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The Good Soldiers Paperback – August 3, 2010
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Fifteen months later, the soldiers returned home forever changed. Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter David Finkel was with them in Bagdad almost every grueling step of the way.
What was the true story of the surge? Was it really a success? Those are the questions he grapples with in his remarkable report from the front lines. Combining the action of Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down with the literary brio of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, The Good Soldiers is an unforgettable work of reportage. And in telling the story of these good soldiers, the heroes and the ruined, David Finkel has also produced an eternal tale--not just of the Iraq War, but of all wars, for all time.
Faces of the Surge
Beneath every policy decision made in the highest echelons of Washington about how a war should be fought are soldiers who live with those decisions every day. These are some of the faces of the U.S. strategy known as "the surge," as photographed by David Finkel, author of The Good Soldiers.
Soldiers of the 2-16 Rangers wait
for permission to enter a mosque.
Two soldiers try to collect themselves after
their Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb.
Sergeant Adam Schumann, regarded as
one of the battalion's best soldiers on the
day he was sent home with severe post
-traumatic stress disorder.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
There are z-e-r-o images or anecdotes in this book that come across as anything less than powerfully true, and many of his observations mirror in some ways things I saw on a much smaller scale. So for me, the credibility was rock solid. I kept thinking to myself, "oh yeah, I remember when something like X happened."
But, the most factually accurate book won't work if it's not written well. That is NOT a problem here. He tells it straight and without a lot of florid adjectives and overwriting. It's a strong enough story to succeed on its own merits, without the author trying to make us notice him as well. I really respect how he keeps himself totally out of it. There's nothing wrong with an "I" biographical style, but it's good to see the soldier's stories told here with a minimum of editorializing. It just tells us what happened; a lot of it's pretty horrible, some of it is very funny, with plenty in between.
Dexter Filkins' "The Forever War," had been my most respected book about Iraq, but this surpasses it only because it focuses so closely on an individual unit and the men doing the job. Filkins does a lot more in his book, but I think the tight focus of "Good Soldiers" helps it stand even more apart.
I'm not even sure it could be summed up as what it's "about." It doesn't have a happy ending, there's no big defining battle, just a lot of fights that don't seem to add up to much.Read more ›
This book is neither pro-war nor anti-war. It does not represent an effort to glorify or demonize any person or policy. It is, quite simply, an honest account of the realities on the ground for one battalion of soldiers based in a hostile environment during one of the most crucial periods of the war. In meticulous and thoughtful detail, Finkel recounts the experiences of the individuals who served in the 2-16, from the early days of anticipation, to the final days of dealing with the realities of a complex and often frustrating conflict with no easy answers and no clean conclusion. Much of the book focuses on the confident and optimistic commander of the 2-16, Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Kauzlarich, but readers will also come to know dozens of other personalities from the battalion, running from the top to the bottom of the chain of command.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely stunning. I was unable to put it Down, and was exhausted. I can see why it has done well.Published 12 days ago by Elizabeth Penny, Author
Recommended by my brother. He's a real good picker. The book's content deepened my understanding.Published 1 month ago by Judith Tharp
First- my sincere thanks to the soldiers and their families for their service and sacrifice of a, 'normal life'. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Down to earth, gritty account f a year plus in Iraq with the 2-16 during the "surge". Should be a "must read" for all officers and politicians!Published 4 months ago by J. Kepley
“The Good Soldiers” pulled me in just with its title. Coming from a military family, I have always wanted to learn more about what my family members have experienced while being... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Liked this book far more than I expected to. It reads as true as a photograph. The author's personal feelings are submerged and he does a good job of keeping the book from... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sandi Kay Wheatley
The vast majority of us take pride in our Country's global stature as defender of freedom. But this book is a grim reminder of not only the high cost of freedom, but how little... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Nils vanden Beemt
David Finkel embedded with an army battalion known as the 2-16 who were part of President Bush's Surge. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Wayne A. Smith