The Good Soldiers [NOOK Book]

Overview


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 ...

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The Good Soldiers

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Overview


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.


One of the New York Times Book Review's Top 10 Books of 2009
Winner of the 2010 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism

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Editorial Reviews

Doug Stanton
Like [Ernie] Pyle, Finkel brilliantly captures the terrors of ordinary men enduring extraordinary circumstances…[in] this ferociously reported, darkly humorous and spellbinding book…Finkel has made art out of a defining moment in history. You will be able to take this book down from the shelf years from now and say: This is what happened. This is what it felt like…Finkel brings the art of storytelling back to the drama of war.
—The New York Times Book Review
Michiko Kakutani
…heart-stopping …Like Michael Herr's Dispatches and Tim O'Brien's Things They Carried, this is a book that captures the surreal horror of war: the experience of blood and violence and occasional moments of humanity that soldiers witness firsthand, and the slide shows of terrible pictures that will continue to play through their heads long after they have left the battlefield…It is Mr. Finkel's accomplishment in this harrowing book that he not only depicts what the Iraq war is like for the soldiers of the 2-16…but also the incalculable ways in which the war bends (or in some cases warps) the remaining arc of their lives.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
A success story in the headlines, the surge in Iraq was an ordeal of hard fighting and anguished trauma for the American soldiers on the ground, according to this riveting war report. Washington Post correspondent Finkel chronicles the 15-month deployment of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion in Baghdad during 2007 and 2008, when the chaos in Iraq subsided to a manageable uproar. For the 2-16, waning violence still meant wild firefights, nerve-wracking patrols through hostile neighborhoods where every trash pile could hide an IED, and dozens of comrades killed and maimed. At the fraught center of the story is Col. Ralph Kauzlarich, whose dogged can-do optimism—his motto is “It’s all good”—pits itself against declining morale and whispers of mutiny. While vivid and moving, Finkel’s grunt’s-eye view is limited; the soldiers’ perspective is one of constant improvisatory reaction to attacks and crises, and we get little sense of exactly how and why the new American counterinsurgency methods calmed the Iraqi maelstrom. Still, Finkel’s keen firsthand reportage, its grit and impact only heightened by the literary polish of his prose, gives us one of the best accounts yet of the American experience in Iraq. Photos. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
Did the much-vaunted surge of American troops in Iraq work? Yes, said George W. Bush. A soldierly response differed: "I've had enough of this bullshit."So details Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post writer Finkel in this excellent study of soldiers under fire. In January 2007, Bush ordered a surge that involved flooding the Baghdad and other key locations with soldiers to quell anti-American partisan activity. In the field were troops who had seen time in Iraq before, had gone home and been sent back. Some were from a battalion stationed at Fort Riley, Kan., and they had the good fortune to be commanded by a smart West Pointer who had earned his Ranger parachute and had served in the first Gulf War and Afghanistan. His troops affectionately dubbed Lt. Col. Ralph Kauzlarich, "the Lost Kauz." The sobriquet proved fitting, as Finkel chronicles, and though Kauzlarich did his best to prevent harm from befalling his charges, he could not stop the IEDs, suicide attacks and stray shots that inevitably followed their movements. The author writes with the you-are-there immediacy of Richard Tregaskis's Guadalcanal Diary (1943), taking the reader into the field, where, against a $100 explosive device, a "$150,000 Humvee might as well have been constructed of lace." Finkel also depicts the gruesome aftermath of such explosions: "All four limbs burned away, bony stumps visible. Superior portion of cranium burned away," reads a battalion doctor's death report. "No further exam possible due to degree of charring." Aspects of the surge, the author writes, were merely rhetorical. Others were unquestionably successful, particularly the reduction in the number of attacks on Americans-successes to bechalked up to the bravery of the men and women under fire, and in no way, Finkel says, to anything happening in Washington. Says Kauz of one action that serves as an epigram to the entire enterprise, "It's fucked up. But you did the right thing."A superb account of the burdens soldiers bear. Agent: Melanie Jackson/Melanie Jackson Agency
From the Publisher
From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. A success story in the headlines, the surge in Iraq was an ordeal of hard fighting and anguished trauma for the American soldiers on the ground, according to this riveting war report. Washington Post correspondent Finkel chronicles the 15-month deployment of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion in Baghdad during 2007 and 2008, when the chaos in Iraq subsided to a manageable uproar. For the 2-16, waning violence still meant wild firefights, nerve-wracking patrols through hostile neighborhoods where every trash pile could hide an IED, and dozens of comrades killed and maimed. At the fraught center of the story is Col. Ralph Kauzlarich, whose dogged can-do optimism—his motto is “It’s all good”—pits itself against declining morale and whispers of mutiny. While vivid and moving, Finkel’s grunt’s-eye view is limited; the soldiers’ perspective is one of constant improvisatory reaction to attacks and crises, and we get little sense of exactly how and why the new American counterinsurgency methods calmed the Iraqi maelstrom. Still, Finkel’s keen firsthand reportage, its grit and impact only heightened by the literary polish of his prose, gives us one of the best accounts yet of the American experience in Iraq. Photos. (Sept.)

From Kirkus:

Starred Review. Did the much-vaunted surge of American troops in Iraq work? Yes, said George W. Bush. A soldierly response differed: “I’ve had enough of this bullshit.”

So details Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post writer Finkel in this excellent study of soldiers under fire. In January 2007, Bush ordered a surge that involved flooding the Baghdad and other key locations with soldiers to quell anti-American partisan activity. In the field were troops who had seen time in Iraq before, had gone home and been sent back. Some were from a battalion stationed at Fort Riley, Kan., and they had the good fortune to be commanded by a smart West Pointer who had earned his Ranger parachute and had served in the first Gulf War and Afghanistan. His troops affectionately dubbed Lt. Col. Ralph Kauzlarich, “the Lost Kauz.” The sobriquet proved fitting, as Finkel chronicles, and though Kauzlarich did his best to prevent harm from befalling his charges, he could not stop the IEDs, suicide attacks and stray shots that inevitably followed their movements. The author writes with the you-are-there immediacy of Richard Tregaskis’s Guadalcanal Diary (1943), taking the reader into the field, where, against a $100 explosive device, a “$150,000 Humvee might as well have been constructed of lace.” Finkel also depicts the gruesome aftermath of such explosions: “All four limbs burned away, bony stumps visible. Superior portion of cranium burned away,” reads a battalion doctor’s death report. “No further exam possible due to degree of charring.” Aspects of the surge, the author writes, were merely rhetorical. Others were unquestionably successful, particularly the reduction in the number of attacks on Americans—successes to be chalked up to the bravery of the men and women under fire, and in no way, Finkel says, to anything happening in Washington. Says Kauz of one action that serves as an epigram to the entire enterprise, “It’s fucked up. But you did the right thing.”

A superb account of the burdens soldiers bear.

Review:

“Let me be direct. The Good Soldiers by David Finkel is the most honest, most painful, and most brilliantly rendered account of modern war I’ve ever read. I got no exercise at all the day I gulped down its 284 riveting pages.” —Daniel Okrent, Fortune

“[A] new classic . . . the reader cannot get enough . . . As a compelling read, The Good Soldiers is all good.” —J. Ford Huffman, Military Times

“David Finkel has written the most unforgettable book of the Iraq War, a masterpiece that will far outlast the fighting.” —David Maraniss, author of They Marched into Sunlight

“From a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer at the height of his powers comes an incandescent and profoundly moving book: powerful, intense, enraging. This may be the best book on war since the Iliad.” —Geraldine Brooks, author of People of the Book and March

“This is the best account I have read of the life of one unit in the Iraq War. It is closely observed, carefully recorded, and beautifully written. David Finkel doesn’t just take you into the lives of our soldiers, he takes you deep into their nightmares.” —Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco and The Gamble

“Brilliant, heartbreaking, deeply true. The Good Soldiers offers the most intimate view of life and death in a twenty-first-century combat unit I have ever read. Unsparing, unflinching, and, at times, unbearable.” —Rick Atkinson, author of An Army at Dawn and The Day of Battle

“This is the finest book yet written on the platoon-level combat of the Iraq war . . . Unforgettable—raw, moving, and rendered with literary control . . . No one who reads this book will soon forget its imagery, words, or characters.” —Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars

The Barnes & Noble Review
Several meticulously researched and insightful books have explored why the United States went to war in Iraq. Works like Thomas E. Ricks's Fiasco and Barton Gellman's Angler have thoroughly examined the hubris, confused thinking, and ever-changing rationales for the 2003 Iraq invasion and subsequent occupation, but no one volume has fully captured the day-to-day grind and lethal reality faced by American troops on the ground in Iraq. Until now.

Pulitzer Prize winner David Finkel, a Washington Post staff writer, spent over a year with an American infantry battalion, known as the 2-16 (whose average age is 19), as they deployed from Fort Riley in Kansas to one of the most dangerous, war-ravaged areas of Baghdad. Carefully detailing the experiences of the 2-16 and its commanding officer, Lt. Col. Ralph Kauzlarich, Finkel has crafted a wartime account so visceral and so emotionally wrenching that it will leave many readers stunned.

The Good Soldiers takes a single year-long slice of the war -- April 2007 to April 2008 -- and makes its unifying story the gradual shift of initially optimistic, gung-ho soldiers like Kauzlarich away from an attitude of can-do optimism and eagerness to work with the Iraqis to creeping disillusionment and sometimes outright disgust for the whole Iraq enterprise. Finkel describes the endless meetings Kauzlarich has with local Iraqi leaders, including one possibly involved in killing American troops: a cigarette-smoking sheik who, writes Finkel, "blew smoke from those cigarettes into Kauzlarich's face while asking for money, for guns, for bullets, for a new cell phone, for a car[.]"

What really distinguishes Finkel's hard-to-forget account is his exceptionally specific description of the everyday dangers faced by the 2-16, from sniper fire to incoming mortar shells to the most dangerous weapons of all, IEDs (the "improvised explosive devices" that have become a terrible icon of this war's particular horrors) and the less-well-known EFPs ("explosively formed penetrators"). On April 6, 2007, the 2-16 suffered its first lethal attack when an IED was exploded beneath a Humvee containing PFC Jay Cajimat and four others. "In went the slugs [from the exploding IED] through the armor and into the crew compartment, turning everything in their paths into flying pieces of shrapnel," writes Finkel, "[f]our managed to get out and tumble, bleeding, to the ground, but Cajimat remained in his seat as the Humvee, on fire now, rolled forward, picked up speed, and crashed[.]"

Details of the horrific injuries of the four survivors and what the IED had done to kill Cajimat come via the battalion's doctor: "All four [of Cajimat's] limbs burned away, bony stumps visible. Superior portion of cranium burned away. Remaining portion of torso severely charred." Finkel isn't just interested in how such horrific deaths and injuries impact the battalion, creating a toxic climate of revenge and fear, but also explores their impact on families back home. He shows us burned soldiers recovering Stateside, battling to live with multiple amputations and the resulting mental scars, as family members struggle to maintain hope and find meaning.

After a June 8th EFP explosion, one soldier responded brutally: Sergeant Frank Gietz, who killed seven Iraqis during a firefight the next day, tells Finkel that he wonders whether he'd gone too far and overreacted to the previous day's horror: "It's a thin line between what we're calling acceptable and not acceptable...you're supposed to know when not to cross it. But how do you know? Does the army teach us how to control our emotions? Does the army teach us how to deal with a friend bleeding out in front of you?" In reflections like these, The Good Soldiers makes manifest the daily struggle to make sense of the senseless -- little wonder that these young men suffer under the strain.

Even the optimistic Kauzlarich struggles with the contradictions of trying to win the hearts and minds of a population containing some who would happily see him and his men incinerated. After Kauzlarich barely survives a May 2007 EFP attack and his convoy limps back to base, he's momentarily compelled to deal with his own mixed emotions. During the drive back, an Iraqi girl with "filthy hair and a filthy face...kept waving at the convoy, and now at Kauzlarich himself, [and] he had a decision to make. He stared out his window. He raised his hand slowly. He waved at the f*cking child." In such sardonic moments, as soldiers try to smile at the daily horror, readers see the schizophrenia of wartime.

Given the immense dissonance in the soldiers' daily experience, it comes as little surprise that there is a yawning gap between the official pronouncements of optimism, most of them made by President George W. Bush, and the darker realities on the ground. As Bush praised the effectiveness of Iraq's own security forces, Finkel shows us a training session for Iraqi forces led by U.S. troops who are anything but impressed: "[T]he Iraqi security forces were a joke. Every one of the soldiers knew it." As the Americans showed the Iraqis how to patrol, "one [Iraqi] soldier who was walking backward swiveled around just in time to walk face first into a tree trunk." When instructed to take a knee, another Iraqi "who was clearly too old to be a soldier, and too overweight to be a soldier, instead sprawled on the ground and began plucking at some weeds."

As the number of 2-16's dead and severely injured mounted, both Kauzlarich and his men suffered plummeting morale that would lead to a "countdown" mentality as their deployment ended. The Good Soldiers, in turn, uses the opportunity to explore the disconnect between the home front and the war front, especially how soldiers tuned out the endless political wrangling over the war. Finkel writes at length about the physical and mental scars left behind for the soldiers, and for the families who can't possibly comprehend what they've been through.

This shift in focus to the aftermath of war leads to some of the book's most searing moments, as Kauzlarich visits injured soldiers from his unit in a Texas hospital. The colonel meets one soldier's young wife and mother at bedside, and then turns to greet a soldier blown up by an EFP: "There was so much of Duncan Crookston missing that he didn't seem real. He was half of a body propped up in a full-size bed... He couldn't move because he had nothing left with which to push himself into motion...and he couldn't speak because of the tracheotomy tube that had been inserted into his throat. Every part of him was taped and bandaged because of burns and infections[.] "Just days later, Kauzlarich received an email from Crookston's mother, saying her son had died.

In all,14 members of the 2-16 would be killed in Iraq, and dozens more would find themselves burdened with traumatic injuries and post-traumatic stress. Finkel's book is so valuable because it moves well beyond the mind-numbing statistics and rarefied political debates to explore the war as it's actually fought by young people trying to do what's right amid horror, hopelessness, and grinding fear. The Good Soldiers uniquely portrays the physical and mental toll on these soldiers; there's unlikely to be a more raw and visceral account of its true nature. --Chuck Leddy

Chuck Leddy is a member of the National Book Critics Circle who writes frequently about American history. He reviews books regularly for The Boston Globe, as well as Civil War Times and American History magazines. He is a contributing editor for The Writer magazine.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429952712
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 9/15/2009
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 55,195
  • File size: 875 KB

Meet the Author


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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 119 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(45)

4 Star

(39)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(8)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 119 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    Absolutely Great

    The Good Soldiers is one of the best books I have ever read of any sort. Extremely well written, The Good Soldiers takes the reader on a journey into the Iraq war with such intensity that at times you feel the IED's go off and the bullets fly past your head. David Finkel writes a book that at one minute pulls at your emotions of sorrow and the next has you near ranting at the absurdity of the Iraq war. A must read for anyone trying to get an insight to the US involment in Iraq and what it means to our men and women in war.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2010

    Heartbreaking

    I think most people forget about the war overseas. Understandably, everyone is facing a difficult economy amongst other things, but this book brings us back to reality. As a soldier myself, this book hit so close to home. I have yet to be deployed, so this book made me appreciate, even more, what my fellow soldiers do everyday in Iraq and Afghanistan while I get to be home living a normal life. This book was absolutely heartbreaking, and I cried pretty much the entire time reading it. It's a startling reminder that I think we all need. This book was well written and has amazing insight from soldiers who have lived in the midst of war. Very Powerful.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    This book really brings the soldiers to life, the ones who died

    Since I am a military mom this book really moved me and brought these
    young soldiers back to life, or to life. I could not put it down.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Gritty Wartime Account

    A war correspondent's story detailing the history of an America infantry battalion during the surge in Baghdad. The author takes the reader out on patrol in one of the nastiest neighborhoods in Baghdad and unblinkingly describes what happens when a homemade bomb explodes under a Humvee. The result is a vivid depiction of what war feels like on the ground. The book makes no attempt to tell the story of the war from a higher level, or to place the action described in its pages in any larger wartime context. This is not a comfortable book to read, but it is honest, and I do recommend it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    In Depth Look at the War in Iraq

    I have recently taken to reading military history books to understand the situation our current world is in. I am 27 and the Middle East situation is my equivalent of the Viatnam War for prior generations. It is difficult to learn the situation our soldiers face, due to media manipulation. This book is a well written account of the "Surge" in Iraq and a;; the dificulties the soldiers faced. The book tells of the mental toll that the war is taking on the young men and women serving in Iraq. The war in the Middle East is nothing like anything we have seen before. The EFP's and IED's are causing a whole new set of problems for the soldiers involved. Finkel was imbedded with the 2-16 and painted a true picture of the true toll this war is taking on those individuals serving in the Middle East theater.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    May be the most anti-war yet...

    How does one describe a war? Was there ever a war that seemed like a success? Oh yes--I remember now. The one Bush,Jr declared finished after a month or two.

    Imagine you are lying flat on the hot, dusty surface of a road east of Baghdad, in Rustamiyah. Like an IED, say, or an EFP. (Improvised Explosive Device or Explosively Formed Penetrator) Imagine you take a picture of the world from that viewpoint. I felt Finkel's book allowed us to view the war in Iraq from a similar vantagepoint. A single battalion (the 2-16) experiences "the surge" in this book. We hear a rounded account, from the Lieutenant Colonel (Colonel K) leading the group, to the replacement soldiers for the dead and the wounded. We hear from the wives, the translators, the medalled, the battle-weary. There are no victors.

    It is terrifying, war is. If you want to see what bad is, you can have a look here. As we strive in our lives to achieve, and be the best of what man can be, our soldiers are seeing the worst of what man can be. I don't have words enough to express my sorrow...

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    The best read on the Iraqi conflict

    Having read more than 8 books on the Iraqi conflict I found Mr.Finkels book to very precise and to the point without needing to add "side bars" to complete the story. Easily the best read thus far on this issue.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2009

    must read for all americans

    the most heart wrenching account of what it is like in war in Iraq
    raw detail of there lives and losses

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

    Anonymous december 19 2013

    Everyone who supported this war should read this book to see what we havel done to thousands our military and thier famalies.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    True accounts of the daily life of a soldier

    I loved this book. It really showed the war in Iraq for what it really is rather than what you hear in the news or read in an article. It really puts things into perspective. I would recommend this book to anybody who likes to read the truth and isn't afraid to read things that could potentially make you cry.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2011

    False, Sentimental Agitprop

    In "The Good Soldiers", David Finkel gives a verbatim account of dialogue between U.S. pilots and reconnaissance personnel during the now infamous "Collateral Murder" Apache helicopter attack that killed several innocent Iraqis, including two Reuters journalists. The problem is, Finkel's account was written prior to the public release of the video of the killings and, when Finkel's account is compared to that video, calls into serious question Finkel's active "spinning" of reports of the event to align with the U.S. military coverup of what many have called a US "war crime". Read the book if you want to see a journalist at work whose integrity has been severely compromised - and perhaps completely undermined - by his pandering to the needs of his sources (in this case U.S. Army personnel and staff) to create a narrative acceptable to the American public. Finkel's account of the "Collateral Murder" incident - an account which he has publicly defended in spite of ample recorded video and audio evidence of it's falsehood - gives one pause. It seems this author may be willing to outright lie to his readers in order to appeal to our desire to believe that America is sending "Good Soldiers" overseas to fight our battles for us. When the history of the media's support for US military actions is written, David Finkel and "The Good Soldier" will figure prominently; though probably not in a way that Mr. Finkel will like.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Complex

    The war in Iraq is multi faceted. If you are look for more insight into the war in Iraq you should read "Women as Weapons of War: Iraq, Sex and the Media" by well known author and scholar Kelly Oliver.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2014

    VERY disappointed in this book. It is basically just an anti-war

    VERY disappointed in this book. It is basically just an anti-war book by an author who has the Bush derangement syndrome. Honestly, this type of reporting is more like something out of the 1960s. If you like manipulative tear jerkers about how awful war is, this is your book. If you wanted to get into the midst of a current war, what it's about, why the people are there, how they go about their job, what the strategies are, etc etc, you will be sadly disappointed, as I was. Of course wars are bad. Duh. But these guys were all volunteers, and all volunteered to be combat infantry. To make them out to be victims of politicians is just superficial and silly. If you want TRUE insight, I recommend Nathaniel Frick's One Bullet Away or Evan Wright's Generation Kill. Even the title of this book is insulting - the GOOD soldiers is tongue in check, mocking what their commander thought of them as they were first sent to Baghdad as part of the surge.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2013

    Very much recommended

    This book is powerful in it's description of the war in Afghanistan. Mr. Finkel's reporting of soldiers' experiences is graphic. It gives a small glimpse of the hell of war to civilians, not a sanitized movie version. The sacrifices made and the horrors endured by the soldiers, AND their families, are immense. Each of us needs to know about them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    inspirational

    This book is a must read! When i first started to read it, i couldn't stop reading it. This story is all about the wars of the past and present and it tells about the soldiers who fought in the war and how the conditions were in battle. And it also states some of the soldiers who fought for our freedom. I reccomend it to anyone who likes to read up on history or who are interested in the military! :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    This is a powerful book, told by the author is first person acco

    This is a powerful book, told by the author is first person account.  It really tells of the horrible physical and
    mental trauma that these soldiers went thru.
    I have a read a lot of ‘war story’ books and this one rates right up there at the top.
    You really feel you’re there with Finkel’s narratives and conversations with what it was 
    really like during the ‘surge’.  Get this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2012

    Moderate book

    I think it was good. But there are alot of names to learn and remember. Also sometimes confusing, and sometimes hard to comprehend. -Sean Skipper 11/16/12

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Good book!

    Very well written. I would recommend to anyone who wants to know more about what our soldiers are experiencing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    Kind of a bust

    Author David Finkel's book "The Good Solders", well written, but he made no real effort to a definitive ending and only hints at his reason for writing this book. Rich with description and personal experiences of day to day happenings. Not the best book I've read on this topic, but by far not the worst. Would have been better if he added a concluding argument of some kind of some kind.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2012

    Good book

    Good book and keeps you interested

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