Jonathan Pieslak


Academic Researcher and Composer

My work on music and the Iraq War has been the subject of profiles in The New Yorker's "Talk of the Town," BBC Radio 4 "Today Programme," Los Angeles Times, Il Manifesto (Italy), Austrian Public Radio, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, WNYC, Semana (Columbia) The Guardian (UK), Fox News Channel (The Mike Huckabee Show), New York Post, Sirius/XM Radio, Sun Media (Canada), Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, London Review of Books, The Chronicle of Higher Education, among many others.


In 2009, I published the book, Sound Targets: American Soldiers and Music in the Iraq War (Indiana University Press). Featuring interviews with Iraq War veterans, this study investigates the place of music in the Iraq War and in contemporary American military culture in general. The book explores themes of power, chaos, violence, and survival in the metal and hip-hop music so popular among the troops, and offers insight into the daily lives of American soldiers at war in the Middle East. Note that some of the links no longer work on the website for the video examples; email me and I'll provide a list of working sites. 








Soundtargets.com                                                                                              Listen to Interviews with Veterans


Sound Targets: American Soldiers and Music in the Iraq war