It Happened on the Way to War - Rye Barcott


The Rugged Altruists
By David Brooks, The New York Times

A Devil Dog Finds His Best Angels
TIME Magazine - Global Spin

When It Comes to Helping Others: Just Do It
The New York Times, On The Ground With Nicholas Kristof

It Happened on the Way to War: An Inspiring Story
Jim Fallows, Atlantic Monthly


“Rye Barcott has given us a truly amazing memoir — humane, harrowing, inspiring, and complex in its portrayal of an almost paradoxical accommodation between Eros and Thanatos.  This is at least as much a compassionate and emboldening manifesto as it is a work of autobiography.”
 – Tim O’Brien, author of THE THINGS THEY CARRIED

“Rye Barcott’s engaging and candid memoir on the catalytic power of participatory development shows us that, whether we are in the slums of the world’s biggest cities, in rural Haiti, or on college campuses, we can learn from Tabitha, Salim, and Rye—a nurse, a community organizer, and a young Marine living in urban poverty—about how to fight extreme privation and bring about lasting change.” —Dr. Paul Farmer, professor, Harvard Medical School, and co-founder of Partners In Health

“A tremendous story of the power of friendship, love, and the transforming grace of God.” –Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

“Riveting. A beautifully written memoir that reads like a novel and reveals fundamental truths about good, evil, and our common humanity.” –Ishmael Beah, author of A LONG WAY GONE

“A must read for anyone interested in leadership.  The solutions to our greatest challenges will be found by unlocking the potential of communities like Kibera.” –Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO, Google

“An unforgettable odyssey. We need more of these wonderful affirmative tales of how good can triumph in Africa, as it can anywhere.”–Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

“Every American should read this remarkable book by a remarkable man who fought as a Marine in Iraq while waging battle against poverty and violence in one of the world’s largest slums.  Beautifully written, Barcott’s tale is cautionary — effecting real change in the world is never easy or cheap, and is often heartbreaking. But it is an equally inspirational story, showing that a small group of committed individuals, acting with courage, can make an enormous difference.” –Philip Caputo, author of A RUMOR OF WAR

“This fascinating book is likely to change the way you view the world, and the impact you can make in it.” – Mia Farrow

“Compelling.  Former Marine Captain Rye Barcott demonstrates how our forces must today be capable of fighting and development in this important and revealing story of service on two fronts.” – Brigadier General H.R. McMaster, U.S. Army, author of DERELICTION OF DUTY

“Rye Barcott is a rising star in a remarkable generation — young men and women who are passionate about changing the world, whether by helping others in the civic arena or fighting terrorists in remote corners.  Rye is special because he has wielded both sword and plowshare  — a tale he tells with great insight and compassion in this tautly written, fast-moving book. It Happened on the Way to War will inspire and capture the hearts of many people.  But it is an especially ideal selection for college study abroad, leadership, and summer reading programs.  It is a book that can be transformative.” – David Gergen, Director, Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership; CNN Senior Political Analyst.

“If you are interested in leadership – on the battlefield or in a Nairobi slum – or if you just like inspiring stories, read Rye Barcott’s book. And if you want to do more than read, contribute to Carolina for Kibera. I did, and I hope you will too.” – Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor; author of SOFT POWER.

"A compelling and important book about the merging of social entrepreneurship and military service.It shows how one man working hand-in-hand with local leaders made a difference in the slums of Kibera." -- Lionel Barber, Editor, Financial Times

Additional Endorsements