A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR FOR:
THE NEW YORK TIMES CHICAGO TRIBUNE
THE BOSTON GLOBE THE KANSAS CITY STAR THE PLAIN DEALER (CLEVELAND)
THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
WINNER OF THE HELEN BERNSTEIN BOOK AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM
It was the last-chance moment of the war. In January 2007, President George W. Bush announced a new strategy for Iraq. It became known as "the surge." Among those called to carry it out 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. The chronicle of their tour is gripping, devastating, and deeply illuminating for anyone with an interest in human conflict. With The Good Soldiers, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Finkel has produced an eternal story — not just of the Iraq War, but of all wars, for all time.
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.