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A Soldier's Duty

3.16  ·  Rating details ·  32 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
From one of America’s most esteemed military correspondents and the author of Making the Corps comes a “briskly paced, engrossing tale” (Los Angeles Times) about a brutal brushfire war in Afghanistan that sets off a titanic struggle for the soul of the twenty-first-century American military.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 11th 2002 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 2001)
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Frederick Bingham
Jan 01, 2012 rated it liked it
This story centers on Army Majors Sherman and Lewis. They become aides for competing generals in the Pentagon. The President launches an operation in Afghanistan that puts soldiers in a dangerous situation. Mysterious email messages start moving around the military's networks from an organization called the Sons of Liberty complaining about this. Lewis's commander is the one orchestrating the messages which are strictly against military rules. Major Sherman is tasked with trying to get to the so ...more
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Duty and honor. Can these be in conflict when a soldier is faced with an order from his or her Commander-in-Chief that is considered suicidal for the troops? Is it far fetched to believe that military leaders, sworn to uphold the Constitution while subordinate to civilian authority, would form a secret organization to countermand that authority? That is the premise of Rick's novel and it does raise a very real dilemma that military leaders may face at some point in their career. Maintaining one' ...more
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Ricks' first novel, written before 9/11, is an attempt at military fiction much like Tom Clancy. Having read Ricks' later non-fiction pieces, A Soldier's Duty showcases Ricks' amazing understanding of the U.S. military, but exaggerates the lengths to which Soldiers go to execute the mission. Not surprisingly, however, Ricks anticipates the issues in Afghanistan and as the U.S. presence in the country decreases, the premise of this book would make for an excellent movie.
Ellie Revert
Sep 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
The author, Thomas Ricks, has major gravitas in this area. This is a very thought provoking book. About our military forces. And how to be a respectful soldier, and when to step out of the program in protest. This has given us much food for thought. Is your military duty to the president even if you do not like him? Even if you disagree with him? The Sons of Liberty are becoming subversive to the president--how to do this, and should it be done at all? Fascinating!
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
this book was sad at the beggining becuase they had to kill a baby or it would have needed help for the rest of his life and his parents died by terrorists and i would recomend this to only certain people in my life
Read in December 2001.
Jenny Ng
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: military
If you don't know who Tom Ricks is, don't bother reading. (It's pretty bad.) If you do, what the hell are you waiting for! The title alone sends me grinning like an idiot *every time*.
Oct 23, 2008 rated it did not like it
He should stick to non-fiction.
Jeff Lacy
Feb 15, 2013 rated it liked it
The internecine workings of the Pentagon and the duty to government vs. the higher duty to one's country.
David Wheeler
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Thomas Edwin "Tom" Ricks (born September 25, 1955) is an American journalist who writes on defense topics. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning former reporter for the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. He writes a blog at and is a member of the Center for a New American Security, a defense policy think tank.

He lectures widely to the military and is a member of Harvard University
More about Thomas E. Ricks...

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