DRC41: Mac Caltrider [Author of DOUBLE KNOT and Founder of Pipes & Pages]

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live...We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the "ideas" with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.”

-Joan Didion, The White Album

Mac Caltrider has been a long time friend and supporter of Dead Reckoning Collective. He humbly submitted his own manuscript after years of writing about other people's books and eventually breaking into a career in journalism. 

In his debut book, Caltrider takes us on a tour of Afghanistan’s IED-filled Helmand province, where every footstep is an act of bravery. Without a chance to exhale, he moves on to explore the messy world of policing in the wake of George Floyd and the outbreak of COVID-19. Caltrider then takes us up the snow-swept slopes of Mount Rainier and on a whirlwind tour of the United States, alongside Miss America, some of the Pentagon’s top brass, and a gaggle of B-list celebrities that more closely resemble a circus than a morale boost. As the stories progress, a narrative through-line emerges, revealing the complicated ways in which war remains with those who wage it.

In this episode of the podcast we discuss topics covered in Mac's book and how his thought process evolved before and after composing these essays. What we learn is it's not always so simple and we don't always get the full picture, but also that it doesn't have to make sense immediately for it to be worth it. The immediate experience and the delayed gratification is all part of the journey. 





Apple Podcasts


Google Podcasts



Pocket Casts



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published