The Good Soldiers
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 infa...more
It must be said that The Good Soldiers is mainly about men being maimed and killed. The good soldiers from America drive slowly through some of the worst parts of Baghdad and of course they are very frequently blown up. David Finkel reports the story of one army unit between January 2007 and April 2008, when the author was with them - in the famous word, "embedded". In those few months...more
What did the surge in Iraq look like from the inside? How do you get the locals to trust you? How do you patrol an area when your vehicles are constantly being blown up by IEDs and other deadly devices? How do you sustain an optimistic out...more
But, oh, I was wrong. This is one of the fines...more
My heart breaks for the soldiers of 2-16. The ones who were killed and...more
Your star rating system needs a new button. Perhaps completely off the scale, a little red x labeled "fucking painful, read it anyway." Or something along those lines.
I didn't like this book. I don't think anyone could like such a bloody first hand look at an army regiment in Baghdad during the Surge. This is a very painful account, which makes me credit and also dislike it. Because any non-sociopath reading about the gazebo at the Brooke Army Medical...more
I would also like to recommend it to all the students who were in my interactive design class, or were taking classes in my program between the spring of 2007 and the spring of 2008. Why? Here's the answer . (It's my extensive review of the book, but I feel this isn't the right place for it.)
This is just one of the wounded soldiers David Finkel writes about in his brutal but compelling book The Good Soldiers. The book chronicles the troops of the 2-16, one of the battalions who served...more
“I’ve lost all hope. I feel the end is near for me, very, very near.
Day by day my misery grows like a storm, ready to swallow me whole and take...more
Note: I am not going to use names in this review to avoid spoilers. I am also accepting the author's reporting as factually based. I have some background knowledge w...more
You will however search in vain for any but the most cursory Iraqi perspective. Injuries and deaths of US soldiers are dwelt on at great length, Iraqis, by and large, die off-screen. Voiceless, faceless, lifeless.
That said, reading between the lines can giv...more
That said - if I had to read a book about the Iraq war, I'm glad it was this one.
I was blown away by the author's organization. Although the story is told chronologically, it tells the stories of dozens of different soldiers yet remains very organic in how those histories are told.
There are definitely some sections that one should not read while eating, before eating, after eating, or while think...more
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...more
Okay, so my point is that this book is astonishing, I can not believe that I am just now reading it. the author takes a genuine interest in th...more
All I can say after reading it is, "WOW." The danger and threats the 2-16 battalion experienced every day during their tour was mind-boggling. It really makes you appreciate the sacrifices that American soldiers make in a war zone. I couldn't sleep the first night because I laid there and thanked God that I was born in this country and...more
The writer paints such a grim and hopeless picture that I felt like I was either going to cry...more
The book hits it's stride when Col K vis...more