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City of Death

Humanitarian Warriors in the Battle of Mosul
Narrated by: Ephraim Mattos
Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
Categories: History, Military
4.9 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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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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  • Kelsey Berry
  • 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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  • Ben
  • 10-10-2020

Incredible Story!!!

This is the best biographical account I have ever listened to. The author reading his own story adds layers of connection to the story.

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  • Ruth Shrock
  • 03-10-2020

Incredible!

The story is very well written, with perpetual goosebumps. Hearing Ephraim read his own story takes it to a new level! 10/10 would recommend.

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  • J. Klein
  • 16-09-2020

REALLY GOOD BOOK

this was a really good book and it showed how God protected Ephraim through some crazy things

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  • Frankie Tessler
  • 28-06-2020

AMAZING!!

You rarely hear what actually happens in battle. This story tells it all in amazing detail all the while aiding in a humanitarian way.

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  • reese
  • 03-05-2020

Reality is not for the weak.

This is an incredible story. A powerful and emotional experience put into words for the listener to just get a glimpse of the realities of the current situation in Iraq.

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  • Psalm 37:4-7
  • 27-11-2019

Compassionate Warriors. Greater love has no man...

Thoughtful, and at times brutally honest (rare is the warrior who will lay out his own failures so openly). This story follows the journey of a young man who is not certain exactly where he fits, yet he relentlessly follows his calling. Many missions do as much for their short-term missionary guests/ volunteers as for their local mission; not so, with Free Burma Rangers. I’ve heard stories of FBR for 15+ years in my small tribe. I’ve served with men who went to FBR. All are changed, in quiet, profound ways. This story demonstrates that FBR’s impact locally/ regionally is powerful. I also recommend: “Rangers in the Gap.” I hope to serve alongside FBR one day. No greater love...