Best of Our Knowledge</font>
</i>. The nerd moniker was a “defensive move,” Brecher says. “Look, I understand that you can do all kinds of psychoanalysis about why I like war, so let me say up front, ‘Yeah, I’m a fat loser and I flunked puberty.’ And you can link that up with me liking war all you want, but I’m the statistical norm, and there are a lot of me out there.”</p>
<p>Far from shooting himself in the foot–a little war metaphor for you there–Brecher demonstrates his knack for the “surprising analysis” of which Lobel wrote.</p>
<p>You can listen to the seven-minute segment here:</p>
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<p>(Thanks, <a href=””>
<font color=”#800080″>Richard Eoin Nash</font>

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