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“The Good Soldiers”

The Good SoldiersAs David Finkel makes brutally clear in “The Good Soldiers” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), a $150,000 Humvee cannot withstand even a $100 bomb. Finkel approaches the brutality of death on the battlefield with a fearlessness that puts him on par with the likes of Tim O’Brien, Stephen Crane, and Thomas Pynchon. Thomas E. Ricks, the author of “The Gamble” praises Finkel’s work “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.” From suicide attacks to stray shots, Finkel captures the hopelessness of a group of soldiers living in a world that is hostile to their beliefs and values. He cynically compares the speeches made in Washington with the medical reports made by doctors: “All four limbs burned away, bony stumps visible… No further exam possible due to degree of charring.” Finkel, a Pulitzer Prize winner and staff writer of The Washington Post, struggles in “The Good Soldiers” to come to a definitive conclusion about the war. Was the influx of troops a good idea? Could the war be considered a victory? Rick Atkinson, the author of “An Army at Dawn,” called Finkel’s book “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.”

View at Amazon: “The Good Soldiers”.

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