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Publisher's Summary

This is the true story of Ephraim Mattos, a former US Navy SEAL, and what he witnessed while volunteering as a frontline combat medic during the historic battle to retake Mosul from ISIS - the deadliest urban combat the world has seen since WWII.

After leaving the US Navy SEAL teams in spring of 2017, Ephraim Mattos, age 24, flew to Iraq to join a small group of volunteer humanitarians known as the Free Burma Rangers, who were working on the front lines of the war on ISIS. Until being shot by ISIS on a suicidal rescue mission, Mattos witnessed unexplainable acts of courage and sacrifice by the Free Burma Rangers, who, while under heavy machine gun and mortar fire, assaulted across ISIS minefields, used themselves as human shields, and sprinted down ISIS-infested streets - all to retrieve wounded civilians. 

In City of Death: Humanitarian Warriors in the Battle of Mosul, Mattos recounts in vivid detail what he saw and felt while he and the other Free Burma Rangers evacuated the wounded, conducted rescue missions, and at times fought shoulder-to-shoulder with the Iraqi Army against ISIS. Filled with raw and emotional descriptions of what it's like to come face-to-face with death, this is the harrowing and uplifting true story of a small group of men who risked everything to save the lives of the Iraqi people and who followed the credence, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends". 

As the coauthor of the number-one New York Times best-selling American Sniper, Scott McEwen has teamed up with Mattos to help share an unforgettable tale of an American warrior turned humanitarian forced to fight his way into and out of a hell on earth created by ISIS.

©2018 Apollo River, LLC. and Scott McEwen (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Ephraim Mattos has demonstrated a rare level of public virtue and commitment to humanity. City of Death is a sobering reminder of the challenges we face on this earth, but stories like Ephraim's inspire us to press on. Books detailing the lives of Special Forces heroes are not uncommon these days. However, Ephraim's unique story of combat and sacrifice AFTER leaving the military will leave a lasting impression on the reader." (Tim Ballard, founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad)

"In combat it's not about the number of lives you take, it's about the number of lives you save. Ephraim did not only fight the toughest terrorists in the world during the Battle of Mosul, but he also saved numerous innocent Iraqi lives. He is the true definition of an American freedom fighter." (Hamody Jasim, Sgt. Major Iraqi Army (Ret.) and author of The Terrorist Whisperer)

"Ephraim's story is a taut real-life thriller. His vivid and brilliantly reported account of events on the front-lines gives the reader a real dose of reality. He has a unique way of storytelling that makes this book a page-turner." (Rudolph Atallah, lieutenant colonel (ret.), former Africa counterterrorism director, Office of the Secretary of Defense)

What listeners say about City of Death

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brilliant

thank you FBR for your inspirational work and humanitarian aid. Ephraim you truly are a hero.

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Stories like these need to be heard

Listening to this in the comforts of my home is extremely eye opening and deeply saddening. But his amazing story and perspective gives me hope that even in the darkest of times, there are beacons of light. I'll admit it was slow to start but history is important as you will see how it builds a person. After reading this book I went ahead and googled the FBR and saw many videos of scenes from the book that was told and he definitely was able to capture that and more. Highly recommended read and it fills my heart to know that there are people out there who will forgo their own needs for the needs of others. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  • Zebulun
  • 25-10-2018

An inspirational tour de force

It takes a humble and strong person to reveal personal memories from mind-numbing and soul-crushing war zone experiences. Ephraim does an incredible job recounting the stories and weaving together a narrative that truly touches the soul and uplifts the human spirit.

In the audiobook, his smooth and personable voice transports you to the very moments the events took place in the Nineveh Plains of northern Iraq. You will feel connected, as if you were there yourself. Be prepared for a wild adventure of life, love, death, and redemption.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-04-2020

Captivating

It was a phenomenal read that truly inspired me to be daring for love.
I was a bit disappointed with the amount of language (although I’m sure it was really exponentially more). However, I still loved this read. What portraits of courage.
I found this book after watching “Free Burma Rangers”

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  • Sdgirl81
  • 08-01-2019

Amazing Book

Great story about heroism of another sort. Not the door kicker, charge the bunker, kill them all sort. The completely outnumbered moving under fire to give life saving aid type. While also delving into the mental struggles of love, hate, and combat.

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  • Eric
  • 13-11-2018

This is an incredible book!

Thank you for taking the time to share the importance of groups like the FBR and their impact during time of war. The eloquence in the way you told the story and explained your surroundings and counterparts gave vivid details to what you experienced during these trialing times. You humbly explained the heroic details and gracefully explained the errors and talked through them to the reader to share those emotions.
I felt like I was a part of this story and that I could see things through your eyes, it was great!

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  • Maggie
  • 15-10-2021

moving

the realness from the story teller and the words of this story are truly emotionality moving and deserve a good listen. thank you

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  • Pen Name
  • 15-10-2021

Gripping

This is a well written narrative from a perspective most people never get to hear. The author makes things clear and articulates well the events he experienced. I would recommend this book to anyone even remotely curious about “the second deadliest urban conflict since World War II”.

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  • Brian
  • 01-09-2021

Eye-opening and gripping

I didn't stop listening for two days except to sleep. The courage it took for the people in this book to set aside the comfort of the first world to go fight and render medical aid on behalf of those forgotten or overlooked is nothing short of awe inspiring. An amazing story of humbleness, tenacity and courage that everyone should read. That there are people out there like the Free Burma Rangers gives me hope for humanity. Amazing people.

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  • nicholas
  • 30-08-2021

A harrowing first hand account from a combatant.

I was gripped the entire time. A harrowing first hand account from a frontline volunteer combatant. A good insite into the intricate grey area of middle east culture and combat you won't see on CNN.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-07-2021

Historical

What an amazing story directly from the front line. The bravery is incredible. Thank you for sharing with the world what still continues to happen

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  • Y. Harrington
  • 21-07-2021

A powerful story

This is an unbelievable story… unbelievable because it’s all true and has been documented. The video of the author rescuing the little Iraqi girl and subsequently being wounded himself is on video.

Our world is better for having people willing to risk it all for others.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-08-2021

Inspiring

I first heard of Efram on a podcast and decided to get the book. It was a fantastic insight into the brave mind of navy seals and the driving force that pushes a person to sacrifice himself for the good of others.

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  • Wish list
  • 12-06-2021

Absolutely outstanding

I came across this seals story watching a YouTube video. Bravery, resilience, determination beyond words!

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  • Jay W.
  • 16-04-2021

Eye Opener.

An excellent book by a strong yet humble individual who describes the horrors of war made much worse by a cruel and cowardly enemy who massacred and raped their way across parts of Iraq and Syria - ISIS/Daesh. It also describes the sacrifice and bravery of his mates and also some of the Iraqi soldiers.
The author's story is written in a matter-of-fact way and is a narrative worth reading.

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