The Good Soldiers

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Sep 15, 2009 - History - 304 pages

It was the last-chance moment of the war. In January 2007, President George W. Bush announced a new strategy for Iraq. He called it the surge. "Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not. Well, here are the differences," he told a skeptical nation. Among those listening were the young, optimistic army infantry soldiers of the 2-16, the battalion nicknamed the Rangers. About to head to a vicious area of Baghdad, they decided the difference would be them.

Fifteen months later, the soldiers returned home forever changed. Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter David Finkel was with them in Bagdad, and almost every grueling step of the way.

What was the true story of the surge? And 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.

 

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User Review  - tshrope - LibraryThing

I first heard about this book on This America Life where actors read excerpts from the book. Based on these excerpts I had thought the structure would be similar to “Dear America: Letters Home from ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rivkat - LibraryThing

A grueling, depressing book about the 2007 “surge” in Iraq from the perspective of a group of American soldiers. Finkel is at his most harrowing when describing the physical wounds inflicted by modern ... Read full review

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Contents

APRIL 6
APRIL 14 2007
MAY 7 2007
JUNE 30 2007
JULY 12 2007
JULY 23 2007
SEPTEMBER 22 2007
OCTOBER 28 2007
DECEMBER 11 2007
JANUARY 25 2008
FEBRUARY 27 2008
MARCH 29 2008
APRIL 10 2008
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE
THE 216 ROSTER OF SOLDIERS
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About the author (2009)

David Finkel is a staff writer for The Washington Post, and is also the leader of the Post's national reporting team. He won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting in 2006 for a series of stories about U.S.-funded democracy efforts in Yemen. Finkel lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife and two daughters.

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